The Task: Recycle all of our current catalogues (FYI: I'm not spelling it wrong, I'm Canadian and that's how we spell it...) and ask the companies to no longer send them to us.
The Why: Nearly every company has an online catalogue you can browse, making the concept of sending paper catalogues around the world every year really wasteful and kind of silly. (Catalogues in the US alone are reported as using 53 million trees a year!) Plus, when I need an item I should be shopping only for the item I need, not leisurely browsing through every item the company sells.
The fact is that catalogues are designed to sell us things we wouldn't otherwise buy. If they weren't, companies wouldn't send them to us every single year for free, right?
And finally, catalogues take up space. If we don't have them, we don't have to store them anywhere!
The How: I gathered up all of my magazines, and one by one visited the websites of each company to send an email requesting that they no longer send me catalogues. I assured each company that we will browse their online catalogue when we are in need of something! Then I disposed of all of the catalogues in the recycle bin.
There may have been some I've forgotten about, so I'm committing to immediately cancel any catalogues that arrive in my mail in the future.
Total Time Spent: About 20 minutes.
The Verdict: Honestly, as a geeky homeschool mom, I'm kinda mourning the loss of my Curriculum catalogues. But I know that it's better for me to search the website for the things we really need than to go through their entire inventory with a highlighter and a cup of tea.
The habit of always shopping and constantly browsing for things to buy does not help us to cultivate a life of radical simplicity!
We are doing one small thing every day for a year to create a simpler, quieter, more intentional life. Take a moment to read all About Us, check out The Rules of our year long project and sign up for our RSS feed or "like" us on facebook so that you can follow our journey to radical simplicity!