I work at the School of Education at Bristol. I'm interested in futures, how we make better ones, how we value what we have in the world now. I'm a poor guitar player, better cello player, lazy gardener and lover of sweet things...
My challenge
My cChallenge is to reduce all unnecessary consumption

Have hit a problem – my front door was in a mess and needing sanding down and repainting, I managed to get all the sanding and the undercoat and things from old stuff in the cellar, but when I went to find a new gloss for the door I didn’t have any I could use lying around.

I went to the SOFA project on GLos road where they have a lot of leftover paint and tried there – but I cracked and bought myself the paint in a colour I really wanted as I figured I have to live with it everyday for years and years. As a small justification to allow me to do this, I returned a cracked vase that I’d bought last month to the shop… not sure this helps, but there you go.

The picture is the interesting collection of spare paint int he SOFA shop – really useful for outdoors paint and small rooms in particular.

Attempting not to buy presents for family birthdays, I’ve gone back and found a load of old wool that I had lying around, and am now making socks. Which is lovely – had forgotten how much I like doing this. Of course, usually I would have to buy the wool – so have begun to think about asking people for old balls of wool they aren’t using to make things.

So – I am in the supermarket (which I usually avoid like the plague) and am on my way out, and as I am I see these seed packets – and I think, lovely – I could do with planting some for the garden and reach out to get them. And then remember that I can’t – that these, too, are unnecessary consumption – that they were harvested, packed, shipped around the world, so that they would sit at the exit to the supermarket to encourage me to buy them.

And I looked around, and the whole place is just designed to make you buy stuff you don’t need.

I have come home and dug out all my old, unused seed packets and will plant them this weekend.

So – my aim is to reduce all non-essential spending this month, because I’m aware of the climate justice issue relating to how the top 10% in the world produce over 50% of the carbon emissions.

I’ve already moved my electricity and gas to renewables, have a very old car that I try not to drive at all if I can help it. What I’m interested in is the question – can I just live more lightly in the world – what stops that and what helps it?

So – I’m trying to cut down any spending that isn’t associated with basic needs. This is going to be tricky – March is the month that all my family has their birthday – so what am I going to do if I can’t buy them stuff… how do I show love without buying things? This feels like it is something worth learning today.

Will update here when I work out what I’m doing!

Hope everyone else is going OK.