Buying Nothing for 30 Days

Today is April 1, 2021.

This is not an April Fools joke.

I’m going to document my journey to not buy anything besides food and supplies (sponges, laundry soap, etc.) for 30 whole days.

Why Buy Nothing?

Let’s face it… It’s too easy to buy now. And it’s getting too convoluted for me to distinguish a need from a want. Spending so much less money on transportation and experiences means I can afford more things, although of course that doesn’t mean I should be buying.

Shops are opening, so I mask up and look at dresses. I don’t have a long wrap sundress, although I do have a couple of dresses. Since I donated some of my not-so-conscientious lower-quality dresses, buying a new one seems like a need.

Yard and moving sales are happening, and we find a shelf we can use to finally get many of our kitchen items set up off the floor. This is something we’ve been looking at and shopping around for, and there’s one that fits our decor! No-brainer. Then, there are some stylish clothes and some books, too. Let’s toss those in.

Social media advertisements and accounts I follow make conscious products look so enticing, I find myself scrolling and filling carts, signing up for emails and liking Kickstarter campaigns. My consumer profile is on fleek, advertisers know exactly what I want to see.

And don’t get me started about scrolling Etsy, ThredUP, or Poshmark on work breaks. I have so many Favorites categories on there it’s not even funny.

Buying less is the most socially conscious option.

Buying Nothing Should Be Easy

The point is to become more mindful of what I buy and curtail mindless purchasing.

It’s also for me to more constructively use my time instead of browsing things I don’t need.

Remember that there are a lot of great experiences like hiking that don’t require unnecessary purchases!

Let’s see how it goes!

March 2021 gratitude Post

This month was challenging for me on several levels. Gratitude is one of the things that got me through.

1. Grateful to Be Resilient

I started working out pretty intensely in mid-January, after finding out I gained 10 pounds since Summer 2020. But, if you saw the Instagram post, you know that backfired:

For more context, I was doing more than one HIIT workout every day, sometimes a full hour, plus running at sub-9:00 pace for 3.5-6 miles 3x per week, plus yoga, bike riding, and strength training. I would under-eat all day then after working out everything went out the window because I felt so hungry. After 6 weeks of this, I could barely move, and felt tired all the time. My second HIIT workout one night, I stopped after 52 of 60 minutes because my muscles physically wouldn’t move anymore. I even caught a cold (just a bacterial infection, not COVID!). Worse, I had put on 5 extra pounds, which the doctor said was normal but nonetheless was distressing.

After being sidelined for 2 weeks with Over-Exertion Syndrome, I lost the 5 extra pounds, and that made me even more depressed. Why even bother with fitness? Did it even work? What had I worked so hard for?

I work out for my sanity, not my vanity.

~Jaime Pressly

Fortunately, I found that inspirational quote from famously-fit actress Jaime Pressly that changed my mindset. Instead of maniacally pushing myself to work out more and harder, then over-compensating by stuffing trail mix and pizza, I realized at the end of my 2 week sideline that I wanted to work out. It makes me happy, focused, and is something I look forward to!

I’ve bounced back, and after 2 weeks of sensibly working out again and a clean diet of fruits, vegetables and vegan smoothies I’ve lost 3.5 pounds of the original 10. Better than that… I feel energetic, confident, and happy with myself again.

2. Grateful for This Spring of All Springs

Spring is my favorite season, hands down. It’s the rainy days with intermittent sun, realizing it’s still light out when you’re done with work, the first scents of flowers in the air, and dressing in layers in case the wind gets chilly.

March always feels like a Great Awakening, where people come out of hiding, events start happening, people feel inspired. Never more so than Spring 2021! Instead of being shut away all winter, though, this Spring people are starting to come out again that have been inside for a whole year.

People are getting vaccinated, including people in my home, businesses are starting to open at lower capacity, and Eventbrite is sending me notifications that live events are happening locally. Comedy shows, yoga classes, silent disco, socially conscious networking, writers groups… I am SO excited to get vaccinated and enjoy a real Spring!!!!

3. Grateful to Do What I Love… For Fun

Turns out, the “I do it for my sanity, not my vanity” quote really applies to everything in my life!

  • I took time away from social media, including deactivating a personal Facebook account in January, re-starting a new Twitter, and stepping back from Instagram. As a result, I lost a lot of engagement and followers, and most notably lost sponsors and income stream on Instagram. When I realized I have these accounts because I love to talk about becoming more socially conscious, I was suddenly less distressed about that and regained a level of passion for social sharing!
  • Same for this blog: It’s time-consuming and I don’t have nearly as many posts as I would like, and same for my YouTube channel. I realized, I do it because I love it, not necessarily because I expect everyone to see it. Suddenly getting in and writing in the evenings after work or while sitting outside on a Saturday afternoon doesn’t seem like a chore, it’s a joy.
  • Looks like it might be time to re-emerge with SoCon Networking, too. I did it because I loved it, but COVID put an end to in-person meetings and the last thing people seemed to want was more Zoom appointments at their homes. It seemed pretty hopeless. Now I’d like to make meetings happen in-person with emphasis on building social connection among like-minded people. It’s my passion and I still have some time to figure it out logistically before everyone is vaxxed. Plus, I can now afford to make it free until 2022!!

Review: Indosoles

Status: Recommended

My second pair of Havianas gave out, and it was time to find a replacement. After assessing how socially conscious my summer wardrobe was (video below or linked here), I knew it was time to find a socon flip flop replacement. And where better to begin during quarantine than surfing the internet?

The segment where I discuss my Havianas begins at 13:13

Finding Indosole

Looking for socially conscious flip flops online led me to several cork-based options that looked very attractive. Cork is a renewable resource, so this made sense. I bookmarked a few pairs I liked on Instagram and saved some shopping pages on my phone.

With a little cookie-based stalking and some social profile data mining, Indosole found me as someone who was eco-conscious and looking for flip flops. As a marketing manager myself, I see the “good marketing” as putting something in front of someone at the right time who is looking for it– and that’s exactly how it was. Several static Instagram ads and a story ad later, I was alerted of their pre-Black Friday sale.


How Is Indosole Socially Conscious?

These stylish shoes are made of ethically-sourced natural rubber with recycled tire soles. Natural rubber is a renewable resource, and workers are paid fairly and work under good conditions to harvest it and create the upper shoe.

As for the recycled tire soles, this is just another example of ways clever inventors are solving the tire problem: Used tires often sit for years in junkyards, landfills, and unfortunately the ocean. In addition to consumer products, the construction industry is starting to cash in on the goldmine of available rubber provided by used tires. Tire-derived fuel and DIY projects also take aim at eliminating used tire waste.

Company First Impressions

I ordered the light blue flip flop sandals and received them within a month. That’s relatively OK although they were shipping allegedly from in-state (Bay Area to L.A.). The main issue was that the black soles pre-scuffed the light blue sandals, in places that could be visibly seen when they were worn. For brand-new $40 flip flops, I wasn’t about to let it slide.

Initially I couldn’t get through on the phone, so I tried to find a local vendor where I could either return or exchange them. After trying 2 locations in-person and calling several more, I realized that wasn’t going to happen: Locations were closed during COVID, didn’t carry the sandals, or weren’t equipped to handle an exchange. So initially it appeared their product was well-intentioned but didn’t deliver. I was a little sad.

Indosole Goes Above and Beyond

Finally, I reached customer service on the phone, and things turned around. The customer service rep explained that light blue was in heavy demand, and they had again run out of stock. Instead, they would send me another pair for free, and I could keep the scuffed ones! I chose forest green, a beautiful color that I initially thought wouldn’t match many of my clothes but as it turns out is very versatile.

Two more weeks and the green arrived. I immediately fell in love with the color, and I noticed the straps on the top of the foot were a little wider– an important distinction as explained shortly.

Wearing the Shoes

After learning a new pair would be coming my way, I slid the light blue pair on, leashed my pup, and went a’ walkin’. But after only an hour or so, what started out feeling like mildly uncomfortable straps started feeling like sharp edges cutting into my feet! The top layer of skin was cut away and my feet were literally bleeding. I hobbled home, to some Neosporin and bandages.

After 2-3 wears, they are now the most comfortable shoes ever.

Seriously, the soles of my feet are cushioned and supported, and I can even lightly jog in these with no pain whatsoever. That breaking-in period was really rough, though.

The green pair, with a wider strap, never caused any pain nor did they have a ‘breaking in’ period. I wore them overtop of the scabs from the blue pair with no additional cutting or scraping. These, too, are the absolute most cushiony, comfortable flip flops ever.


How Long Do They Last?

As of today, March 27, 2021, both pairs are going strong. The blue pair got a little dirty, but were easily washed with an old toothbrush and Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Soap. Unfortunately, the scuff marks never did scrub off entirely.

Neither pair shows signs of wear in either cushion or sole, and I wear each one for at least one walk nearly every single day.

Overall, the company is conscientious and cares about its customers, the product is socially conscious, and most importantly, the sandals are comfortable, stylish, and durable.

Indosole is great!

February 2021 Gratitude Post

Taking steps back from social media over the past 2 months has been great for feeling like I’m not in a ‘rat race’. But I am also reminded that social media can be a platform for good, too. In addition to sharing thoughts and ideas to further social consciousness, social media can be good for plain old social connection with friends and family. As pandemic restrictions drag on, staying in touch has really helped me through some tough times.

Happy birthday to my many my friends and family with birthdays this month!

1. Grateful for My Parents

My parents are both Febrarians, and I’ve been thinking about all the sacrifices they made for us. Being a parent is a tough job. I haven’t seen Mom in nearly a full year thanks to COVID, but thankfully have been able to stay in contact. (Dad passed away in late 2009.) I can definitively say my parents were instrumental in shaping my identity as an activist and proponent of social consciousness.

2. Grateful for the Vaccines

Some out there may know that I once aspired to be a biomedical researcher. Whilst that was not the path for me to make my mark in the world after all, I appreciate the work and skill that goes into research and into finding cures and solutions. Now that people I love are starting to get vaccinated, it’s a HUGE relief and a light at the end of this tunnel that’s lasted so long and stressful. Like, finally the dust can start to settle and all the little things we took for granted will be back again one day: Live music, yoga classes, writers groups, indoor dining, office parties, networking events…

3. Grateful for Essential Workers

Whether you’re on the front lines at a hospital (like my mom is), keeping us safe like police, fire and EMT, working at the grocery store, making sure mail and packages get delivered, keeping a restaurant or small business alive, or just coming into work every day to keep your family afloat: THANK YOU.

There is a lot we can and should be doing as a society to assure you’re compensated for your risk, and definitely just expressing gratitude doesn’t feel like enough to me. I am so very grateful.

Review: The Friendly Cup

Status: Not Recommended

A wheat straw plastic cup, what could go wrong? As much as I love socially conscious efforts, the reality remains that “being socially conscious in one aspect does not a socially conscious business make”. (That’s a quote I made up, to be read in ‘moral of the fairy tale‘ voice.) Meaning, you don’t get to do one good thing and think you’re conscientious when everything else about your company is shady.

Being socially conscious in one aspect does not a socially conscious business make.

Read More

January 2021 Gratitude Post

Like many people across the world, in April 2020 I was furloughed from a job I moved a large distance for and isolated from all family and friends in quarantine while people rushed the grocery stores. I found peace focusing on wellness, social consciousness, and mindfulness.

As part of this blog, I want to continue mindfulness with monthly Gratitude posts, to stay positive and focused and appreciate the good things in my life. If this sounds woo, it isn’t: Harvard Medical School has shown there are many benefits of gratitude, including physical and emotional health, immune health, better sleep, self-esteem and better relationships with others. It’s even been shown to improve job performance and productivity.

So here are 3 things I’m grateful for this month, and I encourage you to comment with your own gratitudes, too!

1. Grateful to Be Older

This is my birthday month, and on the surface that is rarely a joyous occasion for adults above 30. I’m grateful to have made it through another year around the sun. As my aunt once said, “Getting older beats the alternative.”

The secret for being at one with it is that I am so grateful to be where I am now. When I look back, I have really come a long way.

2. Grateful for My Household

I moved to L.A. by myself a little over a year ago, and I moved into a ‘co-living’ space on purpose, since I wanted to meet new people and have a social life. Later, my partner and puppy joined me here.

Because of quarantine, I am so glad to have a household group to still have social interactions with in-person. We have all been very careful and have remained COVID-negative even while L.A. county remains a hotbed of infections. Our house holiday celebrations, dance parties, birthday shenanigans, TV nights, board games, brunches, BBQs etc. are so much fun and add light to what could have been a stressful time.

And yes, my puppy (@PupperzBuddha on Instagram) is a sweet and happy little member of the household and major bringer of joy.

3. Grateful for Technology

Technology is the reason I’m able to stay connected with people I care about who are far away. It’s helping us as a society get vaccines, get packages and food delivered, clean the environment, and stay healthy. Through mediums like this blog, social media and video, it’s helped me express myself and share socially conscious topics I’m passionate about. I’m able to continue working as a holistic marketing strategist for small businesses who are furthering socially conscious themselves.

What a time to be alive!

Conscious Finds on Amazon

While the storefront will continue to grow and change, I do want to note that this blog will explore extensive non-Amazon options as well as socially conscious choices related to use of time instead of money specifically.

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