Thursday, August 5, 2010

Going Global :)

The great guys from Global National - Francis Silvagio and his cameraman Mike, came out yesterday to follow up on how we are doing in the challenge and how we are handling a time where most of us ARE buying new - Back to School. We went out to the Salvage Centre where they saw that we were able to get some newer looking clothes, binders, pencil cases, even new packs of paper for when the boys return to school in September.
When I was growing up, it was almost considered a 'right' or the norm, to turf everything from one year to buy all new for the next; even if last years supplies were still good. This challenge has caused us to challenge a lot of what we always took for granted without even thinking. Why can't we reuse a binder? Is it because we aren't into last years colour? Are the doutangs really needing to be replaced just because a subject has been written in a corner? I looked at the stuff and wondered. If I am not into last years colour, why can't I just slip a different colour paper into the plastic sheath? Or print an 8X10 poster of whoever is 'cool' this year, whether that be Dora, Hannah Montana or Rescue Hero's? For the doutangs I could decopage over last years subject with a new piece of paper, or cover it with a sticker or picture. Pencil crayons CAN be resharpened. Many other supplies like scissors, markers, even paper can be found second hand pretty easily. We are meeting our needs through several different avenues - freecycle, second hand stores, the Salvage Centre, garage sale, and even hunting through our own house!
Some families worry about keeping it current so their kids don't feel left out of the 'cool' loop. I certainly understand that. People are transitioning through their stuff at a dizzying rate, so more often than not, my kids can find something that is 'in' when it is still 'in'! We are also teaching them about branding and how not to depend on brands for their identity. The tag on their shirt doesn't say if they are cool or not. How they view themselves says more about that then anything.
Does it take extra time to do this? Yes. Is it fun to use our creativity? Yes. Are the kids at the beginning of learning and being cognizant of their actions and purchases? Yes. Do they still long for something wrapped in 10 lbs of plastic off the action aisle? Yes. Are they learning delayed gratification? Yes. Will they get over it and find other ways to satisfy themselves and the fun factor? Yes. Am I beyond proud of them and our little family? You bet!

1 comment:

  1. Our kids' box of pencil crayons still has some that were mine when I was in school. (I know because the Laurentian brand had a space where you could write your name if you were bored in class.)

    And that's how GOOD those Laurentian pencils were, by the way...the cheaper ones I had are long gone.

    Our school supply needs are a bit different from yours as most of my kids homeschool and they don't have anyone picking on them for what picture is on the binder or notebook. Actually we salvage a lot of our binders--my husband's office gets some interesting ones. The one I use for school plans says "Department of Education" on it.

    I just keep a box from year to year with notebooks, paper, pens, pencils etc. that I've picked up on sale, and we reuse as much as we can. Crayons the same--they all go into a plastic shoebox (unless someone has a special set).