Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas Stuff

I have recently watched this video on and it had me thinking. I was concerned about being a mindless consumer in today's world. I do not want to simply be the product of too much advertising. We always need a new dress, a new shirt, a new pair of pants, a new this, a new that, new, new, new! What happened right now if we were to stop buying things new? What if we were to (are you ready for this one?) reuse?! I know, scary idea. But really, what if we were to just reuse what we have. How much stuff do we have in our homes that we don't need. Taking a look around my room I can spot a lot: a guitar (it sits here because no one has bothered to learn how to play it), an extra pair of gloves (by the way, Coach gloves do not keep your hands warm), an extra chair in the corner of my room, extra jewelery cases, a stress ball, a desk sorter which sits unused, 5 different lotions (all with different smells and for different parts of your body). I know there is more in my room and not only my room but my whole house.

When I was moving my roommate told me, "you have too much stuff!". Too much stuff. It took three trips; one for his stuff and two for mine. Now that is a lot of stuff. The question came to me, "how much stuff do I need?" I could live without so much stuff in my room right now. This is all a luxury, but at who's expense? Well according to the Story of Stuff (the link previously posted) it is at the expense of the whole world but the developing world more so. I am going on a trip to become a better global citizen and to make even a small change. I want to learn more. Maybe I should start by not buying into this propaganda that we need stuff. I don't need that much stuff. I always thought I did pretty well too because I keep my TVs (yes I have a 250lbs TV in a wooden casing that I will not get rid of until it dies) and I try to keep everything until it is no longer feasible to use. I am the girl who keeps her socks even if she gets holes in them or her shoes even if they have been scuffed beyond repair. Even though I do try as much as I can I contribute to this stuff rage.

I have recently done a paper on e-waste and this helped to contribute to my thought process. E-waste. Electronic waste. I never really ever thought about it. When it came time for my to replace my old computer I didn't want to just throw them in the garbage, like my Dad suggested; I wanted to actually do something with them. I couldn't just throw them away, don't they have toxins? Turns out, yes. A lot. A lot. A lot. I learned about the horrible story that goes along with them as well. E-waste and how it is shipped overseas to developing countries where people take them apart without any safety measures. Don't they know it's dangerous!?!?! Ok so they probably do, and they probably don't have much of another option at this point. I believe it is up to us to make an option for them. Greenpeace offers a frequently upgraded list of companies and how green they are. This report is called Greenpeace's Guide to Greener Electronics. Here is a link to that: . They also have a video on youtube that disturbed me to my very core: . These two try to sum up as best they can about the situation pertaining to e-waste. Even if you have good intentions you may still be contributing to this. With the vast amount of electronics that we go through, we cannot sometimes help to be part of this stuff cycle.

We, as the Global West, need to stop buying so much stuff. In North America we are particularly bad, just take a look at Christmas! We buy and we buy and we buy. We work so we can buy more things, and we buy things because we work. What if we worked less and bought less? Things don't make me happy. They can make life easier, that is a fact, but when is it just too much? When I was particularly sad last year it wasn't because I didn't have enough stuff (according to my roommate who moved me, I had too much) it was because I was alone. I was alone for a year, my roommate at the time refused to talk to me and I needed interaction of some sort, I needed a community. What made me truly happy was when I bought a guinea pig. His name is Henri Cartier-Bresson, Henri for short. He makes me happier than the newest sweater from Bench or the latest styles coming out of Lululeamon or Aritisia. I love my little guy with all my heart. He's what cheers me up when I am sad, because I have interaction. Why don't we stop working so hard and appreciate what we do have. I don't need the latest iPod or the newest mini computer. I can make due with a good 'ol pen and paper or my old iPod (which I love because it's so old and hasn't died on me). I am going to try to be happy with what I have. I am thrifty and I am not scared to shout it to the world!

Now for the big question, how should I handle Christmas?

Oh and here is a picture of Henri :)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Music with a Mission

So it came and went and it was awesome! Thank-you to all of the bands and all of the people who came out to support us. The event was at Heuther Hotel in Waterloo and started at 7:30 and the first band went on at 9:00. The bands were: Jia Harlow, Stonefox, Dox the Doctrine and IVS. We ended up raising $312.75 from the night after our expenses from equipment rentals :) Yay!

We also had another event where we sold Fair Trade items outside of the Arts Student Union office. We received $50 from that event. The people from Ten Thousand Villages were so kind to allow us to sell their items and take 10% of the sales. So a thank-you to everyone who supported us for that.

The last fundraising that I have been doing with Olivia is selling bracelets. They are $3 each. We have ones made of glass beads and ones with wooden beads (for the guys) and they come in blue and green (the colours of the program). We have sold a few already and look forward to selling more.

So a big thank-you again to everyone's support and thank-you for your future support. If you want to support us, give me a message and I can tell you how you can.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


So, I really didn't buy too much into this whole Fundscript thing. I thought, ok so I'm only going to make like what $5 from it, too much work for too little earnings! Ok wait let me back up a little bit and explain Fundscript.

Fundscript is a company based out of Quebec. It allows groups to fundraise money through buying gift cards. This seems like an easy enough thing to do, sell gift cards. We then get a percentage of the amount that we sell. So the person who bought the card gets the face value that they want on it and we get the money from the company. So for example, if you wanted $5 in Starbucks (one of the actual people who are in this) then I would place through the order and my account would then be debited. After it is debited and the order is sent through on the Thursday morning/Wednesday night the cards come on the following Tuesday. I would then ask you for the money, give you the giftcard and Fundscript gives me a little extra. So when you look at it this way, it's giving without really giving.

So this was my first time putting through an order. I had made $7.75 for myself off of a $280 order. That's not bad! It's money that I know I would be spending anyways (almost all of the giftcards were for me) and I get a return. Damn this isn't too bad. If I can put in bigger orders through your generous support (remember you don't actually have to part with money you wouldn't be parting with anyways!) and make even more money to help with the $2000 that I have to raise anyways!

We are still in the middle of planning out two other events! I will post more about them as the time comes up that they are going to happen. Thank-you again for your support!

Saturday, November 14, 2009


The is the first post of the blog. Hello to everyone reading this, I'm no amazing writer or blogger but I will attempt to articulate this journey well enough for you to visualize it. What is this journey you ask? Great question! Well this year I have been accepted to Beyond Borders. Beyond Borders is an international service learning program. There are 12 of us in the program this year, and we are all excited and waiting to see where we are going to be placed. We were accepted this past summer and we are now preparing for the journey. There is so much to learn! I know what you are thinking, "besides what's in a guide book, what is there really to know?" Well the answer is "lots!". There is so much that I have been learning that I did not even fully comprehend before I started this. There are two classes that we take during the school year and then we go off on our placements.

With this amazing opportunity comes a catch! It is not for free (then again, who would expect that it would be?). We had to put down $1400 of our own money and now we have to raise the remaining $2 000. I so far have raised $215! I need to get a kick start on this or else I'm also going to be paying the remaining $2 000 and as a student, that is a lot of money to take on myself. So throughout the course of this blog, you may hear me getting worried that I am not going to make my deadlines or worrying about them. If anyone would like to make a donation you can by credit card! Call 1-519-884-8111 ext 28254 and ask for Rhonda. Make sure to mention that it is for Jacquelyn who is in Beyond Borders. All donations above $10 will get a tax receipt.

I look forward to sharing my journey with you, this should be a good story to follow :)