Lifestyle Reflection Reuse Shopping

Read A Bunch of Pretty Things I Did Not Buy

Read A Bunch of Pretty Things I Did Not Buy

Like most people, Sarah Lazarovic covets beautiful things. But rather than giving in to her impulse to spend and acquire, Sarah spent a year painting the objects she wanted to buy instead.

Based on a visual essay that was first published on The Hairpin, A Bunch of Pretty Things I Did Not Buy is a beautiful and witty take on the growing “slow shopping” movement. Sarah is a well-known blogger and illustrator, and she writes brilliantly without preaching or guilt-tripping. Whether she’s trying to justify the purchase of yet another particleboard IKEA home furnishing, debating the pros and cons of leg warmers or calculating the per-day usage cost of big-ticket items, Sarah’s poignant musings will resonate with any reader who’s ever been susceptible to an impulse buy.

I began to define my person by what my person wanted.

I see this too in the overstrong association of self with what you like: constructing an identity from your preferred intellectual properties and universes.

[W]e’ve long thought of shopping as frivolous leisure, when in truth it is real work.

Amen! And exercising patience in waiting for the right item — high quality, right price, not too trendy — is excruciating in a world of instant gratification.

(…this dismissal is also because women and shopping are linked in our society, and women are “responsible for” the home…)

Sarah Lazarovic

The buyerarchy of needs:

The Buyerarchy of Needs, adapted from Maslow by Sarah Lazarovic: from bottom to top (most to least), use what you have, borrow, swap, thrift, make, buy

The wanting never goes away altogether, even as you restrict your purchasing: I still lust after items on my wishlist years after adding them. The collector’s urge is strong in me, particularly when it comes to art, one of my exceptions for impulse purchases. I have also found what the author has: that my buying desires have been turned and concentrated on home goods. These I justify as making my house more beautiful and comfortable, my life easier and more efficient — but many are not necessary. (Yet, some are worthwhile: buying a handful of storage crates this year has made my home tidier and nicer to be in.) As with all of life, shopping will be an area of continuous learning and mistakes.

Lifestyle Resources and Reference

Quitting Amazon

Bookmarked Escaping The Amazon – //Jason Burk (

TL;DR I am reducing most, if not all, reliance on Amazon and their services by end of 2021. This is not going to be easy. Maybe this can help

Alternatives to Amazon and Amazon owned companies.



Society The Internet

You can’t unknow

Quoted seeking oblivion on youtube by Nicole Linh Anderson (All I Care About This Week)

the bliss of ignorance

I exist in a life where everything means something. The most benign choices are a statement: either a symbol of righteousness or evidence of my own ethical oversight. I feel so ensnared by my own self-awareness, the tangle of privileges and injustices that shift and tighten with every move I make, every swipe of my credit card, everything I do and do not say. Once you know, you can’t unknow.

Everything on the internet is loaded, every decision a trap. Every choice must be weighed against an intensive, and often conflicting ethical rubric.


Environment Future Building

The Conundrum of “Ethical Consumption”

Bookmarked The Twilight of the Ethical Consumer | Atmos (

We must not mistake Ethical Consumption—a private act—for political power or organized, collective social change that benefits everyone.

The pandemic finally forced me to confront the failures of three decades of this market-driven approach to change. I have started to wonder not only if Ethical Consumerism is ineffective, but also, whether it’s actually getting people killed and driving our planet to ruin,  and why we continue to throw our power away on ethical shopping.

Even though it’s mostly progressives who identify as Ethical Consumers, as Teachout illuminates, making change through the way we shop is ultimately a right-wing idea. We’ve fully embraced the neoliberal system and worldview that change should happen through the marketplace.

But where we get ourselves into trouble is in viewing shopping as a moral act—and viewing shopping at a cheap chainstore that has poor business practices as an immoral one. Consumption is an economic imperative (there’s no escaping it under capitalism), and it is fundamentally determined by our income. Unless we believe that rich people, who can afford more ethical products, are somehow more ethical than the rest of us, we must confront that it’s unacceptable and arguably deeply unethical itself to ever tie human “goodness” to what we buy.

— Elizabeth L. Cline

Lately have been thinking a lot about how we try to make ourselves feel better and get better outcomes for ourselves through our consumer choices — from “ethical consumption” to rich white parents sending their kids to private school instead of the public school.

We put our own feelings first instead of advocating for change for everyone, which is harder. And when we feel good about the consumer choices we’ve made, we feel less urgency to push for systemic change. My privilege is buying my complacency with the system.

As someone who’s devoted my whole career to the environment, and leads environmental messaging in my local government, this is a tricky thing to sell, especially in my well-off community.