How a year of trying to buy nothing made me a smarter shopper and a better teacher
By Ellen Heyting, PhD student in Education and Head of Years 11 and 12, Monash University on Monday, January 27th, 2020
Features in QESP NewsletterVolume 32 , Issue 01 - ISSN 1325-2070
It started as a New Year’s resolution driven by guilt and a touch of sibling rivalry – but by the end of the year, it taught me valuable lessons as a teacher, including about the benefits of failure.
At Christmas dinner 2018, my sister declared she would buy nothing for a year. After living in Bangladesh for two years, she had seen how the world’s fashion industry was wreaking havoc on the country’s people and environment.
I decided to follow her lead. As an Australian living in Finland, I still can’t imagine going a year without a flight home to see family. So buying nothing (apart from groceries) would do something to offset all those carbon-costly air miles.
I’m also a high school humanities teacher, and realised what I was learning while trying to buy nothing could prove useful in a classroom.