Since we started our pledge not to buy anything new for a year, most things have come easily but just a few have been challenging to find. Men's clothes, for example, don't seem to be out there. I think men wear their clothes until they disintegrate off their bodies! The only clothes we've seen second hand have been things so old and ugly that even the husband was willing to part with them, or something ultra-trendy that a very fashion-conscious man wore and decided was out of style. Neither of these types suit my husband, who just likes your regular shorts, T-shirts and jeans. We haven't solved this problem yet, so he's wearing what he has until we figure something out.
Another issue that has come up is our outdoor trash can. We reached the point where I deemed it a health hazard to take the trash out and risk touching it, and this is the point when we would normally get a new one. Well, used trash cans aren't really out there, or at least not used cans any cleaner than the one we have. After looking and looking I finally got the brilliant idea to CLEAN mine. And I feel a little embarrassed to admit that if it weren't for this pledge, I honestly would rather have thrown the can away than clean it. Shame on me. So I got out the water hose, put my son in charge of squirting in the phosphate-free dish soap, and cleaned the heck out of our trash can. And you know what? It wasn't the end of the world. And now the can is clean and usable and that problem is solved. I even cleaned our indoor wastebaskets while I was at it!
I really learned something about mysef in all this. I considered myself very green, very willing to make do and conserve and rise above the marketing and the social taboos of "used" things versus new. I didn't realize that I, too, had a line I didn't want to cross in the name of conservation. But I've done it, icky as it was, and feel like this is the first time since the pledge started that anything has felt like a sacrifice.