GOOD

Use Up, Wear Out, Make Do: Buy Less in 2012

Internet entrepreneur Meg Hourihan says she has "more stuff than I could ever possibly use or need." This year, she's using it.


Internet entrepreneur Meg Hourihan says she has "more stuff than I could ever possibly use or need." So this year, she's resolved to wear out her resources—she will not buy anything new until she uses up, wears out, and makes do with the stuff she already owns.

The concept—buy what you really need—seems obvious. But in the United States, "society constantly encourages us all to keep buying," Hourihan writes on Make It Do, the website she's started about curbing her conspicuous consumption. "I could cook from every cookbook on my shelves and feed my family until the end of time, yet I still feel I 'need' new cookbooks. I have 26 (?) pairs of shoes, don’t wear most of them, and somehow think I need more shoes." For the next 12 months, she's pledged to use up the last reaches of her pantry before she invests in more "dried fruits" or "exotic grains," never "wander around Sephora and get three new lipsticks," and borrow and barter when times get tough.


To hold herself accountable, Hourihan is tracking every purchase she makes in 2012, sharing it on a public spreadsheet and asking herself to justify every investment with the world. She's already made a few exceptions—like back-country camping supplies to feed her favorite hobby—but mostly, she's finding creative solutions for scaling down and using up. Since starting the project this month, she's had to stop walking through stores, unsubscribe from Martha Stewart Living, and get into sock darning.

Hourihan's project is less about saving money or saving the world than it is about saving her own mind: "There’s a yearning for 'better' or 'perfect' in my life, and often it seems the next purchase could be just the thing to 'finish' the living room and make it perfect," she writes. "I’m curious to see what happens when the solution to these gaps isn’t buying something.'"

Articles
via David Leavitt / Twitter

Anyone who has ever worked in retail knows that the worst thing about the job, right after the pay, are the unreasonable cheapskates who "want to talk to your manager" to get some money off an item.

They think that throwing a tantrum will save them a few bucks and don't care if they completely embarrass themselves in the process. Sometimes that involves belittling the poor employee who's just trying to get through their day with an ounce of dignity.

Twitter is rallying around a gal named Tori who works at a Target in Massachusetts after she was tweet-shamed by irate chapekate, journalist, and Twitter troll, David Leavitt.

Keep Reading
Business

Childbirth is the number one reason American women visit the hospital, and it ain't cheap. In fact, it's getting more and more expensive. A new study published in Health Affairs found that the cost of having a baby with employer-sponsored health insurance increased by almost 50% in the past seven years.

The study evaluated "trends in cost-sharing for maternity care for women with employer-based health insurance plans, before and after the Affordable Care Act," which was signed into law in 2010. The study looked at over 657,061 women enrolled in large employer-sponsored health insurance plans who delivered babies between 2008 and 2015, as these plans tend to cover more than plans purchased by small businesses or individuals.

Keep Reading
Health

A meteorite crashed into Earth nearly 800,000 years ago. The meteor was 1.2 miles wide, and the impact was so big, it covered 10% of the planet with debris. However, scientists haven't been able to find the impact site for over a century. That is, until now. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal believes the crash site has been located.

Tektites, which are essentially rocks that have been liquefied from the heat of the impact and then cooled to form glass, help scientists spot the original impact site of a meteor. Upon impact, melted material is thrown into the atmosphere, then falls back to the ground. Even if the original crater has disappeared due to erosion or is hidden by a shift in tectonic plates, tektites give the spot away. Tektites between 750,000 to 35.5 million years old have been found in every continent except Antarctica.

Keep Reading
The Planet