living the practice: nikko snyder, from consumption to production

In this video from TEDxRegina, Nikko Snyder talks about her transformation from habitual consumption to creative production. Starting off with a year-long challenge to buy nothing new, she went on to learn how to garden, live off the grid and help others learn how to grow their own food. In the process, she’s learned about community, collaboration and empathy.

Nikko concludes by calling for a similar project on a collective scale. She gives us a two-fold challenge: practice being more conscious in consumption (keeping it simple), and do it with attention and awareness. Nikko encourages us to listen to what’s going on in ourselves and the world, and be open to whatever we discover.

I’m going to participate in the challenge for the month of July by keeping track of the money I spend. How about you? What practice will you choose to be more conscious in your consumption?

Let us know in the comments and share your experiences!

  1. Very compelling stuff. I’m not sure I could follow through with what she did.
    I’ve been keeping track of the money I spend lately too. It is quite an eye-opening experience when you add it all up. I’ve been able to change a couple of my habits as a result.

  2. It’s always inspiring to see such things. I’ve long thought that one of the big transitions we need to make as people in the US is from viewing ourselves as “consumers” and shifting from consumption in lieu of living and instead connect to our creative self produce with our lives.

    Advertisers prefer us to be like veal penned in our homes simply consuming, unmoving and unmoved. Mindless consumption is a medication to try to cover unhappiness and dissatisfaction in one’s life. But when you create, grow and repair that which you have something miraculous can happen where you feed your soul and find satisfaction and happiness you can’t by just watching or buying things.

    But that’s my insane .02

  3. thanks for sharing! this kind of project takes commitment, organization and a willingness to step outside of our comfort zones. i feel that nikko proves that anyone can do it – we just need to persevere. she’s also open about the challenges and setbacks she experienced.

    michael, your two cents are not insane at all! i completely agree that we get much more fulfillment when we create, grow and repair.

  4. Glad you posted this Roseanne … what she’s saying isn’t new – others have done it before .. e.g. the Compact in San Francisco … there’s also No Impact Man … also Judith Levine wrote a brilliant book called Not Buying It which is a very funny account of her year without shopping – I used to make it a practice at one time that I read that book at least once a year (but then I sold it! so I haven’t read it in a while)
    Tricycle also posted an article by Susan Moon on not shopping some years ago – see here:

    but what is new here is for you to post about not buying here in a yoga blog – which is great! I don’t know of ANYONE doing this in the yoga world … and the yoga world seems to have morphed more and more to consumerism and buying yoga product things … which is the complete antithesis of yoga! I’d love to see or hear more about how yogi’s are embracing non-consumerism … it seems to be a dying art in the yoga world these days!