Our Story

Last updated in 2014:

We are Calgary-based roommates embarking on a one-year buy nothing adventure.

Geoffrey holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Psychology from the University of Calgary. During his undergrad, he explored behavioural modification theories which have informed the basis of this life experiment. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram & Facebook.

Julie is a former hoarder who let go of most of her personal belongings when she moved into a single bedroom room in Geoffrey’s house earlier this year. She was drawn to the idea of a one-year buy nothing life experiment as a way to examine and change her personal consumer habits, learn to let go of “stuff,” create more space and meaning in her life, and of course, save money. So far, she is cycling a lot more, learning to bake, avidly volunteering and enjoying the pace of her daily life and the new projects she has been able to explore. She has a bachelor of Arts in Communications from U of C and a TV Broadcast diploma from NAIT. Follow her on TwitterInstagram & Facebook.

Follow: buynothingyear.com or @buynothingyear
Participate: #buynothingyear
Email: buynothingyeargj@gmail.com


Photo from our first day as roommates, July 1, 2013

19 thoughts on “Our Story

  1. Hi guys! I just read about your adventure in Metro and I recognize Geoff from when I served him at OEB Breakfast. Since I probably won’t be seeing you in there for a while I just wanted to say good luck and recommend these books http://www.ultimatecheapskate.com/books.html
    I borrowed ‘The Cheapskate Next Door’ from the library last year. It’s a great read and it’ll probably give you some ideas.
    Cheers 🙂

  2. Pingback: Buy Nothing Year | ChaosAndSilence

  3. I wish I really could do this myself. I have a constant war with myself . I want to do it for the enviroment but I also love couponing! lol

    • I totally get the “war with myself” thing Janet. I like to go thrift shopping. It’s been challenging cutting that out but it’s amazing how quickly you can adapt and how new enjoyments fill your time.

  4. I came upon an article about you in the Huffington Post today, and was pleasantly pleased by your project.

    We are in the process of downsizing our family of 4 (2 adults and 2 teens) to co-habit with my elderly parents. We have been de-cluttering their home of 50 plus years for the past several weeks, as well as downsizing our own personal effects.

    The amount of “crap” we have donated to the charity shops is astounding! What is most interesting is that all of us, including my parents (both 80 plus years each), have discovered a liberating feeling from this event. People have repeatedly asked why we don’t have a yard sale and make some cash from all of these items we no longer need. We all feel so much better giving them away to a variety of organizations that help those in need. We have really come to see what we truly “need” to have and what is simply visual clutter.

    I admire you for continuing down on this path you are on, and I will follow your journey with interest. Best of luck!

    • I agree completely! Having to de-crap my 88 yo mothers apartment (already significantly de-crapped from her house) and de-crap our house for moving. I think we single handedly supplied our local Goodwill. We don’t need the extra money and Goodwill can do good work with it, and people who need to shop there can benefit (as I did as a child). We can still de-crap some more before our final move. It’s made us much more conscious about what we buy.

      • Thanks for connecting LPV and Jmm. Isn’t it amazing 1) how much we accumulate and 2) how great it feels to downsize? Through this project, I am blown away by truly how little I need. It gets easier and easier to let go.

  5. Pingback: Calgary culture, November 2014 | JULIEISH.COM

  6. Pingback: Calgary culture, November 2013 | JULIEISH.COM

  7. Hi Julie and Jeff,

    Super glad I stumbled across a link to your journey, and was very excited to see who “Julie and Jeff” were on your video, nice surprise!

    I am working towards growing more and more of my own food and am looking forward to learning how you like you aquaponics system. Good luck on your journey, wishing you all the best


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  9. Amazing project Geoff and Julie! Just found your site and I am happily reading about your experiment and hope to learn from you both. Thank you for your inspiring examples. Cheers!

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