No money for one year

  In 2009, Mark Boyle didn’t spend a penny. How did he live this year? From his email to the journalist, you can simply sum up: caravan, grow your own vegetables, travel by road, bus or bicycle, use only 3 electrical appliances – electric lights, mobile phones and laptops, their energy comes from solar cells board. “Not only do not spend cash, but also do not use credit cards, debit cards and other forms of currency.”

  Boyle received a caravan donated by a woman through a waste utilization organization, and then talked to the owner of an organic farm in the suburbs of Bristol, where he volunteered for three days a week to be able to “home” on the farm. According to his previous salary standards, he could afford to rent a penthouse with a loft. The cost of daily life is solved like this: “The gas tank is changed into a heating stove. The cooking stove is a ‘rocket furnace’ modified with two metal olive oil barrels. They all burn wood, the trees in the farm, the branches that fall naturally. It is enough to take a bath. In the summer, in the river, the solar shower is used in the cool weather. Soap is a kind of soapy grass, and the toothpaste is a mixture of cuttlefish bone and wild fennel seeds. The toilet is a problem, I made a composting toilet.” Composting toilets are also called waterless toilets. They are similar to the dry toilets in rural China. They do not use water to wash them. They use microbes to degrade dirt to form organic fertilizer. They are clean and have no odor. They are also suitable for building in urban dwellings. Toilet paper is a locally published newspaper, and Boyle also used newspapers with their own news.

  He said: “The food comes from 4 channels, the farm grows on its own, the wild berries, mushrooms, nuts, and the unspoiled food discarded by local shops and restaurants. I exchanged labor. The breakfast on the last day of the experiment was porridge. It was for me to work for someone else. Lunch was bread, butter, and it was thrown by the store. These foods never made me sick. Now people are too allergic to food safety and the immune system is becoming weak. Dinner It is a vegetable that I grow.”

  He was the founder of the Freeconomy Community. In 2009 he organized a community party and asked the BBC food show host to make 3 dishes for 250 guests. All the ingredients were not spent, some were local. Game, part of the food that restaurant stores don’t want, and beer is made from native plants.

  The only money spent on the entire plan was to install solar panels for £360. “Mobile, I only answer, never dial out.”

  “It takes time to spend no money. To wash clothes, first cook the nuts on the rocket stove for 2 hours, make the laundry liquid, then hand rub in the cold water pool, use the washing machine for only half an hour. Handle the compost in the toilet, It’s much more troublesome than pressing the toilet water valve. Others think that I have turned ‘life’ into ‘survival’ and waste a lot of time. I did spend a lot of time on making bread for myself, but others’ time What did you do with it? It’s just sitting in the so-called living room and watching TV reality show.”

  The 30-year-old Boyle is not a hippie, not an angry youth. Before the implementation of the “No Money” plan, he was an executive of an organic food company. The decent middle class just didn’t love money. As a business school, he was alert to consumerism such as “borrowing tomorrow’s money today.” He is considered an anti-materialist. According to the classification of consumer culture observer and writer Linda Grant, modern anti-materialists are divided into green, red and blue. The Greens are unwilling to spend for obvious reasons such as environmental protection; the Red Party stands in a radical political stance, arguing that consumption has widened the gap between the rich and the poor, and eliminating the gap between the rich and the poor is like a war on terrorism; the Blues often feel excessive consumption. The sense of guilt, the self-cultivation, balance the heart and reduce consumption, such as the material girl Madonna, she said that since 2006, no longer prepare gifts for children since Christmas, “Without the gift, we can more Enjoy the holiday well.” Boyle is clearly a green pie.

  ”Seven years ago, during the last semester of the Upper Business School in Ireland, I accidentally saw a DVD of Mahatma Gandhi. I said that I want to change the world and change my body first. It gave me a big touch, but I didn’t know what to do at the time. Do. After graduation, Boyle came to Bristol, a city in the southwest of England, and made two organic food companies. By 2007, he found that advocating only “moral economy” was far from enough. The organic food industry also had defects in traditional industries, such as over-packaging, long food mileage, and large-scale mergers and acquisitions of independent small brands. “Our daily attention to sweatshops, predatory development of the environment, factory farms, animal testing, etc., is like Western medicine, and the symptoms are not cured. One of the roots is that consumers and consumer behavior are isolated from each other, and consumers do not understand consumer goods at all. The production process and meaning, regardless of the destruction of the earth by consumer behavior. If you grow vegetables, make furniture yourself, and filter your own drinking water, you will not waste them easily. Money opens the gap between consumers and consumer goods. “”

  One morning at the end of November 2008, Boyle heard a news that financial executives sought private profits leading to the subprime mortgage crisis and made a decision: not to spend a penny a year. When 2009 passed, he decided to continue to live this way and live well without spending money. He found that many things in life have not actually been needed. “The views of the Western world today are weird. If you don’t have a plasma TV or an iPhone, then you are an extremist and people will isolate you.”

  Boyle does not want to prove the evil of money through the “no money” plan, nor does it call on everyone to give up consumption, but to practice his free economic ideal and prove his confidence in human nature, “in a system without money. In people, people trust and care about each other. In addition to money, people’s mutual trust and friendliness can also bring a sense of security.” The ideal of “I am for everyone, everyone for me” has been defeated by reality. In January 2008, he planned to spend two and a half years walking from Bristol to the birthplace of Gambi, the port city of western India, 12,000 kilometers away. He does not pay a penny, and uses his skills to exchange free accommodation with local residents. After successfully passing the English Channel, I just hit the wall when I arrived in Calais. In France, the language is unreasonable, people doubt his motives, see him as a backpacker, and do not want to exchange with him. Boyle, who was hungry and cold, had to return to the UK by car. He still “dipped money.” Sitting on the bench in the station, he decided to correct his own practice: return to Bristol, start with the local community.

  The “free economic community” is actually a practice of the barter economy. In 2009, Boyle did not spend money, and many lives need to be solved through barter exchange. Members of the community list their skills online and share and exchange with each other. For example, the hairdresser gives the mechanic a haircut, while the latter repairs the bicycle to the barber, and can also change things, and all actions do not involve money. The community has been very successful, with 15,000 members in 119 countries and about 300,000 skills. In 2009, Boyle bought 60 acres of land in Bristol, preparing to establish a “free economic village” and recruiting 15-20 villagers. The villagers participate in the work, there is no salary, but they can get free accommodation. The applicant has nearly one hundred.

  To establish a barter-based community, Boyle was not the first, and German woman Heidemarie Schwermer opened a barter shop in the early 1990s. I believe that the barter economy can wash the money brought to the world by the sinful people who have taken the lead. Schwimmer has not spent any money for 14 years, except to buy train tickets.

  Schwemer was a middle school teacher and moved to Dortmund in 1987. Dortmund is located in the old industrial mining area of ​​Ruhr. The unemployed and homeless population ranks first in Germany. She believes that some people have been abandoned by the society for economic reasons and become wanderers. It seems that money has become an obstacle to their return to the mainstream society. In fact, they can completely eliminate money. The key lies in “you want to make this person useful. Anybody, no matter Whether it is poor or unemployed, it has its own position in the world.” To help them, Schwimmer opened an exchange store. She has a certificate of psychiatrists, and the glass she needs when she opens the store is her treatment for the owner of the glass shop. This store is still in operation today.

  In the process of exchange, Schwermer realized that life does not need so many things. In 1996, she began an extreme plan: no money for a year. She gave up her apartment and relied on other people to do housework for room and board. After minimizing the demand for “things” in life, she “just needs to work for what I like, and has a deep understanding of happiness.” So the time limit for not spending money is infinitely extended. Now, at the age of 67, she roams all over Germany. All her family is a black suitcase. Even the photos are not. “I don’t need photos.” There is also 200 euros for emergency savings, and only enough cash to buy a train ticket. She did not have a pension, and she ran out with money, including royalties on two books. Everywhere she lives in an empty room provided by the local exchange organization, she does the cleaning work to exchange. She has not spent Christmas with her two children for many years. She even changed her own funeral. She talked to an enlightened pastor who provided psychological counseling to the deceased’s survivors in exchange for her own funeral expenses. In Germany, only the manager of the railway company is very immune and can resist her exchange lobbying, so she still has to buy the ticket.

  Schwimmer said: “In the 21st century, multinational corporations and media advocate consumption first. If you don’t consume, you will be abandoned by society. So people are afraid of ‘lost’ and are desperately trying to buy things to fill the inner and inner space. Ironically The accumulation of a large amount of material can not only bring satisfaction, but it is isolated and no longer communicates with others. I live a normal life, but I have no money. Some people in Siberia and Africa live so that they can survive. It is because they help each other.”

  When you opened the exchange store in the past, now that you don’t spend money on lifestyle, Schwimmer is pursuing the principle of “giving first, then getting”. In her daily life, she is neat and tidy, and has a lot of affinity. But in the past 14 years, there have always been people who criticized her for provoking the social system. It is a beggar in disguise. Because she did not want to be condemned that she was begging to the society, she did not even have medical insurance. “I gradually realized that this is not only a question of giving and returning, but a question of whether another way of life can be realized. It is a problem that causes deep fear when we abandon the property around us. If you think of our living system It’s ridiculous to have only capitalism.”