Culture

Reverse Advent Challenge - have you got what it takes?

Give one thing away every day up until Christmas

buy-less-this-Christmas-consumer-free-ChristmasThe Reverse Advent Challenge turns the consumer mayhem of Christmas on its head. Kate Groves, Camden resident and Marketing Director of Streetbank, describes why she created an unusual challenge: to give one of her possessions to a neighbour every day through Advent. stuff_poster_11“In September, I went to a film screening of My Stuff, a film about Petri Luukkainen, a 26-year old man from Finland that decides to put all of his stuff in storage and only take one item back per day, for a year. Going through an existential crisis at the point of making this decision, Luukkainen hoped that he might be able to rebuild his life through this human experiment. He starts naked in Helsinki. He gradually equips himself and his flat over the year and takes us on the journey with him by documenting the whole thing on camera. It’s a story about consumerism and about our relationship with stuff – a topic close to my heart as I co-run a website called Streetbank – that helps people share stuff with neighbours. Anything from ladders, drills and lawnmowers that aren’t needed on a daily basis – to giving things like old furniture, books and children’s toys away. After the film We took part in a Q&A with Luukkainen, which started with him describing how so many people tell him about ‘that box of stuff they have in the attic that they never look at’… never mind use. I have one of those boxes. And I went away thinking about just how much stuff we all have to give. I’ve spent the past 11 years moving all of my possessions from flat to flat. Living somewhere on a temporary basis at the moment, I’ve actually put the majority of my personal belongings in a storage unit. My challenge I raved about the film and have decided to put my money (or my possessions) where my mouth is. I’m giving one thing away every day during advent this year. It’s giving me the chance to think about what I really need and what I can offer my neighbours. It’s a clutter-diet in preparation for the Christmas thing-feast. In preparation, I’m filling yet another box, but this time with real purpose. I just need to find 24 things that I have to give. And to celebrate #GivingTuesday, the global day dedicated to giving back, we’re encouraging our 60,000 Streetbank members and you to do the same. Want to take the challenge? Let Kate know or just follow these rules: Give one thing a day away, every day for 24 days using the neighbourhood sharing website Streetbank. It only takes a minute to sign up.”Kate advent challenge

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