The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

December 9, 2013

Author chronicles spending/saving experiment


— LEWISBURG — Kristin Skarie, formerly of Lewisburg now living in Fairport, N.Y., made a decision in March 2010 to buy nothing new for one year. On a whim, she stopped shopping as a hobby, gave the mall a “miss” and said goodbye to special store sales, reinforcing the value of “I Have” in a world of “I Want.”

Her monthly challenges uncovered leadership learnings on how she was spending (and wasting) her money, her time and her energy. Skarie’s 365 days of conscious consumption resulted in a renewed focus on deliberate, responsible, local living and resulted in a book, “A Year of Nothing New.”

She will sign copies of her book from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 14 at the Open Door Gallery, 430 Market St., Lewisburg, with light refreshments from Café Stream. 

“A Year of Nothing New” helps you take a look at your own wants, needs and haves with tools to green your life in simple, positive and profound ways and discover what you can do with Nothing New.

Motivation Months kept things interesting, which ultimately turned into 11 Tools almost anyone can use to green their corner of the world. Over the year, Skarie’s greening efforts rooted themselves through daily practice and she was on her way to implementing “localvore” habits into her life — shopping, eating, working and playing within a 100-mile radius of home.

Most of what Skarie learned during her Nothing New year affirmed that having basic needs met every day (food, clothing and shelter) is to be celebrated. This is not the case for everyone, however — many people in our own towns are in need of core resources considered commonplace by most.

This simple reminder reinforced Skarie’s desire and ability to volunteer more with organizations that promote economic, educational and environmental well being for people and their communities. The abundance of local consignment shops, stores and restaurants made living local a snap. Significantly, the money (and time and energy) not spent on things she didn’t need allowed Skarie to “share her winnings” with local organizations and to begin to build a financial reserve for philanthropic giving. Among other volunteering efforts, She is now an involved Pencil Partner with the Rochester City School District to help 4th and 5th graders build self-confidence and community in the classroom in partnership with expert teachers and administrators in School #28. 

Skarie lived in Lewisburg for nine years. She worked at Bucknell University and Geisinger Medical Center from 1991-2000 and is a past president of the Lewisburg Area League of Women Voters. Living in Fairport, N.Y., since 2000, she runs a team building and leadership development consulting company, Teamworks.

“A Year of Nothing New” (paperback, 184 pages, $15) is available at www.betterteams.com. For more information, visit www.opendoorgallery.net or contact Skarie at kskarie@betterteams.com or (585) 330-9181.