web analytics

The 100 thing challenge

Written By: - Date published: 4:46 pm, June 17th, 2008 - 20 comments
Categories: articles - Tags: ,

From Time magazine:

Excess consumption is practically an American religion. But as anyone with a filled-to-the-gills closet knows, the things we accumulate can become oppressive. With all this stuff piling up and never quite getting put away, we’re no longer huddled masses yearning to breathe free; we’re huddled masses yearning to free up space on a countertop. Which is why people are so intrigued by the 100 Thing Challenge, a grass-roots movement in which otherwise seemingly normal folks are pledging to whittle down their possessions to a mere 100 items…

Dave Bruno, who features in the article, is documenting his own personal purge here.

20 comments on “The 100 thing challenge ”

  1. Felix 1

    I think I’ve got about 100 things on the desk in front of me. Some of them are pretty small things, but still things.

    There are probably about 100 cables hanging on the rack above my head. If I turn to the right I see books and records. Hundreds of them.

    I think I’m going to have to sit this one out.

  2. T-rex 2

    I suppose everyone needs a hobby, but goddamn.

    I think the entire anti-consumerism perspective could be easily summarised by the statement “don’t buy worthless crap”.

    People, listen carefully.


    That is the answer to what ails you.

  3. Can he come and do my house soon? I have 100 things in each room…and he’s right, it’s getting oppressive!

  4. Billy 4

    My possessions are causing me suspicion but there’s no proof (as Travellerev might say).

  5. Jum 5

    To the Standard
    Please give me your take on this whimsical piece from Max Bradford, who denies any responsibility for our power situation.

    “Dear dear Colin. What a Piece of historical reinvention your blog is.

    If the reforms that bear my name – even though they took 15 years, and most occurred long before I became minister of energy – are as bad as you assert with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, the Labour goernment has had nearly 10 years to reverse them.

    But they haven’t. And why is that? It isn’t because they are afraid to renationalize the electricity industry: after all they did it to Air NZ and the railways to name a couple.

    What you fail to recognize – which is just sloppy journalism on your part – is that the reforms of the electricity sector from 1987 to 1999 are happening or have happened everywhere around the world for good reason. Government owned systems fail to deliver security of supply at reasonable prices.

    In 1998 that began to happen with the dvent of competition. Electricity prices did fall, in spite of your bold assertion, and only began to rise again when Pete Hodgson’s blundering efforts at regulation failed miserably. That’s why we have had well over 40 percent higher prices now than in 1999.

    So now we have the worst of all worlds. No real competition, because the generation side of the industry – 2/3rds owned by the government – has ripped off consumers mercilessly and returned hunderds of millions of dollars for Cullen to waste on hes Get Big government expenditure programmes.

    The regulatory model put in place by Hodgson and Parker has stifled new investment in generation, especially of baseload thermal plant that would give NZ security of supply. That was banned outright by Parker a couple of years ago for climate change reasons. The system is now much more exposed to the vagaries of rain and wind that it ever has been, so nobody should be surprised that we face the possibility of blackouts.

    So if you want someone to blame, blame Labour. Their 9 years in charge have led us to where we are.

    Oh, and the split of lines and energy did something that the ECNZ monoply could never do: the cost of running the local lines monopolies and the prices they charge consumers has either fallen or risen by less than inflation. That wouldn’t have happened without the 1998 reforms.”

    Comment by Max Bradford — 14 June 2008 @ 10:19 am on Colin Espiner’s Blog

  6. Rex Widerstrom 6

    Well spotted Jum. I won’t threadjack but I hope the Standardistas take you up on your suggestion.

    As for the “having too much crap” movement I, like Felix, tend to accumulate a lot of stuff but much of that stuff is books and other similar items that have some ongoing value, so I’m not as guilty my cluttered apartment may suggest I am.

    On what is usually a very misnamed “A Current Affair” last night (unless you count diet fads, dodgy builders and cute kids with incurable diseases as current affairs) there was a story related to this theme which claimed Australians waste $6 billion worth of food a year but shoving it in the fridge, watching it develop mould, and chucking it out.

    I try to be careful but I admit that I do chuck out some perfectly good food that I’ve allowed to go rotten. Rather than fretting about how many books or CDs or even shoes we’ve hoarded (but which at least have some use), the 100 thingers would be better off trying to raise awareness of how much food we waste – specially when one considers the resources, including greenhouse gases, which have gone into growing it.

  7. jbc 7



    And after a while riding you’ll discover you need:

    – bicycle pump,
    – chain lube,
    – chain cleaner,
    – spare tube,
    – set of hex keys (adjusting seat, stem)
    – puncture repair kit

    and then, much riding later:

    – spoke keys,
    – chain break tool,
    – pedal wrench,
    – chain whip,
    – cassette lockring tool,
    – bb removal tool,
    – cable cutter & crimp tool,
    – spare brake pads,
    – wheel truing stand,
    … [get the picture]


  8. T-rex 8



    Just buy a can of crc and a bike tool and you’ve got MOST of what you need. Then when it finally breaks, you put slicks on it and use it as a road hack and buy a shiny NEW even MORE awesome mountainbike!

    Such is the path to Zen.

  9. T-rex 9

    Standardistas – if you don’t want to do a response to the above on power, let me know and I’ll write a guest one.

    Turn around time will be a couple of days.

  10. Phil 10

    “when it finally breaks… …buy a shiny NEW even MORE awesome mountainbike!

    Such is the path to Zen.”

    Welcome to the dark side ‘rex – I have your ACT party membership ready and waiting.

  11. T-rex 11

    Phil – Sorry, I’d still recycle the old one and support cradle-to-cradle costs being factored into the purchase price 😉

  12. jbc 12


    Just buy a can of crc and a bike tool[…]

    I don’t know whether you’re joking or not 😉 , but yes, what you suggest would keep a pavement-only bike going. You forgot the pump and patches though.

    I wasn’t dissing your mountainbike suggestion, just recollecting my experience. And when you wrote (in caps) GO AND RIDE IT I read that as RACE.

    I’ll grant you that most old beaters ridden by commuters can go years without seeing a spanner.

  13. T-rex 13

    Not really joking! – didn’t take anything you said as a diss though 🙂

    I don’t race – too slack to do the training, it’d mean I’d have to go hard out all the time rather than being able to choose between mountainbiking, climbing, tramping, and lying in the sun drinking beer. Variety is the spice of life and all that, getting hardcore competitive kills variety like nothing else.

    I guess when I think about it I do have (or am able to borrow relatively easily) most of the stuff on your list, but it doesn’t really represent a huge investment. And I don’t use it a lot…

    Bikes are just awesomely reliable things really… doesn’t take much to keep one up to scratch.

  14. Tane 14

    Jum. I don’t want to encourage threadjacking. But I think Labour should have reversed the Bradford reforms, and I think they think they should have too. But that’s political cowardice for you.

  15. Quoth the Raven 15

    Government owned systems fail to deliver security of supply at reasonable prices.

    What about private ones? Why don’t you have a look into the case of ENRON and see what you think.

  16. Phil 16

    Corporate fraud is not equal to security of supply.

  17. jcuknz 17

    My problem is that every thousand years I find a use for some useless bit of junk I have accumulated and when I do foolishly dispose of something I have a need for it quite soon afterwards.

  18. zANavAShi 18

    This sounds like a really cool challenge, which (being that my general home decor style is very light and minimalist) could quite easily be achievable… if I wasn’t such a weka of a computer geek.

    These uhmmmmm boxes and boxes of salvaged PC parts stuffed in various places around my office here are sure to come in useful one day… honest! Although, maybe it is time to let go of all the pre-PIII stuff already hehehe 😳

    Anybody heard of the 100 mile diet? That was another cool challenge I pondered for a while last year except that the place I was living at the time had no space for a vege garden and it’s horrifying how far our vege produce travels to get here.

    Love ’em or hate ’em, the greens make some very damned good points about promoting farmers markets and reviving the good ole kiwi tradition of a vege plot in the back yard. Yay Sue Kedgely!

    If only I could grow other essential stuff like network cables so easily 😀


  19. FletcherB 19

    But how do you count?

    Is My CD collection 1 item, or 200 CD’s, or 200 CDs + 200 booklets + 200 x 3 plastic pieces that make up the jewel case?

    1 mountain bike = 2 tires + 2 rims + 100-ish spokes (each with a nut), each tire valve probably has 10 or so parts, the chain is probably somewhere between 200 and 1000 pieces, etc. etc. etc.

  20. zANavAShi 20

    Hmmmmmm, I like the way you’re thinking there Fletcher…. 5 boxes of PC parts…. enough to recycle into 3 complete PCs….(((wicked evil grin))) 😉

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Quarantine-free travel with Australia to remain suspended for a further 8 weeks
    Suspension to be reviewed again mid to late November Decision brought forward to enable access from Australia to first tranche of around 3000 rooms in MIQ Air New Zealand working at pace to put on more flights from Australia from October    The suspension of quarantine-free travel (QFT) with Australia has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Extra support for Ethnic Communities to share vaccination information
    Extra support is being made available to Ethnic Communities to help them share COVID-19 vaccination information within their communities, Minister for Diversity, Inclusion and Ethnic Communities Priyanca Radhakrishnan said. “We know we need to get every eligible person in New Zealand vaccinated. A fund being launched today will allow for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • School holidays remain unchanged for Auckland region
    School holidays in Auckland will continue to be held at the same time as the rest of the country, starting from Saturday, 2 October, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “I’ve carefully considered advice on the implications of shifting the dates and concluded that on balance, maintaining the status quo ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Government continues crackdown on gangs and organised crime
    Operation Tauwhiro extended until March 2022 Since it was launched in February, Operation Tauwhiro has resulted in:   987 firearms seized $4.99 million in cash seized 865 people charged with a firearms-related offence Gangs and organised crime groups will continue to be relentlessly targeted with the extension of Police’s successful ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Speech to Body Positive 'HIV Treatments Update Seminar 2021'
    E ngā mana E ngā reo E ngā iwi Tēnā koutou katoa Ka huri ki ngā mana whenua o te rohe nei. Tēnā koutou. He mihi hoki ki a tatou kua tau mai nei I raro I te kaupapa o te rā. Nō reira tēnā koutou katoa Acknowledgements It’s a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • NZ economy’s strong momentum will support rebound from Delta outbreak; COVID fund replenished
    The economy showed strong momentum in the period leading up to the recent Delta COVID-19 outbreak, which bodes well for a solid economic rebound, Grant Robertson said. GDP rose 2.8 percent in the June quarter, following on from a 1.4 percent increase in the previous March quarter. This was a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Projects create benefits into the future
    Making a well-known lake swimmable and helping to halt the decline of the endangered hoiho/yellow-eyed penguins are among a suite of new projects being supported by the Government’s Jobs for Nature programme across the southern South Island, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “It’s no secret that many of our most ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Opening statement for Whāriki Indigenous Small Business Roundtable
      Kei ngā tōpito e wha o te āo e rere ana te mihi maioha ki a koutou nō tawhiti, nō tata mai e tāpiri ana ki tēnei taumata kōrero mo te ao hokohoko arā mā ngā pākihi mo ngā iwi taketake Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa – Pai Mārire.  ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New members appointed to Kāpuia
    The Government is adding four additional members to Kāpuia, the Ministerial Advisory Group on the Government’s Response to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch mosques. “I’m looking forward to having Pamela MacNeill, Huia Bramley, Melani Anae and Katherine Dedo  join Kāpuia and contribute to this group’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Timeline confirmed for Emissions Reductions Plan
    Cabinet has agreed to begin consulting on the Emissions Reduction Plan in early October and require that the final plan be released by the end of May next year in line with the 2022 Budget, the Minister of Climate Change, James Shaw confirmed today. “Cabinet’s decision allows organisations and communities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Pay parity pathway for early learning teachers confirmed
    Pay parity conditions and higher funding rates for education and care services will come into force on 1 January, 2022, Minister of Education Chris Hipkins confirmed today. The Government signalled this work in Budget 2021. “From 1 January, 2022, centres opting into the scheme will receive government funding and be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Nurses Organisation Conference 2021
    Kia Ora tatau katoa.   Ka tuku mihi ki nga nēhi, He pou Hauora o Aotearoa, E ora ai tatou.   Whakatau mai  I runga i te kaupapa o te ra Te NZNO conference.   Tena koutou tena koutou Tena tatou katoa   Good morning, and thank you inviting me ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government investment in farmer-led catchment groups sweeps past 150 mark
    171 catchment groups have now been invested in by the Government 31 catchment groups in the Lower North Island are receiving new support More than 5,000 farmers are focussed on restoring freshwater within a generation through involvement in catchment groups  Government investment in on-the-ground efforts by farmers to improve land ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Fight to protect kauri on track
    The Government is pitching in to help vital work to protect nationally significant kauri forests in Auckland, Minister of Conservation Kiri Allan says. “Ensuring the survival of these iconic trees for future generations means doing everything we can to prevent the potential spread of kauri dieback disease,” Kiri Allan said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Joint statement of Mr Bernard Monk; Hon Andrew Little, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry,...
    [Note: The Parties have agreed on terms to fully and finally settle the proceeding and will jointly issue the below statement.] At the heart of this litigation are the lives of the 29 men tragically lost at the Pike River mine on 19 November 2010 and to whom we pay ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • More financial support for businesses
    Today’s decision to keep Auckland in a higher COVID Alert Level triggers a third round of the Wage Subsidy Scheme which will open for applications at 9am this Friday. “The revenue test period for this payment will be the 14th to the 27th of September. A reminder that this is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Aotearoa New Zealand provides further humanitarian support for Afghanistan
    Aotearoa New Zealand is providing a further $3 million in humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today.  “There is significant humanitarian need in Afghanistan, with the crisis disproportionately affecting women and girls,” said Nanaia Mahuta. The UN has estimated that 80% of the quarter of a million ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Innovative te reo prediction tool announced in Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori
    A new Māori language prediction tool will play a key role in tracking our te reo Māori revitalisation efforts, Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson announced today. He Ara Poutama mō te reo Māori (He Ara Poutama) can forecast the number of conversational and fluent speakers of te reo Māori ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Further Government support for people to access food and essential items
    The Government is responding to need for support in Auckland and has committed a further $10 million to help people access ongoing food and other essential items, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced today. This latest tranche is targeted at the Auckland region, helping providers and organisations to distribute ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Half a million Pfizer vaccines from Denmark
    The Government has secured an extra half a million doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines from Denmark that will start arriving in New Zealand within days, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. “This is the second and larger agreement the Government has entered into to purchase additional vaccines to meet the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Inland Revenue providing essential COVID support for businesses
    Inland Revenue is seeing increased demand for Resurgence Support Payments and other assistance schemes that it administers, but is processing applications quickly, Revenue Minister David Parker said today. David Parker said the Resurgence Support Payment, the Small Business Cashflow (loan) Scheme and the Wage Subsidy are available at the same ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand marks 20th anniversary of 9/11 attacks
    New Zealand is expressing unity with all victims, families and loved ones affected by the September 11 2001 terrorist attacks, and all terrorist attacks around the world since, including in New Zealand. “Saturday marks twenty years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States, which killed nearly 3,000 people ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to SPREP Environment Ministers
    Talofa Honourable Ulu of Tokelau Faipule Kelihiano Kalolo Tēnā koutou katoa and warm Pacific greetings from Aotearoa to your excellencies, ladies and gentlemen. The new science released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on 8 August paints an alarming picture of the projected impacts of climate change on the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Additional Resurgence Support Payments to support business
    Businesses affected by higher Alert Levels will be able to apply for further Resurgence Support Payments (RSP). “The Government’s RSP was initially intended as a one-off payment to help businesses with their fixed costs, such as rent. Ministers have agreed to provide additional payments to recognise the effects of an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More Dawn Raids scholarships announced
    Details of the ‘Manaaki New Zealand Short Term Training Scholarships’, a goodwill gesture that follows the Government’s apology for the Dawn Raids of the 1970s, were released today by Pacific Peoples Minister Aupito William Sio. “These scholarships that are targeted to the Pacific will support the kaupapa of the Dawn Raids’ ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • One-way quarantine-free travel for RSE workers starting in October
      One-way quarantine-free travel for Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) workers from Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu starts in October New requirement for RSE workers to have received their first vaccination pre-departure, undertake Day 0 and Day 5 tests, and complete a self-isolation period of seven days, pending a negative Day 5 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt boosts Pacific suicide prevention support
    Applications have opened for the Pacific Suicide Prevention Community Fund as the Government acts to boost support amid the COVID delta outbreak. “We know strong and connected families and communities are the most important protective factor against suicide and this $900,000 fund will help to support this work,” Health Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt parks the expiry of licenses, WoFs and regos
    As a result of the Delta outbreak, driver licences, Warrants of Fitness (WoFs), Certificates of Fitness (CoFs), vehicle licences (‘regos’) and licence endorsements that expired on or after 21 July 2021 will be valid until 30 November 2021, Transport Minister Michael Wood has announced today. “While this extension won’t officially ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 community fund to provide support for vulnerable women and girls
    Minister for Women Jan Tinetti today announced a $2 million community fund that will provide support for women and girls adversely affected by COVID-19. “We know that women, particularly those who are already vulnerable, are disproportionally affected by the kind of economic disruption caused by COVID-19,” Jan Tinetti said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Next phase of support for Fiji’s COVID-19 response announced
    A further NZ$12 million of support for Fiji’s COVID-19 response has been announced by Foreign Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta today. The package builds on previous tranches of assistance Aotearoa New Zealand has provided to Fiji, totalling over NZ$50 million. “Fiji remains in a very challenging position in their response to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Robotic asparagus harvester aimed at addressing industry challenges
    The Government is backing a $5 million project to develop a commercial-scale autonomous robotic asparagus harvester, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. The Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund (SFF Futures) is contributing $2.6 million to the project. Project partner Robotics Plus Limited (RPL) will build on a prototype asparagus ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Additional Pfizer vaccines to arrive tomorrow
    More than a quarter of a million additional doses of the Pfizer vaccine are on their way from Spain to New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. The additional doses will arrive in Auckland on Friday morning to help meet the current surge in demand for vaccination. “It’s been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Young people to have their voices heard in Youth Parliament 2022
    The dates and details for Youth Parliament 2022 have been announced today by Minister for Youth Priyanca Radhakrishnan, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Youth Parliament is an opportunity for 141 young people from across Aotearoa New Zealand to experience the political process and learn how government works. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Boosting support for tertiary students affected by COVID-19
    Students facing a hard time as a result of COVID-19 restrictions will continue to be supported,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. The Government is putting a further $20 million into the Hardship Fund for Learners, which will help around 15,000 students to stay connected to their studies and learning. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Immediate relief available for Māori and iwi organisations
    The Government has reprioritised up to $5 million to provide immediate relief to vulnerable whānau Māori and communities during the current COVID-19 outbreak Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson announced today. The COVID-19 2021 Whānau Recovery Fund will support community-driven, local responses to gaps in access and provision of critical ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New beef genetics programme to deliver cows with smaller environmental hoof-print
    The Government is backing a genetics programme to lower the beef sector’s greenhouse gas emissions by delivering cows with a smaller environmental hoof-print, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. Informing New Zealand Beef is a seven-year partnership with Beef + Lamb New Zealand that is expected to result in more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Appointments to the New Zealand Qualifications Authority
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced new appointments to the board of the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). Former Associate Minister of Education, Hon Tracey Martin, has been appointed as the new Chair for NZQA, replacing the outgoing Acting and Deputy Chair Professor Neil Quigley after an 11-year tenure on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt supports residential house building by allowing manufacture of building supplies
    The Government has agreed to allow some building product manufacturing to take place in Auckland during Covid lockdown to support continued residential construction activity across New Zealand. “There are supply chain issues that arise from Alert Level 4 as building products that are manufactured domestically are mostly manufactured in Auckland. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government invests in scientific research to boost economy, address climate change and enhance wellb...
    Research, Science and Innovation Minister Hon Dr Megan Woods has today announced the recipients of this year’s Endeavour Fund to help tackle the big issues that New Zealanders care about, like boosting economic performance, climate change, transport infrastructure and wellbeing. In total, 69 new scientific research projects were awarded over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Transport to drive economic recovery
    The Government is investing a record amount in transport services and infrastructure to get New Zealand moving, reduce emissions and support the economic recovery, Transport Minister Michael Wood announced today. The 2021-24 National Land Transport Programme (NLTP) was released today which outlines the planned investments Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago