Guess what month it is coming up? Not only is it going to be October next week but it is also Buy Nothing New Month. This is now a global movement for collective, conscientious consumption.
It’s a one month challenge to buy nothing new (with the exception of essentials like food, hygiene and medicines) – so don’t feel you have to go without deodorant if you run out.
Buy Nothing New Month isn’t Buy Nothing New Never. Nor is it about going without.
It’s literally about taking one month off to really think, “Do I really need it?” If I do, “can I get it second-hand, borrow it or rent it? What are my alternatives? Can I borrow from a friend? Can I swap with my neighbour?”
It’s about thinking where our stuff comes from (finite resources) and where it goes when we’re done (often landfill) and what are the fantastic alternatives out there to extend the life of our ‘stuff’.
For those of you who do not believe that this is a problem just consider that in 2005 we admitted to spending over $10 billion every year on goods we do not use: clothes and shoes we never wear, CDs we never listen to, DVDs we never watch and food we never eat and each year in Australia nearly 20 million tonnes of waste goes to landfill. By way of comparison, this amount exceeds spending by Australian governments on universities and roads.
Without doubt, the timing of this month is excellent as we move towards the silly season when we truly spend ridiculous amounts on things we don’t need – you guessed it Christmas is coming. That means Buy nothing new month is a good reminder that we don’t necessarily have to buy new all the time.
Just ask yourself:
- Do I really need this?
- What is its lifecycle? What went into making it (time, labour, resources)
- What are the alternatives?
- Where did it come from? How did it get here?
- What is its environmental and social impact?
- Who benefits from the purchase? What will it do for me?
- What’s in it? Who made it?
Remember there are plenty of second hand buying and selling options whether it be through opshops, online selling, markets or exchanges. There are also plenty of ways that you can update, alter, mend or change some clothing or furniture items as well. All it takes is a bit of imagination and flair.