By Nothing New month is an awareness month and challenge to start making people think twice before they buy new. October is the official ‘Buy Nothing New Month’ but why can’t be do it in February? Are you in?
www.buynothingnew.com explains the rules and gives suggestions specifically for Australia:
“Let’s not be silly here people.
Buy Nothing New Month isn’t about “Bugger. I really need a new deodorant, but it’s Buy Nothing New Month. Sorry workmates.”
This whole deal is about wasteful consumption. Cutting back on the stuff we don’t really need and changing the way we look at existing stuff.
Need sticky tape. Go get it.
Hand bag strap broke? Can you repair it? If not, is there a great quality one at your local op shop? Kids need a new jumper? Why not hold a swap party with your mates who also have kids.
Voting with your money
You can help create a world you’d like to see. Each time your spend money, your supporting that ‘thing’. If you want to see more sustainable production, look into where what you’re buying comes from. Is it made locally, with good design and built to last? Or is it a cheap import, with loads of air miles that will break down quickly, requiring replacement? Often something is cheap because of unfair processes and working conditions, where the real cost (human labour and the cost of the materials) are not represented on the price tag. How cheap is it really in the long run?
One in, one out
a great way to maximise the life in ‘stuff’ is to keep it in circulation. Loads of people practice ‘one in, one out’. Every time you buy something, can you replace it with something from your wardrobe you can donate to your local charity like the Brotherhood of St Laurence? I mean, we can all only wear one dress at a time people!
Second hand Wonderland
If you’re not down with the fantastic world of second hand shopping, you are really missing out. We reckon pretty much everything you need can be found second hand. Added bonus: buying second-hand at places like the Brotherhood means you not only get a ‘new’ treasure, but your money contributes to the fantastic community programs these guys implement. Win-win!
Keep A Diary
like a food diary, noting down what you’re buying can help manage unnecessary spending. Take one month to write down every time you buy something non-essential. Do the same during Buy Nothing New Month and compare the lists.
Marie Claire magazine on swishing “Welcome to the future of fashion.” Swapping clothes shoes or accessories with friends or acquaintances. It’s ethical, eco-fabulous, social and fun.
Converting waste materials or ‘useless’ products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value.
Processing used materials into new products to prevent waste of potentially useful materials while reducing the consumption of fresh raw materials
Process of giving away rather than throwing away unwanted items to others instead of disposing of them in landfills. Check out freecycle.com
Go to www.gumtree.com.au for secondhand clothing and furniture. Some listings are even free! Or for over 100,000 catalogued books checkout www.brotherhoodbooks.org.au catalogue includes rare and valuables including some first editions.
Can you GIVE SOME MONEY AWAY?
If you are reading this text, there is a good chance you are in the richest 10% of the world’s population. Try to give to charity often.
Check IN before Check OUT
Ask yourself do you really need it? If so, can you borrow it or find one secondhand?
In Victoria, Brotherhood of St Laurence offer a great range of secondhand goods from clothing, books, furniture and homewares. Across the country there are LOADS of fantastic charitable recycled goods shops.
Rent / Borrow
It’s cheaper and you lower your footprint by renting/borrowing rather than buying.
Don’t shop. Swap
Hold your own ‘swap shop’. Invite your friends around, challenging them to bring five things each they don’t need. It may be a jumper, a vase, a cookbook, a bedspread. Watch one man’s trash get reborn into another man’s treasure!
Get on the merry-go-round
Get into the old economy. Remember how Grandma found a use for everything? Reuse, recycle, make stuff, alter stuff, buy used, donate quality old stuff, get free stuff, borrow, barter and trade. Have fun with it.
Repair, don’t replace.
Holes in your favourite jumper, dress anything? Patch them with an interesting fabric for your own one-off designer duds with a difference. If you’re not a sewer, support your local seamstress.
Get Fit or Get A Hobby:
Don’t shop to alleviate boredom. Get a hobby and get out of the shopping strip.
Get Smart Online
save time and money online. Setup alerts on eBay for your favourite brands. Then when something’s listed second hand, you’ll be alerted automatically. Saving you time in surfing and cashing in buying it new!
By the way, once Buy Nothing New Month is over, just because something is new, doesn’t mean it’s not sustainable or you cant have it. Many new items have been made responsibly, thoughtfully and with sustainability in mind. After Buy Nothing New Month, we’re hoping you’ll consider your purchases more carefully than before and seek out goods that have been made responsibly.
Before handing over your hard earned cash, 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?
– See more at: http://www.buynothingnew.com.au/how/#sthash.eW9gR8xe.dpuf