Depending on what type of shopper you are, the idea of buying nothing new for a whole month might seem like:
- Pretty easy if you concentrate
- What do you mean? You never buy anything new
If you ever look at your cupboards and wonder how you’d ever manage to move house, Buy Nothing New month could be just what you need. Essentially, it’s a global movement for collective, conscientious consumption that originated in Melbourne in 2011 and has gone global.
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 neighbor?”
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’.
It’s easy. It’s fun. It’s moving from consumption-driven to community-driven.
It’s good for us, our wallets and our planet.
Why buy nothing new?
Well, it’s not about not buying food, or shampoo, or other essentials of life that you have run out of and really do need to buy. It’s simply about being mindful about all that “other” spending we do during the month and thinking about where else you might be able to source that item from.
Facebook is inadvertently helping out with this dilemma, with the launch of its brand new Facebook Marketplace in Australia this month. And then there’s eBay, Gumtree, your local weekend market, garage sales and of course op shops. We have plenty of great op shop buying tips!
“My bathroom cupboard is groaning under the weight of hundreds of bottles of toner, moisturiser, night cream, concealer, make up setter and a plethora of other expensive products. They just take up space because I feel like I’m throwing away money if I get rid of them. The truth is, I was actually throwing away the money when I bought them.”
If simply saving money doesn’t motivate you, how about the fact that buying secondhand items raises money for someone else. August 21-27 was National Op Shop Week and Sally Creagh from DoSomething points out that Op shops are not just the place to pick up fabulous fashion bargains, furniture you can upcycle or interesting knick-knacks. Every time you make a purchase from a charity op shop you’re helping vulnerable people or other community projects, with all profits from charity op shops go towards running vital programs to assist those in need.
How to buy nothing new
Try these handy tips
Check out your local markets & garage sales. Heading to a local market or doing the neighbourhood garage sales on a Saturday morning can be a fun family activity. Plus you never know what amazing treasures you might find!
EBay, Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace. Why not check out Facebook’s new Marketplace service, along with eBay and Gumtree. If you know there’s something you need, getting in the habit of looking for it second hand before buying it new can save you plenty of money.
Borrow and swap. You friends or family can probably lend you most items that you’re likely to need in a given month – and you probably have plenty of items you could lend back in return.
Just say no. Really. It’s that simple.
“Op shopping has grown in popularity in recent years. It?s become quite trendy, especially among young people either because they are on a tight budget; they like the creative challenge of repurposing a find and sharing with friends on social media. For many op shoppers it is retail therapy that reflects their value system – they want to do something for others and the environment. Of course, there are those of us who just love to browse in the hope of discovering a hidden gem.”
– Kerryn Caulfield, CEO of National Association of Charitable Recycling Organisations