New to Buy Nothing New? The annual event has been picking up serious steam over the last few years, so if you want to learn how to live more on less, here are my top beginner tips…
I’ve always loved the thrill of finding gems buried deep in second-hand and op shops, but up until a few years ago,it was more of a style choice. I hadn’t put that much thought into the environmental impacts, I was just happy I had more money and was never going to run into anyone wearing the same thing.
Then I heard about Buy Nothing New Month – which not only urges everyone to rethink our spending habits but about “WHERE the goods we buy come from (finite resources) and where they go (landfill). After reading about the environmental impacts of constantly engorging our landfills with disposable crap (and suffering mild bouts of anxiety) I became determined to turn it into a lifestyle.
And it wasn’t the stretch I thought it would be – I stopped buying fast fashion altogether and instead scoured vintage shops for timeless pieces. I swapped gargantuan shopping centres for outer city op shops where I bought secondhand furniture and homewares for a song. I stopped buying on a whim, and instead made it a rule to go away and think about that ‘must have’ item before I invested in it.
If the concept of buying secondhand is foreign to you, then you’ll be pleased to know you don’t have to commit to not buying ANYTHING new, Buy Nothing New month is about making a conscious purchasing decisions.
And then there’s the environmental impact – we are consuming like there’s a never ending supply on a planet with finite resources. And it doesn’t mean living a mean and miserly life, it’s more about forgoing mindless consumption.
Here are my favourite tips for buying nothing new:
- If you prefer modern fashions to vintage, try op shops in wealthy suburbs where they have a high wardrobe turnover – you can often get brand names in great condition for less than half you’d pay retail.
- Buy clothes at second hand clothing markets or car boot sales. This is where they real bargains are at – people will flick off their designer stuff for a smidgen of the price they bought it for!
- Have a look round on sites such as eBay, Gumtree and even Freecycle for what you need. You may just find it for cheaper, or even free.
- Just. Buy. LESS! Do you REALLY need it?
- Instead of buying someone a gift they’ll never use, buy them an ‘experience’ or even something home made – it could be something as simple as home made cookies, or bath bombs or a hand written card.
- Borrow those big ticket items. Do one of your friends have that electric sander/tan bag/casserole plate you so desperately need?
- Upcycle your furniture. You’ll be surprised at how cheap second hand furniture is – and with a bit of elbow grease and paint, you can turn an old table, wardrobe or side bar into something spectacular
- Buy it once, buy it right. Make it an investment piece that will last forever.
- Vinnies, Bernadoes, Salvos and Red Cross Op Shops have a dazzling array of kitchen ware, plates, cups and vases.
- Invest in experiences. By now we know it’s memories, connections and relationships that make us happy, not things. So instead of shopping to pass the time, go to a gallery, visit some friends, go for a walk and doing things you love.
For more information on Buy Nothing New month, get to www.buynothingnew.com.au