Did you know that October has been titled as the ‘Buy Nothing New‘ month? Well, it has! What started in Melbourne as a seemingly radical idea has now become a “global movement for collective, conscientious consumption.”
And, you guessed it, the challenge is to buy nothing new for one whole month! Of course, essential items for living are excluded (like food, medicine and hygiene products) but even now there are some incredible alternatives available (things like, who gives a crap recycled toilet paper, eco and reusable pads and moon cups).
Over six years ago the Sydney Morning Herald ran a poll in their newspaper asking “is Buy Nothing New Month a good idea?” Over 10,000 people voted and 82% said yes. While we would have liked to see a 100% yes vote, we’re pretty happy that the majority share in our ideals of minimal waste, minimal impact and recycling – and we hope these ideals last longer than just one month of the (12 month!) year! We also appreciate that from little things, big things grow. Perhaps by changing some of our consumer habits for a few weeks, we might realise that these changes are actually quite achievable (and maybe, just maybe, even better?).
As the team behind this movement suggest, it’s not about ‘not buying anything’, it’s about looking to change what we buy, why, and how we buy it.
So, before you buy something new… have a think about the impact of that decision.
We think these simple questions can help:
- Do I need it?
- Can I use something I already have?
- Can I fix or repair it? (and if I can’t, is there someone else who can?)
- Can I borrow it?
- Can I buy it second hand?
- If I need to buy it new, is it locally made? What materials is it made from? Is there a sustainable alternative? (look for natural materials)
It’s simply thinking about where all of our stuff comes from and where it ends up once we are done with it. There are so many great alternatives available and sometimes it really is just as simple as looking somewhere different. We are sure you’ve heard of online markets like gumtree and ebay, but have you heard of free cycle and places like the Clothing Exchange?
So, we invite you to take the pledge! And if you do, please write to us and share your experiences!