Just in case you missed it: this month I have pledged to buy nothing new.
This decision didn’t just come out of a misguided sense of adventure – it’s actually part of the global Buy Nothing New Month movement, which aims to reduce consumption and raise awareness of the finite nature of the Earth’s resources, all while helping folks stick to their budgets along the way.
Much like its predecessor, this past week has seen its share of massive consumerism-related challenges. Here’s a recap of the week, including all its challenges, new discoveries and triumphs.
The College Clothes-Swap
Although shared bathrooms are pretty gross, life in a university residential college does have its benefits.
Some days, I won’t have to wake up until half an hour before my first class. All my friends live with me. I get fed almost to excess, often with yummy food that my super health-conscious mother would shudder at. And most importantly for my purposes this month, my college holds clothes swaps.
The idea is pretty simple. Residents are encouraged to clean out their wardrobes and donate all their wearable and unwanted clothes. All the donated items are checked for cleanliness and then sorted into different groups: dresses, jeans, shirts etc. Donors are then allowed to take their pick of the clothes on offer – for free.
This month, I participated for the first time. After taking a few older clothes down to the common room, I sorted through other people’s old and unworn items.
The results were surprising! I admit, I was expecting tatty and too-small clothes, or hand-me-downs from the 90s. Instead, on the whole, these clothes were really nice branded items, some with minor defects or flaws, but mostly in mint condition. Several friends who got in early walked away with armfuls of stuff and huge grins on their faces.
In the end, I grabbed myself a t-shirt and jumper, both of which I love and have actually worn already. I’m a clothes-swap convert, and proud of it!
If you’re interested in attending or convening a clothes swap (and I highly recommend you do), check out these cool sites:
In a sad turn of events, a particularly sound scuff against some uneven pavement this week separated the sole of one of my favourite sandals from the insole.
In the spirit of Buy Nothing New Month and with an impressive display of willpower, I didn’t sprint to my nearest shoe store and score myself a new pair. Instead, I resolved to fix the sandal myself.
After unsuccessfully attempting to secure sole to insole with chewing gum (disgusting), staples (useless) and sticky-tape (seriously, how did I get into uni?), I brought the big gun in: super-glue. A few small dabs later and my shoe was as good as new!
Georgia vs. Consumerism
So, I’ve made it halfway through Buy Nothing New Month successfully! I can’t pretend it’s been a walk in the park, but the results of my efforts have been awesome, even if I do say so myself.
In the last two weeks I have:
- Saved: nearly $800 (!!!)
- Scored: four new second-hand items of clothing.
- Salvaged: three belongings which I would have usually discarded.
- Shifted: my mindset towards consuming and spending.
The last two weeks have taught me:
- To dismiss the stigma surrounding second-hand goods. Just because someone has owned something before you doesn’t mean it’s not worth having.
- To think twice before mindlessly consuming. Buying new things on impulse or reflex is terrible for the environment and your wallet. Taking a second to think: “Do I really need this?” or “Can I find this secondhand somewhere else?” is so simple, but so important.
Finally, the tally as it now stands:
Georgia and Buy Nothing New Month: 5 points
Consumerism and excess: still ZERO!
What a great couple of weeks! More adventures ahead. Stay tuned.
Read MORE on Georgia’s Buy nothing New experience:
The Mozo team have set me the challenge of participating in Buy Nothing New Month. It is, I’m afraid, exactly what it sounds like…READ MORE >>
Last week I pledged to buy nothing new during the month of October. So, how have I done so far? Pretty damn well, thanks for asking…READ MORE >>
The last three weeks have been super challenging. Kicking my mindless consumerism habits has been tough…READ MORE >>
Over the past four weeks, I have saved over $1000 – simply by buying nothing new. Although it might sound preachy/hyperbolic…READ MORE >>