I am now three weeks into Buy Nothing New Month. That’s three weeks of buying nothing new – aside from the obvious essentials – in order to fight consumerism, reduce consumption and save some serious cash.
If I’m honest, the last three weeks have been super challenging. Kicking my mindless consumerism habits has been tough, searching for innovative ways to cut down on spending has been hard, and keeping myself away from malls and online shopping has been a true test of my will.
But there’s no denying it: over the past three weeks, my gargantuan efforts have produced awesome results. Here’s a roundup of this week’s buy nothing new antics and adventures.
Let’s have a show of hands: who here has spent 10 days in complete silence, meditating 14 hours a day, eating only plain rice, drinking only green tea and sleeping on a concrete slab?
Yeah, I haven’t either. But two close friends of mine recently did, as part of a month-long sojourn through Thailand, where they lived in a Buddhist monastery for 10 long, hot, silent days.
They came back from their travels this week and I caught up with them to hear their stories and see some happy snaps. Their experience in the monastery inspired me to continue to buy nothing new, so I thought I would share it with you lovely Mozonians.
A day in the monastery went along these lines:
- Woken by a bell at 4.30am.
- Lecture from monk in meditation hall until 6.30am.
- Breakfast (rice + green tea) until 7.00am.
- Free-roaming meditation until 3.00pm.
- Lecture from monk in meditation hall until 5.00pm.
- Free-roaming meditation until 6.30pm.
- Dinner (rice+green tea) until 7.00pm
- Free-roaming meditation until 9.30pm
- Bedtime (bed=concrete slab) at 9.30pm.
Just to reiterate, folks, the above was completed in absolute silence, in 36 degree heat and 90 percent humidity, without modern amenities such as showers or air-conditioning.
Yeah, I was seriously impressed.
Although my friends said they found the experience extremely overwhelming, difficult and arduous, they also said it was one of the most rewarding experiences they have ever had.
In keeping with Buddhist teachings, the monks lectured on living without material goods and cutting all possible ties to the material world, and by their very existence, demonstrated that such a life was possible. My friends experienced minimalist living at its extreme, and although they’re not jumping to convert to an orthodox Buddhist lifestyle anytime soon, they declared that their experience had definitely changed their perspectives on materialism, consumerism and our capitalist society – just like my experience with Buy Nothing New Month has done.
This week, I accidentally stumbled upon an incredible way to buy nothing new.
As outlined in last week’s blog, living in a residential college has its advantages. Your friends are close, uni is on your doorstep and food is abundant. The downside? You live in a box.
Yes, sadly, space is extremely limited in a college room. So limited, in fact, that this year I had to get creative with storage.
When the warm weather began to give way to the cooler months, my wardrobe started to shift accordingly – it was out with the summery stuff and in with the winter woolies. I had to devise a strategy to avoid cluttering my tiny room with discarded summer clothes and thus heightening my only barely controlled sense of claustrophobia.
The storage solution? Send my summer clothes home to hibernate during the long winter months, which freed up heaps of cupboard space and fixed my storage crisis.
Now that the weather has started to turn again, I have discovered a fab side-effect of my radical storage strategy. My summer clothes had been shut away for so long that I had forgotten what half of them looked like and what outfits I had constructed with them- ladies and gentlemen, I kid you not: it was like getting a whole new wardrobe!
So, I know it sounds a little bizarre, but consider locking your winter stuff away for the summer months. You’ll come back to it all with fresh eyes and feel little to no need to buy anything new. That’s good news for your wallet and your world!
Georgia vs. Consumerism
I can officially declare that this week’s efforts have been another resounding triumph over mindless consumerism. I have bought nothing new, I’ve been inspired by anti-consumerist tales and I’ve rediscovered a whole new wardrobe!
Georgia and Buy Nothing New Month: 6 points
Consumerism and excess: A BIG FAT ZERO.
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 >>
This past week has seen its share of massive consumerism-related challenges. Here’s a recap of the week, including all its challenges…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 >>