Challenge Yourself to #NothingNewforNow
Who can resist a sale at their favorite store? Or say no to a two-for-one special? Well, you. That is, after you read this blog. You see, last year we did a post on #NoNewClothes, created by Remake on Instagram (the challenge being to refrain from buying any new clothes for three months), and it got us thinking. What if we apply that challenge to everything, not just clothing?
We all know that we use and consume far too much, and that our consumption puts an incredible strain on our environment. We also know that as consumers, we don’t keep what we buy for long enough.
Take smartphones, for example. We upgrade them every couple of years, contributing to unnecessary e-waste and greenhouse gas emissions, not to mention the resources it takes to make all those new phones. So, we challenge you…
Don’t buy anything new…
(for as long as you can)
Two weeks. A month. Three. It’s up to you to decide what’s feasible for you. The first step?
Know That You aren’t Really Going ‘Without’
That is, you know that you’ll survive without a new pair of jeans, or a TV-size upgrade. We suggest making a list of everything you own: look in your wardrobe, drawers, cupboards, and any other nook or cranny filled with stuff.
Take inventory. Not only will you realize how privileged you are already, but you’ll also soon see how much stuff you have accumulated. How much stuff you once so ‘desperately’ needed, that now collects dust at the bottom of a drawer. That should put things into perspective.
Do it For the Financial Perks
If you have a tendency towards overspending on unnecessary items, and impulse buys on your way to the checkout counter, you’ll know the financial benefits of not buying anything new for a while. All those items add up and take away from your potential to save for your dream *insert any large-ticket item here*. So, how do you stop spending?
Take the temptation away. Simple. Stay away from the mall and avoid your favorite online shopping sites. Take it a step further and unsubscribe from all those mailing lists.
You don’t need temptation showing up in your inbox every morning. If you’re the type of person who finds shopping to be therapeutic, pick another relaxing activity. A walk in the forest with your dog. A good book. Coffee with a friend. Literally anything else!
Get Comfortable with DIY
When something breaks/cracks/shows signs of wear and tear, most of our immediate responses are to chuck said item in the bin or recycle it (if possible and/or convenient). But part of working towards a circular economy is keeping our things in circulation for as long as possible.
Recycling, of course, is great, but it should be the last resort when it comes to our stuff. Not only do we need to take better care of our things (for example, do you know how often you should wash your clothes to preserve their quality?), but we also need to build a culture of repair. These days, it’s easier than ever. You, see? You don’t have to spend money on new things when your old ones can be fixed easily and at a low cost.
#NothingNewforNow Includes Freebies
This one is difficult because well, who doesn’t love getting something for free? Even if that something is entirely useless to us. It’s important to remember that the point of #NothingNewforNow is to lessen what you have, and that includes stuff you don’t pay for.
For example, next time you’re at a conference or event, politely decline the gift bag. If you’re the one organizing said conference or event, think twice before planning gift bags. It’s just more stuff we do not need. Explain to your attendees or guests exactly why they are going home empty handed and we’re sure they’ll see it as a good thing too.
Are you ready to for this challenge? Let us know how it goes. We’d love to hear what the experience is like for you, and share what you’ve learned with the rest of our readers.