The ‘Buy Nothing New’ project


Buy Nothing New

In lieu of G’s shifting work status we’ve decided to tamp down on our finances at least until the end of February. And after having dinner with some inspirational friends, and then having some similar conversations with other friends about consumerism in general, I’m motivated to make this “official.” So let’s call it the “Buy Nothing New” project! (Alternatively, G suggested, “No Thrills; Just Bills and Pills.” ha.)

This means

  • buying nothing but essentials–ie food, prescriptions and bills, and cutting the rest out.
  • giving experiences, over goods, for gifts.
  • sadly no delicious meals out, but yay for delicious meals in!
  • planning ahead and making our own snacks for road trips.
  • making special yummy treats, (eg. cookies,) but not buying them.
  • when necessary buying used, or local as much as possible.
  • movie nights at home.
  • going shopping inside our apartment and getting crafty with what we’ve already got.
  • taking advantage of our public library.
  • doing some junk drawer/clothing/general clutter editing around the house.

A friend was telling me recently about how almost everything she reads online is about buying something. Pretty, stylish, somethings. But still–acquiring more things. I didn’t realize, until she mentioned it, how similar my online reading was as well. Which, as a visual person who is genuinely interested in what others are making and excited about, is natural. But I’ve realized that underneath the creative swell, is a push to buy the next cool whatever. So I’m hoping this project will free me from that a bit. Maybe it will enable me to look at things and appreciate them, but let go of actually owning them.

Clearly many of these steps will take some planning ahead. Often we pay extra for convenience, rather than real necessity– ie road trip snacks, etc. But I think we can handle a bit of extra thinking for a month and a half.  I assume an added benefit will be cutting down on our trash output– convenient things are often short-lived purchases that also always seem to be packaged intensely, don’t they? (More on “no trash living” here.)

We’ll let you know how it goes! And feel free to join us, if you’re feeling so inclined.

4 Responses to “The ‘Buy Nothing New’ project”

  1. Christina Rodriguez Says:

    There’s a book out called “Not Buying It” about a couple who, overwhelmed by the consumerism in their lives & their abundance of “stuff,” opted to go one year without buying ANY nonessentials. Things like paper towels & booze were out. Apparently they were able to pay off some pretty sizeable credit card bills that year.

    • Gaia // Children's Illustrator Says:

      I think I read a review of that when it came out. I had totally forgotten about it. Thanks Christina!

  2. Jane M Says:

    Let’s go on an experiential date!

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