Buy Nothing New Month

Who thinks that our con$umer culture has gone crazy? Has Affluenza gone wild? Are people trying to break long ingrained spending habits or still shop till they drop?

I know that I used to buy all sorts of stuff that never got used, or played with, or even looked at after I brought it home from the store. Thankfully those days are well behind me however it was such a waste and according to some research I was not alone in these wasteful behaviours;

A paper from the Australia Institute by Clive Hamilton, Richard Denniss, and David Baker tells us “Aussies have admitted to spending over $10 billion every year on goods we do not use: clothes and shoes we never wear, CDs we never listen to, DVDs we never watch and food we never eat and each year in Australia nearly 20 million tonnes of waste goes to landfill. By way of comparison, this amount exceeds spending by Australian governments on universities and roads.”

That was back in 2005. I dare say that because people are a little more frugal with their money now, and that the Global Financial Crisis is well into its fifth year, people are a little bit more cautious with their spending habits. With more and more retail outlets going into administration each month, this trend may be downward.

However, not one to being shy to take up a new challenge, I am going to participate in Buy Nothing New Month. Here is a blurb about the event;

“Buy Nothing New Month is the global movement for collective, conscientious consumption.

It’s a little idea that started in Melbourne and is spreading to the Netherlands and USA.

It’s a one month challenge to buy nothing new (with the exception of essentials like food, hygiene and medicines)

Buy Nothing New Month isn’t Buy Nothing New Never. Nor is it about going without.
It’s literally about taking one month off to really think, “Do I really need it?” If I do, “can I get it second-hand, borrow it or rent it? What are my alternatives? Can I borrow from a friend? Can I swap with my neighbour?”

It’s about thinking where our stuff comes from (finite resources) and where it goes when we’re done (often landfill) and what are the fantastic alternatives out there to extend the life of our ‘stuff’.

It’s easy. It’s fun. It’s moving from consumption-driven to community-driven.

It’s good for us, our wallets and our planet.

Hop on board!”

According to the website, it is easy to buy nothing new for a month. There are simple some rules and exceptions to help you get through.

Pledge to Buy Nothing New during October, then with the exception of essentials (food, drink, medications, hygiene products) you can beg, borrow, barter, swap or buy second hand whatever you need.

You just buy nothing new.

So now that I have submitted my pledge and let it known to the world that I am participating, I need a few virtual friends to join in and see if they can buy nothing new for the month of October.

You can pledge at Buy Nothing New Month, and also share with friends.

Are you up for the challenge?


  1. says

    Good luck Gavin although I am sure you will not need it. We live in the country and since moving here three years ago, even though we were not big shoppers, we have noticed a big drop off in our spending. I went shopping yesterday and that was the first time since the 23 of August. And even then we only went shopping in August because we were overseas on holiday.

  2. says

    I was just about to take the plunge but realised it is for October and I just purchased a fancy dress outfit online after trying (unsuccessfully) via freecycle networks to borrow one.

    Still, will take the pledge and attempt to buy nothing new now for the remaining 27 days in October.

  3. says

    Buy Nothing New Month last year was a huge turning point in my eco journey and to be quite honest, I haven’t really bought new all that much since. I recently bought my kids and I new socks and although they were all needed, I felt incredibly guilty! lol
    I’m not taking the pledge this year due to the house renovation being in full swing but I do pledge not to buy unnecessary items and I fully support the concept otherwise.
    Keep up the inspiring work Gavin.

  4. says

    After a horrendous year of expenses (new roof, truck repairs, winter tires and rims, electric bike to replace our car, new vacumn), I would be very happy to get through one month without anything major happening. I am not a professional “shopper” like some folks. I dont mind good used items, or mending something until it just won’t go anymore. I will give it my best shot this month. Keep your fingers crossed. If the hot water tank goes, I will have to draw the line at cold showers, though.

  5. Lithopsland says

    Sounds like a great idea Gavin! I think you can do it. Good luck with this & looking forward to future posts about it. Best. :)

  6. says

    Would love to hop on board but with so many people that I need to buy for I don’t think I could meet the challenge. However, I do only buy things when they need it – like when the kids joggers are well and truly worn out. I often feel guilty about the way I use to shop many years ago, buying for the sake of buying or buying to keep up with the Jonses but glad those days are past. Good luck with the challenge!


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