How to Buy Nothing New for a Month and why it’s a good idea

All around the world, people will be shopping secondhand for all of October, or just not shopping at all! That’s right, October is…

Buy Nothing New Month

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Pledge here to join the challenge. It’s simple:

Pledge to Buy Nothing New this 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.

A few of you have commented that you are inspired to stop shopping but don’t think you could. Well, here’s your chance to just reduce and change your shopping for a little while.

Buy Nothing New Month is how everything started for me. I was so motivated by the challenge that I extended it to a whole year in 2013. When I thought about doing it again, I thought I’d take the plunge and Buy Nothing! I’ll still be participating in Buy Nothing New Month this year by seeking out those exceptions to the rules that I am allowed to buy (like gifts) secondhand.

Don’t worry if you don’t think you can make it. Even just one item bought secondhand instead of new can save a huge amount of resources. You are saving the environment with every visit to a secondhand shop instead of Target.

With National Op Shop Week just behind us (at least for us Aussies), you should be well practiced in stepping into your nearest charity store and exploring the racks and shelves for those hidden treasures. You might even find an absolute bargain like my (new?) Alannah Hill top for $1!

Of course, there’s always plenty of online secondhand shopping or swapping to be done. There’s a growing number of websites that let you buy, swap or get free stuff! Try ebay, Amazon, Gumtree, freecycle, Ziilch, or facebook groups like ‘buy swap sell’ or ‘pass it forward’. Some of these sites will let you filter your results by used items and most will have a local version of the site in your country.


Buy Nothing New Month is all about asking a couple of questions:

  • Do I really need/want this item?
  • How can I obtain this some other way?

It’s about thinking where our stuff comes from (finite resources) and where it goes when we’re done (often landfill). It’s about getting creative in finding the things you need.

One of the easiest ways is to ask your friends and family if they would give or lend you the thing you need. A simple facebook post asking “Does anyone have a [fill blank] they no longer need?” may be enough – I’ve found many things this way!

Of course, some things are a bit more difficult to find. This may be hard to believe, but finally tracking down that obscure secondhand item can be as satisfying as buying a new pair of shoes at 50% off.

So get creative, save some money, and give it a go.


I’d love to hear from you. Will you pledge to Buy Nothing New in October?  What’s one thing you could never buy secondhand?


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