Buy Nothing Year really should be called Acquire Nothing Year, but that’s not as catchy.
The goal of Buy Nothing New Year is to have less stuff. To have fewer distractions, less to clean or maintain, less clutter, less to worry about. Buy Nothing New Year is about realising that I do not need more stuff to be happy. It’s about reducing my environmental footprint by consuming less resources and generating less waste.
Saving money is not the goal, but it is a rather obvious benefit of buying nothing. Because it is just a side-effect, not the goal, this means I can’t just hop on freecycle and still acquire loads of stuff this year. The same rules apply to stuff at any price: retail, cheap or free. It’s still stuff, and the rules apply equally.
The rules for Buy Nothing New Year
My Buy Nothing New Year goes from 21 July 2015 until 20 July 2016.
In a word: consumables – the stuff that I need to live and that won’t stay in my life permanently. But even these I’ll try to keep to a minimum.
Specifically, I am allowed:
- Food & drink but I will try to use up my pantry and freezer contents first, wherever possible.
- Toiletries and cleaning supplies only once all supplies are used up.
- Cosmetics, but only things I run out of.
I will also allow some non-consumables:
- Stuff for the dog & fish.
- Gifts – this applies to giving and receiving gifts.
- Furniture and house renovation items.
- Materials needed to repair, upcycle or create items that will prevent me from buying new stuff.
What’s not allowed:
- Kitchen equipment or supplies.
- Clothes, shoes, handbags & accessories.
- Unnecessary makeup, cosmetics, cleaning products or toiletries.
- Decorative items and nick-nacks.
- Books or jigsaw puzzles.
If I genuinely need something:
- I will ‘shop on paper’ and write it down. Unless the purchase is urgent or can’t be delayed, I will only be allowed to buy items off the list after 20 July 2016.
- For every new item I let into my life, I must rehome three other items.
- I will first try to borrow the item, then try to buy it second-hand, and only buy new if I can’t get it any other way.