I decided a couple of weeks ago, inspired by EcoMILF's pledge, I decided to take up the challenge of buying nothing new for 365 days. I will begin this challenge on January 1st 2011, and end it on December 31st 2011. Nathan has agreed to join me on this journey (and, no, he was not coerced!) so as a family we hope to achieve a few goals:
- Reduce our environmental impact by keeping things out of landfill, reducing the amount of packaging we bring into our home, and placing our purchasing power behind more sustainable ways of living.
- Reduce our addiction to consumption and the pull of marketing.
- Learn new ways of providing... such as sewing, mending and repairing and sourcing things second hand.
- Save some money - now that we will be on one income, it is important that we readjust our spending patterns so that we can live within our means.
So what's off the list?
New clothes, shoes, accessories
New craft supplies, kitchenware or kitchen appliances
Home decorating items, including linen, photo frames etc
New CDs, DVDs or books (yes, this may be my undoing!)
toys, gifts, stationery
Items from party plan demonstrations (eg Tupperware) - sorry friends!
So what are the exceptions?
Underwear, makeup (although as I finish items from my makeup bag I will be replacing them with 'greener' brands)
New items made entirely from recycled materials
Local handcrafted items
Pre-loved items from ebay, opshops and markets
Food and drink
A laptop - I may not fit this into this year's budget and as I need to relinquish my work laptop when I complete my employment, I am in the market for a new one. I looked at the ecological benefits of buying a refurbished laptop vs a new one from a company that is working to improve its environmental policies and features, and it seems that in this case, new is the way to go.
Gifts from other people - we realise that this is our journey and no-one else's and do not wish to offend anyone or cause discomfort, so on gift-giving occasions we will be thrilled to receive any gift that has been chosen by our loved ones.
So join me on what I am sure will be a challenging journey. Those of you who know me well will realise that this is a rather large step for me! Wish me luck!