Would you challenge yourself not to buy any new clothes or the latest gadget? Would you ask a neighbour if you could borrow a mower or DVD? That is what the Buy Nothing New Month campaign is aiming to do.
During October, the global movement challenges people not to buy anything new, with the exception of food, medicine and hygiene.
It encourages people to seek alternative sources to purchase products, such as Gumtree, op-shops, recycling centres, Facebook marketplace or simply asking a neighbour.
The action is designed to not stop people from buying products, but to make people think “Do I really need that?” and become aware of where the products come from and where they end up when we’re done with them.
Founder of Buy Nothing New Month Tamara DiMattina said it’s a chance for people to breathe and consider how much stuff we actually need.
“We live on this beautiful planet and we have fine-art resources, but we are currently consuming more of our natural resources than our earth can replenish – we can’t keep going the way we are going.”
BNNM encourages the idea of moving from a consumer-driven mindset to being community-driven.
“Facebook market place is brilliant,” Ms DiMattina said. “It’s a great way to get things back into the economy. It’s a great way to buy something that new that is already existing.”
Workpower, a non-profit organisation that promotes the employment of people with disabilities, manages the Balcatta Recycling Shop in the City of Stirling.
Anyone can drop off their unwanted goods and the Workpower team will then find a way to reuse or recycle the goods.
One method of recycling they are using is the deconstruction of polystyrene.
Shaun Cronin is the assistant manager at the shop and said once the polystyrene has been crushed down there is enough to fill a bag weighing up to 350 kilos.
“One of those bulk bags of polystyrene will clear about a container of space from landfill. Four to five tonnes can be saved in polystyrene from going to landfill per month.”
The Recycling Centre offers secondhand goods ranging from books, kitchenware and furniture to plants, bikes and bricks.
Deb Lawson works at the shop and loves the idea of buying goods from recycling centres.
“We are trying to stop items going to landfill,” she said.
“We don’t have the land, we’re destroying the planet, so let’s try and get everyone to reuse and recycle and make it all sustainable.”
Louise Rowe is an op-shop lover and operator of the Facebook page Opshock.
She bought a dress in 2017 from an op-shop and received multiple compliments on how wonderful the dress was and after reading how much textiles go to landfill, she started to consider not buying brand new clothing.
“I made a decision that for the whole of 2017, I wouldn’t buy any new clothing, shoes or accessories,” she said.
“I’m probably a lot more courageous in the things I wear now and wear a bigger variety of styles and take a few more risks.”
For purchasing clothing, furniture and gadgets, to name a few, look to alternative sources like your local op-shop or Gumtree and save your wallet at the same time.
“Buying secondhand is actually a lot of fun!” Ms Rowe said.