So, awhile ago I started this mantra of not buying anything new. I'm reinstating it again because I find myself going to World Market and Target all too much these days, I got lazy while pregnant and postpartum. I'm also sharing this idea with you in hopes you will also adopt this lifestyle. Here are my rules (you can modify SLIGHTLY to your own lifestyle):
1. Food is not used and can be purchased "NEW" but avoid any pre-packaged foods as those have been Made for your consumption. Also, when eating out bring your own cup to coffee shops and decline the servers request to bring new plates for appetizer, dinner and dessert (you will be saving a ton of water this way). Fast food is a no go with this nothing new lifestyle, sorry but that stuff is awful for you anyway.
2. Buy household necessities and personal hygene products as little as possible and whenever possible make your own. I will be sharing household cleaning methods over the next few weeks, but there is no need to buy floor cleaner, dish soap, face wash or anything of the like when you can make your own safer version.
3. Buy as much USED stuff as you want. Go to yard sales and good will, check craigslist. Do whatever you can to keep NEW production down and waste to a minimum.
People often ask me, "How does buying nothing help the economy?"
1. It doesn't. But when has the economy helped you? Most of the time, things that are damaging to our environment (like oil spills) are often helpful to the economy. see Culture Jam for more info. Think about that next time you are trying to do something to help an imaginary creation.
2. It does help your household economy. With all the money you save making your own things and not buying new things, you can finally save for that mortgage chunk you been wanting to pay down, or that down payment on your dream home, or that family vacation you've been wanting to take. OR maybe it just gives you some cushion money so you can afford to eat organic :)
3. It helps your neighbors and local economy. I don't know about you but if I have a choice to buy used kids clothes in mint condition from my neighbor or local thrift store, I'd choose that any day compared to shopping at a place like Target which only gives their employees a 10% discount. I know who I'd rather help out financially and I'll give you a hint; it's not the Target C.E.O.(s)
4. It helps the environment, less production means less waste, less greenhouse gas emissions, less oil consumption (no need to ship this stuff), less recycling and more clean air, water and land. You can see the effects of this lifestyle as opposed to the economy which you can't see the direct benefit of in any form other than more money... which only allows you to buy more stuff.
Hope you consider this buying nothing new lifestyle, which is better for the environment, better for your wallet, your back (as you won't have to lug that huge trash bin or recycling bin to the curb every week) and for your piece of mind.
If you have suggestions or tips for a recovering shop-aholic like myself please share them in the comments!