Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Buy Nothing New for a Year - Final day

I haven't posted about my Buy Nothing New for a Year (BNN) quest for a while. In the latter part of 2011 it all ran so smoothly that I didn't really have anything to say about it. And then Christmas (and birthdays) came.

I was fully prepared with ideas for Christmas. I had all the kids kitted out with second hand and home made and home made by others, in my head. I made some lovely hot chocolate in a jar for the extended family, upcycled an old notebook with a cool new cover for Nugget's teacher, bought second hand books for some people, and some old jigsaw puzzles for others. But time got the better of me and in the end I caved in and bought some things brand spanking new.

I wasn't over the top. We did something you want and something you need, something to wear and something to read. But it new stuff in the most part. Santa didn't play by the rules either.

Initially I felt really ashamed about this, like I had ruined my whole effort in one lousy 4-hour shopping spree. But upon reflection I realise that it was just a blip on the radar. I was thoughtful with my selections. I just got them from a store instead of second hand.

I reverted straight to my 'new ways' afterwards.

The commitment I made to Buy Nothing New for a Year concludes today, but this journey is far from over for me. It has enabled me to reconnect with my eco-self and has changed my shopping mentality for good. There are so many ways to acquire things that you need. Buying them from a shop may be the quickest way but it is not necessarily the best.

I have experienced the true meaning of recycling, reusing, upcycling and going without over the past 12 months. I know where all the op shops are in my local area, even the best ones for different things. Making things for myself and others has given me more joy than I ever imagined it would. The fact that I *can* make things that others enjoy has been an eye-opener too. You don't have to be a sewer to create a gift for someone. Frog, Goose, Bear (a fab crafty blogger) even had me guest post! Imagine.

Life has changed in so many ways. I have changed the way I shop for food and the kind of food that I buy. I read books from the library. Read blogs instead of newspapers and magazines. I have stopped my junk mail. I bake. I shop at second hand stores again. I don't use plastic bags. I only replace things that are broken; good enough is good enough. I re-use/repurpose items around the home. I started a worm farm and built a chook pen (Well... the Geege did and the chooks still haven't arrived). And I have my own vegetable patch. I also started 2012 without any debt (except for a mortgage!).

Buying Nothing New has taught me to appreciate where things come from, how long they will last and who made them. It has been a revolution for me. I know my lessons have inspired some of you (Kymmie took the plunge this year) and that makes me even happier.

I am concluding my BNN with a Buy Nothing month with Simple Savings. I plan to save a few dollars for the trip to Bali we have planned in March!

So tell me, what do you re-use in your home?

17 comments:

Miss Pink said...

You are right. Your BNN journey has been nothing short of inspirational.

We reuse as much as possible here. I am big on getting the most out of what we have and also looking after it. I get really mad to see my kids being rough with things, destructive with property. The thing is, soon enough nothing will grow on tree's. Even those are depleting. We ALL need to be watching what we use, and trying to reuse or recycle as much as possible. But it starts with YOU. Each of us making a concious decision to try and look for ways to cut down and follow through.

You did an amazing job. Even if you spent a little for Christmas, it doesn't at all negate what you had already done. What you continued to do.
Inspirational.

Jen R said...

Great post and congrats on how well you did in the last year and will continue to do. I agree with Miss Pink above,,,she wrote my reply for me...trying to teach the kids we are not in a disposable world is an ongoing commttment. I dont sew but I have a machine now and having a go at remodelling some clothes :)

Annette said...

Wow, I just read this post and I'm amazed! (I actually just tweeted it to my friends and posted it on Facebook wall.) You are my role model. Buying new stuff is sooo wasteful when you can get the same things second hand. I especially admire the fact that you put so much thought and effort into making handmade gifts for your friends and family. You're living proof that we can go back to living simply...even in this wasteful, consumer driven culture of ours. Congrats.

Mrs Catch said...

Very inspiring. Loved reading about your journey.

ClaireyHewitt said...

I have really liked reading about this idea.

(And I have also linked to you in a post on my blog today).

MultipleMum said...

Thanks so much for your support everyone. I highly recommend giving it a go!

Mama of 2 boys said...

I am so very impressed, I think you've done an amazing job. It only stands to reason that after a year of developing a habit, that a great deal of it will stick. What a fantastic example to your children. Well done indeed xo

Maxabella said...

You've been so inspiring. I applaud your amazing effort this year and I know you will keep on with your new lifestyle. It suits you well. x

Nat - Muddy Farmwife said...

I think this was a fantastic idea, thanks for sharing. We only reuse or repurpose a few things, formula tins for wheat samples, lots of packaging for craft etc. you've inspired me though to try a bit harder!

Tat @ Mum in search said...

You've done really well, never mind Santa not playing by the rules. I hardly ever buy stuff anyway (even books I know buy in digital form, was that allowed?), but I still find it too much of a challenge.

InkPaperPen said...

A year already, wow. I'm really impressed. You should be proud. I went shopping for clothes at our local vintage markets yesterday and found some awesome stuff. I used to buy second hand clothes all the time, I kind of "grew" out of it. Good on you and this new lifestyle.

Kate said...

Well done you. You did an ace job. As a society we could all do with getting back to basics more!

Lisa said...

You are so awesome for doing BNN for a whole year! It is really inspiring to read how a "real" person can do it. You were the person who got me to give up plastic bags now I wonder why I ever had them! Thanks!

pam said...

I'm 8 months into no alcohol and 1 month into no TV for a year (thank you for visiting), so I think BNN must be the next logical step.

Really, it's a fantastic achievement and a great example for the children. Well done!

DancingInTheRain said...

Thanks for encouraging us to join the 'nothing new' band wagon!

cityhippyfarmgirl said...

Awesome job over the past year! I'll bet you have inspired oodles of others to follow a simiar path.

Tricia said...

You did well! Inspiring. It sounds like the changes went well beyond not buying new.

Your comment about reading books from the library has reminded me that I need to get back into the lilbrary habit. I returned a few books late so have a huge fine and have been avoiding the library. I need to just pay up the fine and get back in the habit.

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