As someone who cares about the planet and all the animals that call it home, I try to do my bit to live sustainably and am constantly finding out ways in which I can improve my habits and reduce my environmental impact. Recently I’ve felt like I’ve been spending too much on frivolities (clothes, jewellery etc.), things that I don’t consider to be necessities in life. I’ve also been reading a lot about zero waste lifestyles and minimal or capsule wardrobes and it’s intrigued me. I’ve been spurred on by all of this to try a personal sustainability challenge for the month of April – a nothing new challenge.
As part of this challenge, I’ve decided not to buy anything new for the whole of April. Right now I’m optimistic and am thinking it can’t be that hard, but I know that later on in the month it will be a bigger challenge to resist those impulse purchases!
Of course there are always pieces that I covet and have my eye on. But during this month, I will consciously add them to a wishlist and mull them over at least for a few weeks before I decide whether to buy them. For me, this process is better than browsing charity shops as I feel browsing encourages impulse buys and I would rather have the time to wait and think – only new purchases give you that opportunity. If I find that I really need something during the month, I will either try to wait or buy from a charity shop.
I’m hoping this challenge will have the following positive consequences and enable me to:
- Save money
- Encourage and embed good habits for the future (no impulse purchases!)
- Find out more about ethical companies
- Learn to love charity shopping
- Retune and rethink the necessities in life
- Minimise my wardrobe and beauty products to fit in with my daily activities and lifestyle (rather than what I wish I could wear)
- Reduce my impact on the environment
- Try some upcycling projects
- Be happier
- Take pleasure in the simple things
- Rediscover old wardrobe favourites
- Spend less time deciding what to wear
To keep myself creatively fuelled and so I don’t feel like a martyr denying all my wants for the whole month (coveting things is only human after all), I’ve set out some rules:
- I’m allowed to buy 2 magazines, 2 books and craft supplies to keep myself busy.
- I’m also allowed to use any gift vouchers I’ve been given.
- Buying food is necessary too of course, but I’ll try to stick to a list instead of whatever takes my fancy. I will also try to prepare my own lunches rather than picking up sandwiches in town.
- I’m starting a new job, so I am allowed to buy a carefully chosen desk plant for a better quality workspace.
I’ll report back briefly every Friday to keep you updated on my challenge, and in more detail at the end of the month to let you know how the challenge has gone. Why not join me? Let me know what you think about my nothing new challenge in the comments below!