2011 – a “buy nothing new” year

It’s official! I’m taking my New Year’s resolution about buying less to the next level by committing to make 2011 a “buy nothing new” year. I first thought about it after reading this article that a friend posted on Facebook about a family in Alberta buying nothing new for a year.

Peer pressure finally pushed me to take on the challenge as well after hearing through the social network grapevine that my friends, Tara and Kristy, are also taking on similar challenges (although Tara is going hardcore and doing a buy nothing at all year (except food and a few other exceptions).

Both Tara and Kristy have young daughters and I figured if they can do it with a family, then there’s no excuse for me not doing it too (especially considering I’ve lived most of my life like a hobo scavenger anyway).

The Challenge: So the challenge is relatively straight-forward. For the entire year of 2011, I’m not going to buy anything new. Anything I do get will need to be second-hand, borrowed, bartered, upcycled, found, etc.

The Exceptions: Exceptions include food and drink, health, safety and sanitary products (I draw the line at using used toilet paper).

The reasons. There are plenty. Helping the environment, learning to appreciate “stuff” more, saving money, stretching my creativity, and taking a public lifestyle stance against our uber-materialistic society to name a few.

It’s going to be fun and I’ve invited Tara and Kristy to guest blog here as well which will be great.

And I’ve already had my first “hmmm” moment! The shoelaces on my work shoes finally gave out and the first thought that crossed my mind was “I’ll pick some new laces up when I’m in town tonight.” Whoops. Instead, and quite easily I might add, I tracked down an old pair of dress shoes I had in the back of my closet that I never wear and took the laces off of them.

Should make for an interesting year.

Anyone else out there doing a similar challenge this year? Post your plans/ideas in the comment section.


Funny stories. Good Advice. Josh Martin is the author of “Simple(ton) Living: Lessons in balance from life’s absurd moments”. Click here to learn more and to order your copy.

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7 Responses to 2011 – a “buy nothing new” year

  1. Dianne Martin says:

    Oh sure!!!! I hope you bought my gift card before you decided this….hahahaha…..but it is an excellent idea and even if you do buy something maybe you will think about it more and be more aware of what you are buying and if you really need to buy it…..

  2. Andrew Wheeler says:

    Sounds awesome, Josh. I can’t wait to hear more of your creative solutions!

  3. candie adams says:

    I’ve decided to do the same. After telling a very close friend about my decision, she asked, “Why?” We’ve known each other for over 30 years. So, she’s well acquainted with my love of beautiful things. Because I love her so much, I thought she deserved a well considered response. That took a couple of days during which I kept coming back to the Zen practice of leaving an empty shelf somewhere in the home. This was an apt metaphor for what I’d hoped to bring into my life–a sense of the beauty of less. For me this challenge isn’t about saving money (though that will be a welcomed outcome) but, about transforming myself into someone who spends on experiences and growth more so than things. It’s going to take quite an effort to make such a drastic change. Thanx so much for the company.

  4. Dianne Martin says:

    Thanks Josh – you’re a gem……..

  5. Pingback: Tips Tuesday: 4 alternatives to buying new | Josh Martin Ink

  6. Pingback: Simple Living Tips: Finding balance by reducing first | Josh Martin Ink

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