- Cook your own bread / pizza / stir-fry / etc.
- Make your own cleaning products
- Buy nothing you don’t need
- But if you do need it, shop second-hand
- Eat less meat
- Line dry clothing
By chance, many of these activities also happen to be the environmentally-friendly option. So I felt good about myself … until I started reading up on other environmentally-friendly options that were out of my comfort zone (and could wind up costing me more money):
- Buy all organic foods
- Buy all local foods
- Don’t shop online
- Give up single-use plastic
- Give up all single-use disposables
At first, I dismissed much of it as not for me but it kept coming up again and again. And I realized that maybe supporting all the chemicals that go into conventional farming isn’t such a great idea. Maybe recycling isn’t a perfect solution for dealing with plastic waste. Maybe getting a shirt made overseas from plastic thread by under-paid workers really isn’t such a great deal even on clearance.
So just over a year ago, I signed up for Buy Nothing New Month to evaluate how much I really need, and that month was nowhere near as hard as expected. The quick and dirty deals were so tempting, but it was a relief to not have to deal with the usual buyer’s remorse afterwards. BNN Month went so well that I decided to declare this year Buy Nothing New 2015. Yes, there have been a few cases where I really needed to buy something new and a few cases where I just gave in without good reason. But overall, I feel better about the things I do buy and am especially happy with spending a little more on food instead of on random clearance and sale-priced crap. And any other green habits I’ve picked up along the way, that’s all bonus.