My Buy Nothing New Year – January

We are just one month into my buy nothing new year. This is the month we’d typically buy less in anyway, being just after Christmas. That said, it hasn’t been without its challenges! Read on for my successes, the tricky bits and how we’ve solved them.

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Why a buy nothing new year?

I’ve been steadily reducing my impact on our planet for a while now and I’ve explored as many different areas of sustainability as I can. I’ve gone vegan, switched to a renewable energy provider and drastically reduced the volume of waste our house creates. This is the natural next step for me. I’m still working on waste reduction, but stopping the flow of new stuff into my home is the main thing we’re working on this year.

What went well

I thought that buying clothes for the boys would be a struggle. I imagined needed to trawl the charity shops every week with a list of what sizes I needed and crossing my fingers I’d find something, which is what I did when I was broke and they were babies. These days, people sell bundles of children’s clothes on eBay*, and since Caden and Shane are pretty much the same size, I’ve bought them enough normal clothes to (hopefully) last the year!

What I struggled with

Before Christmas, Caden, Shane and I agreed that on the day they come home from their dad’s I would take them to buy Pokemon cards if they’d had a good week in school (we’ve just started a 50/50 split, and we wanted to make their coming home special). I didn’t remember this when I decided I would buy nothing new in 2020! When they came home after their first week at their dad’s, we talked about this and decided that while this once I would stick to my original promise, we would need to find another way forward. And we have – there are lots of people selling Pokemon cards on eBay* and Facebook Marketplace.

My dad bought me a t-shirt from the merch stall for our very first gig together. When planning this, I never thought to consider where gifts from other people fell into this. On one hand, I don’t want to put into it at all, even if it’s a gift. On the other, refusing gifts from other people feels a lot like forcing my way of doing things onto others, which isn’t my thing.

What I bought, in total

New – Two packs of Pokemon cards, which were a previous commitment (see struggles above).

Preloved – A bundle of clothes for Caden and Shane.

Borrowed – Plenty of books from the library.


So not a bad start to the year – I honestly expected the kids to nag more, or for me to miss something. Next month I know I’ll need to replace a pair of school shoes and I have a couple of birthdays coming up, which is going to take some planning! For updates as I go along, check out my Instagram stories.

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