Nothing New Challenge – Final Review
Well well WELL, it’s been a year! In fact, it’s been longer than a year, and my To Do list has had “Write Nothing New Challenge Review” in it every single week since January.
Life has been getting in the way but here I am, with my Nothing New Challenge final review.
SO! In January 2022 I had decided that I was not going to buy anything new for a whole entire year.
Did I manage?
Did I get close enough?
I would say so.
Here’s what happened.
I bought a shitton of stuff This wasn’t a Low Buy Challenge (I’m kinda doing that this year, for financial reasons), and I think I was trying to prove (to myself?) that you don’t have to deprive yourself of anything even if everything you buy has to be second-hand. So, I did buy stuff. In op-shops, on Facebook Marketplace, at the tip shop.
I did buy new stuff Very little! But I did. This is it: Thunderpants whale leggings A water bottle Polyprop long johns A Patagonia fleece A pair of Veja shoes In retrospect, the long johns were an impulse buy: they were cheap, and they were there. I could have easily found them used, but at the time I couldn’t be bothered to wait. The leggings are amazing and I had been wanting them for a long time. They are from an ethical and sustainable company, and I bought them on sale. No regrets. The water bottle is something I used to have in the past and lost (WELL, someone lost it on my behalf). I use it every day and it adds tangible value to my life. Also no regrets. The Patagonia fleece is also something I had been eyeng for a long time, and when I was in London I decided to treat myself. I've been living in it ever since so I guess it was not wasted money. The shoes I did't really need and I will admit they were a bit of an impulse buy. I got them thinking they would replace my battered Vans, but I'm still wearing my Vans way more than the Vejas. They are cute though and I want to wear them more. I’m fairly sure this is it, I can’t recall needing to buy anything like screws or tools or anything to make or build stuff, which I thought would be the biggest challenge.
I received new stuff When I was in Italy, my mum gave me a bunch of stuff that she didn't want, and some of that were brand new items (like a shiny pair of running shoes that I am SO grateful for). I don't know if this counts? I guess second-hand doesn't have to mean used or worn after all. These are items that aleady existed in the world and that I didn't buy myself.
What did I learn?
That as patient as I am, even my patience has a limit. That sometimes I didn’t want to (or couldn’t) wait for ages before I found the perfect thing I wanted second-hand. That restrictions are not fun. That I am human!
My biggest takeaway is that I’m VERY bad at saying no to free stuff.
If something is free, I will take it. In 2022, I acquired heaps of clothes from clothes swaps, hand-me-downs, free bins and what not, simply because I didn’t have to pay for them. It’s easy to grab something that’s for free and forget to ask yourself if you really need it or if you’re ever gonna use it.
The result is that I currently have a HUGE box in the corner of my room overflowing with stuff that I want to get rid of. Because at the end of the day, I still want to be intentional about what I own, and I find having too much stuff overwhelming, and I still live in a small place and I still want to be able to fit everything I own in my van and be ready to go without being weighed down by my possessions. So this year I am focusing on not acquiring stuff in general. It’s already mid-February, and so far nothing new has come into my life. In fact, I was recently reflecting on the fact that, for the first time in a long while, I truly feel like I don’t need anything. I am content with what I’ve got – my clothes, my books, my house items.
I am happy that I challenged myself to not buy anything new. This is something that I would do by default as a Zero Waster, but not having the option of cutting myself some slack made me realise how much I need to cut my self some slack from time to time – and that it’s ok.
I know this challenge has been a bit all over the place and that I haven’t been posting updates regularly (I thought by mid-year it had become a bit boring, to be fair).
I am also aware that this whole blog has been neglected, but that’s because I’ve been thinking of how I can make it more interesting. I have been very prolific on Medium though, so you can check my articles there if you miss my writing!
As usual, thank you for riding along with me 💜