“Isn’t she basically just doing a really long no-buy?”
What’s the difference between the no-new project and a no-buy challenge?
The reason this personal challenge is different from a no-buy is this: in a no-buy, you don’t buy ANYTHING you don’t need. You want the beautiful lavender latte? Too bad. You’re on a no-buy. You’re not buying “extra”, you’re only buying essentials. Your car breaks down, you can fix it. But you want a new aux cord, too bad. You’re on a no-buy.
The no-new project isn’t set up that way. I think the main difference is that because it’s such a LONG project, there are things that aren’t essential that I’ll end up buying. The key difference is how I buy them. I’m buying used, secondhand, thrifted. Not “clearance” or “on sale”, because those items are in new condition. Additionally, I’m going to buy essentials (like underwear and bar soap) new, but with intention. Meaning, I will only buy from companies that I support on an ethical level.
Also, I’m fine with consumables. Coffee counts as groceries, people. The main goal of this isn’t to save money or reign in my finances, it was to learn to live with more intention and to practice conscious consumption.
So how am I doing? It’s two weeks in!
I already wanted things so bad. Here’s what I really want and haven’t bought because I can’t find them secondhand or used.
- A bathroom scale
- A floor mirror (one of those huge full-length ones)
- Any linen clothing (like Linenfox or similar) which for some reason I really believe I absolutely need in order to complete my summer aesthetic. Yes, summer. 5 months from now. See how greed is engrained in me?
Here’s the thing- they HAVE those things on Thred-up, Craigslist, and Poshmark! BUT they’re being sold by the company at full price. Which means they’re in brand new condition but just being sold through a different platform. And I’d have to have them delivered by mail, which completely overthrows the whole “reduce my carbon footprint” thing. So, I’ve decided to pass.
To be honest with you, I love the instant gratification of shopping. This is a really great lesson in practicing self-control and patience. I have a scale at my gym. Why do I need to OWN one? I have a normal bathroom mirror, and I know what my legs look like, so chill out. And it’s the dead of winter. I don’t need gorgeous handmade linen clothing right now.
So it’s been two weeks and I haven’t REALLY struggled. I’ve definitely become more aware of how many things I would have bought.
I do have a success story though! I joined a Bikram gym and completely forgot that I had "decluttered” my old yoga mat. SHOOT! So, after some NextDoor and LetGo searching, I asked a friend if I could borrow hers until I got my own. Then last week, Michelle (a different wonderful friend) told me she had an EXTRA one. And I could have one of hers for free. Isn’t that just wonderful? So now I have a “new to me” yoga mat at no cost. Thanks, Michelle! And thanks, No-New Project. That’s the first win of 2020. Stay tuned!