Buy Nothing New Month 2013

Rather than bore you all with clothes that you’ve seen in previous years… proving that I really don’t buy much new…. I thought that I would share with you snippets on buying nothing new…

Firstly, I upload this post a little early because of the following idea: phonebloks. Every year, certain phone manufacturers release a ‘new’ phone with new features that some people believe they must have right now. They ‘upgrade’, and their unwanted phone is at best on sold, gifted to another member of the family, recycled for the rare earth metals or thrown into landfill. Even if it does get reused, after awhile software developers and manufacturers stop supporting the phone and it appears to be ‘too slow’. But what if the phone was made of modular components that you could upgrade, depending on your needs? Like lego… but phone parts?

I was watching tv one day, and I watched a show showing the building of a collection of Walter Segal self build housesby a low income community. The roof is achieved using grass and soil, the wood is from sustainable or recycled sources, and you don’t need a trade to do it. I wonder how this model would work in the “sunburnt country” of Australia? Probably not a lawn, but a bunch of drought tolerant grasses. This was featured on the Grand Designs tv show.

Illawarra Flame house. These guys converted the good old aussie fibro shack into a sustainable house using a brief of “older couple, about to retire, looking to reduce their on-going living costs”. And they won an award at the solar decathlon (Energy Olympics!). I almost wish I had a fibro house to convert!

Recently, during the 2013 Australian Federal Election, Peter Slipper (ex-Liberal party) was accused of reusing his old campaign posters, just cutting off the bit that said “Liberal Party”. What’s wrong with that? The only thing I would’ve done differently would’ve been to print stickers that said “independent”, and stuck them on top of the posters. (He conceded defeat about three hours after the polls closed)

I had two bags that needed minor repairs recently. My traveling backpack required the replacement of two buckles. Secondly the strap clamp on my $2.50 charity store red handbag was breaking, and needed to repaired somehow. Searching online, I found two places in Sydney that repaired bags.

The Sydney luggage centre was going to send my bags away to a factory, with a minimum charge of $50 per bag. Michael of the Ultimate Cobbler charged $40 to replace two buckles on the backpack, and $15 to fix the strap on the handbag. $65 total!

BNNM2013 - handbag

Awesome, and so much better than buying replacements just because a small thing on the item is broken. Michael reckoned that the quality of the leather handbag was very good, and of the order of a $200 bag. He was also possibly buttering me up.

Over enthusiastically washing my coffee plunger one day, and broke the glass breaker. ARGH! In the past, I’ve just thrown the skeleton out. This time, I went to one of the kitchen ware/homewares type store, and bought a replacement breaker. For $6. Which was twice the price of the original plunger that I had picked up at the local second hand thrifty store!

Everytime I’m in a secondhand thrift store I like looking through all their plastic containers and hunting for tupperware brand. Why? Because the company will replace lids and parts that are broken from normal wear and tear. Admittedly buying new costs an arm and a leg – and about ten times what you would pay in a supermarket. But you can’t ask the supermarket brand to replace a broken part. The cake carrier I spent ages hunting for is a very simple tupperware model, like an inverted container with the lid on the bottom. I bought this secondhand, it’s got years of life left in it and its a lot more compact than any other cake carrier I have seen for sale.

Here is a jelly mould that I bought recently:
BNNM2013 - Tupperware

I bought it for the gorgeous green colour of the main mould. The lid has just been replaced.

What’s your inspiration for Buying Nothing New for the month of November?


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