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No New Nineteen

Can I make it an entire year without buying anything new? I think so.

Before publishing my thoughts on this personal challenge, I wanted to see if I could even last a month. Turns out I could, and not only is it super easy and a money saver, it's fun too, with deep, healthy implications for our little planet.

Nowadays it's so easy to get things. Click on your phone and it's there the next day. Don't like it? Send it back. There is comfort in this convenience, but in the end it's a hollow way of acquiring things.

"Where did you get that lamp?"

"I ordered it on Amazon."


As opposed to:

"Where did you get that lamp?"

"I found it in the back of an antique store. It was cool, the owner gave me a discount because I was wearing a shirt with The Ramones on it." "Where did you get that Ramones shirt?" "Found it in a Goodwill in Roswell."


There's so much we miss through acquiring new things online, mainly the delight of searching. Yeah you can scroll for deals and enter in codes, but nothing can beat foraging in person for a delightful find.

It adds a fun parameter to the modern one-click-away mindset. I have done it for the first month of the year so far and it's been a breeze. There is enough inventory out there that I can find everything I need for the next year 'used' or 'refurbished'.

I suspect that by the end of the year I will have not only saved money by buying less things, I will have saved money from what I do buy being used too. I don't think there's any need too buy anything new this year. For example, jackets:

I love jackets. They are my bit of wardrobe flair in an otherwise white, black and grey closet. You walk into any second hand shop and there will be a whole section full of them- each unique. These places, not Burlington Coat Factory, are the best places to purchase a jacket. You get it at a fraction of their original price, with some character already worn into it, in a variety of styles to match any trend AND you get the satisfaction of hunting something down. The satisfying feeling of searching then striking gold in a second hand shop beats the soulless rush of Same-day-delivery any day. There's probably so many jackets out there that we could stop making jackets now and we'd be OK. Which is kind of ironic, because if we don't stop buying new jackets, making them, and guzzling resources to make them, we'll made our planet hot- then it'll be too warm to even need a jacket... Hopefully by then we will have learned a thing or two and will upcycle purposeless jackets into airbags for our Ford Falcon MX BT.*

Another example, electronics. Buying a new electronic is so fun. The unwrapping, the smell, the lights when it turns on for the first time...Yet there are so many less expensive, returned or refurbished devices out there that I think I could go an entire year without buying a brand new electronic.

It's Monday January 14th 2019, and I have not purchased anything new this year. I won't be buying any jackets, electronics or anything else 'new'. I should state my limits though. "No New Nineteen" will not apply to more 'personal items' like food, dish sponges or underwear.

Maybe toothbrushes.

*Mad Max's car

Kate and I in the leather jackets we found in an amazing second hand shop in Kyoto #nonewnineteen
Kate and I in the leather jackets we found in an amazing second hand shop in Kyoto


So far so good. - Matt Aug 6 2019

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1 Comment

Jan 30, 2020

It's now 2020, and I not only did I buy less new stuff, I bought less stuff in general. I will continue the habit into this new year even though the "no new" mnemonic doesn't work :)

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