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Buy Nothing New Month

January is always filled with New Year’s resolutions, whether it is to lose weight, start a new hobby or tick a few adventures off the bucket list. Yet one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions is the urge to save more money. We are all prone to a little over-spending during the festive period and our bank accounts often bear the brunt of the fun. If you want to start the new year off saving, why not join Keep Britain Tidy’s ‘Buy Nothing New Month’, which is back for its second year in 2024?

What’s the big idea?

Launched last year by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, Buy Nothing New Month is a money-saving and environmentally beneficial initiative to prevent you from spending unnecessarily. As described by Keep Britain Tidy, ‘Buy Nothing New Month is all about moving beyond simply recycling, to reducing the amount of new stuff that we buy, and by extension, the amount of waste that we create’. Cherish what we already have and make them last longer, repair anything that needs to and avoid a pay-day shopping splurge.

Summer Clothing Clear Out - Donate your clothes to charity or a clothes bank.

How does it help?

Well of course, this is helping us save ourselves money, which would otherwise be spent on things we don’t really need or could just do without. But it is also helping to create a healthier planet, by reducing the levels of waste created and as such the chances of it ending up in landfills. Waste is created when we buy new, whether this is from the packaging it is delivered in or the discarded items it has since replaced. The campaign not only encourages the prevention of overspending and impromptu purchasing, but it also promotes the repair, reuse and recycling of your products. Keep Britain Tidy says ‘Last year, two-fifths of participants donated or re-homed items instead of throwing them away, and 37% of those taking part repaired an item rather than buying new. Buy Nothing New Month is an opportunity to turn over a new leaf in the new year and re-think our resource usage.’

It also reduces carbon emissions caused during the manufacturing, transportation and delivery of goods, especially for home delivery purchases.

Top Tips

Treating yourself to something new is very tempting in January, especially if it coincides with a hobby or resolution, but there are a few things you can do to help prevent your spending:

  • Try and repair or reuse your existing items before buying new ones.
  • Lend from family and friends – perhaps they have the item you need.
  • Think how often you will use it, if it will only be used once, it might not be worth the money.
  • Check out second-hand charity shops and online marketplaces – although you are spending, at least it is giving an old item a new home.
  • Think ‘do I actually need it’ – and if no, delete it from the cart!

Last year in the initiatives’ debut, 65% of those who took part bought nothing new for a whole month, and an additional 31% bought less than they usually would. The success of the scheme, saw it being brought back for a 2nd consecutive year. Running from January 1st until the 31st (but extensions are encouraged) – Keep Britain Tidy will also be sharing hints and tips on best practices. We have some of our staff taking part, seeing how much they can save, and the impact it has on the planet – will you be joining them? Find out more here.