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Green challenges

Thinking global and acting local, Julie Grundy takes on any challenge we throw at her.

New challenge: Buy Nothing New

An empty shopping trolley

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Wow, this month’s challenge is going to be a tough one: it’s Buy Nothing New month here at the G Challenge blog. But we’re not the first people to give this a go, and so over the month I’ll be looking at people who’ve given it a go and might have some tips for us.

Obviously your groceries are an exception to this challenge, as are medications and anything you need for hygiene reasons. I don't see any need to confirm the smelly hippy stereotype while we’re giving this challenge a go - we’ll be doing it in style.

But don’t go sneaking a new CD or lamp into your ‘grocery’ shop, either! There are lots of sources for secondhand items that will be new to you, and we’ll take a look at those in a day or two.

The idea for this challenge came from the Salvation Army’s Nothing New Month which they’re doing in October. If you can’t manage it this month with us, definitely sign on over at their website.

And it’s a really good idea. As you can see from the Australian Conservation Foundation’s Consumption Atlas website, the greenhouse gas emissions from our shopping play just as big a role as those from our electricity use.

Plus, regular G Challenge readers will agree that we don’t like waste. Our water and oil and electricity and trees are all precious, and turning them into goods that just end up in landfill after one use (or not being used at all) is just a crying shame.

So let’s have a go at reducing our impact by avoiding new purchases for just a month, to see if we can learn some new habits. If you’ve done this sort of challenge before, please share your tips with us, we’d love to hear them.