consumerism · nothing new project


The end of my Nothing New Project seems to be just around the corner now, with only 44 days to go and counting. Just like my one year blog-aversary came around extremely quickly, the end of this challenge has come around quickly, too, and I’m excited that I’ll soon be looking back on the project and what it has meant to me.

I’ve been asking myself lately what I’ll buy at the end of it, since now is the time I think most people would be making a wish list. I know I’ll make a few purchases, but nothing urgent springs to mind that I’ve been desperately hanging out for. This is a little ironic, since there have been a few moments when I’ve thought, damn it, if only I could just buy this! Anything I do end up buying, I know I would have been able to put off if the challenge had lasted longer. One thing I would like is to invest in two of those sticks that pick up rubbish (not sure of the actual name!) to help me and my husband with our street clean-ups, but we’re managing fine without them at the moment. Other than that, I’ll need to think about it.

So, as I sprint towards the Nothing New finish line, let me give you an update on a few items I’ve purchased lately. Interestingly, a few things cropped up all at once in December last year that I’ve needed (or wanted), and I’ve been really proud and excited that I have stayed true to the challenge while buying them.

Let’s take a look:

1. Phone ($0)

This kind of happened as a fortuitous little coincidence. I had been having so much trouble with my phone last year. It was my first and only smartphone, and I had it for five years. Needless to say, five years really dates a mobile, and mine was starting to seriously malfunction. It turns out my brother was upgrading, so he sent me his old one which is still functioning perfectly well. I recruited my tech-savvy hubby to set it up (cue adorable eyelash-batting) and voilà! I know a number of people who have bought a new phone off someone when that person was upgrading to the latest model, so if you’re looking to replace a broken phone with minimal impact, I suggest asking your circle of friends and family around the time a certain company next releases its latest model. 😉

2. Washing Machine ($200)

I groaned when our washing machine went to a better place a few weeks ago and was very reluctant to do anything until I realised I would soon be wearing my underwear inside out unless we took action. Luckily, we found a gentleman locally who restores used washing machines to working order and resells them, recycling any of the scrap metal left over from the process. He gladly accepted our broken one and even gave us a small discount on the new one because of it! As an added bonus, this time we chose a machine with a much better water and energy rating, so I think this turned out to be a great opportunity to lower our household’s resource consumption.

3. Clothes ($47)

I wrote about doing a little secondhand wardrobe revamp in this post, something that wasn’t 100% necessary from a practical perspective but entirely necessary from an emotional perspective. I’m very fortunate to have four awesome thrift stores very close to where I live, and the fact that my shopping spree came in at $50 was awesome!

4. Mop ($9)

The other day during our routine Saturday morning clean of our apartment (which has been cut in half time-wise since we downsized, by the way), our mop spontaneously died, with the head splitting in two. We still had a number of unused attachments for it, so I was keen to buy the same one to replace it. I went on Gumtree and someone happened to be selling the exact same one. When this one eventually breaks as well, I’ll be looking into a more environmentally-friendly option (please hit me with your best sustainable mopping suggestions!) as the pads on this one are made from sponge (read: plastic) and the mop head also from plastic.

5. 2018 Diary ($20)

I first started to wonder what I’d do about a 2018 diary at the very beginning of the challenge, realising that it would end at the start of the year but that February would also be too late for me to purchase a diary. I had been searching on Gumtree for weeks without any success but then just after Christmas, ads started popping up all over the place. It looked like everyone got a ‘Lorna Jane Active Living Diary’ for Christmas but didn’t want one, so now I have one. It’s full of cringey little quotes about green smoothies, workouts and believing in yourself (none of which I have a problem with outside the Lorna Jane context, by the way), but it’s also good quality and has plenty of space for me to fit in my daily schedule and all my crazy scribbled notes and blog post ideas. Score! Apparently they retail for $40, so I think $20 was probably a reasonable price, even though that was much more than I had planned to spend on a diary.

Well, that’s it for now. I was very happy with how easily I found all the items I needed secondhand, and I’m now sure I can get to the end of the project without a single new purchase. Hurrah!

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more Nothing New on the blog soon. 🙂



  1. We have a reusable Vileda mop that works pretty well. It is made out of plastic, but the pads are washable and reusable, and it comes with a refillable container to put your cleaner in. It’s not a 100% sustainable solution, but it’s definitely better than those Swiffer mops that are just disposable.

    Congrats on almost being done your nothing new year! You’ve inspired me to do my own shopping ban – I’ll be writing about it on the blog next week.


    1. That’s an awesome suggestion, thanks for that Britt! That kind of mop definitely does sound more sustainable. Even though it’s made from plastic like the one I have, the fact that the pads are washable sounds great. The sponge pads we have are reusable…but only to a point since they get dirty and worn down fairly quickly, then they go to the bin. I’m sure those reusable pads would last for many, many washes.

      Ooh yes I heard you refer to that in your podcast and based on one of your previous comments, I thought I knew what it might be. So excited to hear all about it Britt, and to cheer you on throughout the process!


  2. I think it’s amazing that you’ve bought nothing new for almost a year now! If these things had broken for me in the last month, I don’t think I would have thought twice about replacing them with something new (although I would have cried a little about the price tags). It’s interesting to think you can get almost anything you need second hand, reducing our footprint and living a more sustainable life. Next time something breaks I’ll be sure to look into replacing second hand.


    1. Thanks Steph – I can barely believe the year is almost over 🙂 The project has helped me not only to be more sustainable, but to stick to my minimalist path, stop the clutter creeping back and to always question my consumption in terms of wants vs needs. That’s great that you are thinking of replacing things secondhand in future. It’s amazing just how much is available out there on local classifieds sites, and how much money you can save by choosing to not purchase new. Thanks for reading and commenting, Steph!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I used to be in love with new stationery, especially diaries. But I haven’t purchased one since last 2 years. I use pencil. It is so much easier to just erase the things which are no longer needed 🙂


    1. That’s an interesting way to avoid buying a new diary! I think I would get confused about the days of the week but I suppose they can be crossed out too 🙂


      1. So, my diary is more like a notebook where I jot down ideas or schedules. So, dates are not of consequence as such, but even then, as you said it’s not that difficult to work around.

        Liked by 1 person

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