How to Avoid Buying Stuff in 2019

I’m famous! Well not quite. To be more accurate my black bin waste is. On Monday the 14th of Jan Claire Byrne Live, a current affairs programme on our national channel RTE, did a segment on waste reduction and my wee bag of black-bin waste was held up for all to see.  I also got to speak about how I reduce my waste along with 3 fellow zero wasters. I got a lot of positive feedback on my contribution from friends, family and the programme managers, which is lovely and I hope it means that there’ll be more zero waste items on mainstream media.

Being my own harshest critic I can’t bring myself to watch it just yet but if you’d like to see the clip you’ll find it on the RTE Player here. Not sure if people outside of Ireland can access it.  So between this segment and my appearance on RTE news in 2017 talking about my brown bin (compostable waste) I’m thinking of changing my name to the waste queen!

Now back to this week’s blog post. Why is it that January feels like the longest month financially? Even though we don’t participate in mass consumerism at Christmas time there is still a lot of expense and some years it feels like that January paycheck is never going to drop. Perhaps the best way to avoid this pinch point is to avoid buying where you can.

My generation are so used to owning stuff that even the idea of streaming music and not owning a CD was a bit of a wrench for us. The younger generation don’t seem to have the same attachment and are quite happy to keep their money for experiences instead. I think we could learn a thing or two from them. Here are some useful resources to help you avoid buying stuff in 2019.

 

Avoid buying a Car by

 

Avoid buying a Bike by

 

Avoid buying a Boat (yes really!) by

 

Avoid buying Clothes by

 

Avoid buying Toys by

 

Avoid buying Holiday Accommodation by

 

Avoid buying Books by

  • using the local library
  • sharing with friends and family
  • using little libraries
  • checking out if your local cafe or hostel has a ‘take one, leave one’ book shelf
  • visiting your local recycling centre. Some centres, like the one in Bray, Co Wicklow, collect books and offer them to citizens for free
  • downloading free audio books from websites like those listed here or from from your library via Borrow box

 

Avoiding buying DVD’s by

  • subscribing to Netflix
  • renting movies off SKY

 

Avoid buying Spare Parts by

  • printing spare parts at your local library using templates from sites like Thingverse

 

Avoid buying Homeware by

  • asking friends and family for duplicate (every house has them)
  • reusing plastic takeaway containers as tupperware
  • reusing jars as take-away coffee cups, or vases or to store food
  • picking up things from Freecycle pages & groups and the free section on adverts.ie

 

Avoid buying Garden Equipment by

  • making your own compost and if you don’t have enough compostable waste get more on Sharewaste
  • joining your local GIY group and swap seeds and seedlings
  • collecting seeds from parks and gardens (remembering to ask permission first)
  • picking up things from Freecycle pages & groups and the free section on adverts.ie
  • dumpster diving. I have a beautiful orchid that I rescued from skip!

 

Avoid buying Food by

  • joining Olio and connecting with people looking to rehome extra food

 

Avoid buying Training by

 

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PS – You might also be interested in my posts Six Weeks towards Zero Waste and Savvy Sustainability

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