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


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
  • 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



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


Sustainable Accommodation – The Americas

Fogo Island Inn

The other day my husband and I were daydreaming about taking a year off and travelling. It’s the part of our pre-parenting life that we miss the most – that and finishing a hot meal, having undisturbed sleep and time to read! Our kids weren’t enamoured with the idea particularly when I explained that we may end up in places with no wi-fi or pizza! So for now we’ll stick to our annual 2 week cultural immersion.

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Happy Veganuary

Happy New Year! Hope you all had a wonderful New Year’s Eve. We did. The whole family, including my 11 and 9-year-old stayed up till 1 am dancing to Jools Hollands Hootenanny and toasting in the new year with organic snacks, soda and organic prosecco. Of course the payback the next day made me question the sense of this. Nothing like starting the New Year with a hangover.

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Sustainable Living – A Review of 2018

Photo by Lee Scott on Unsplash

Another year about to start. I’m soooooo excited. I’ve spent the entire day updating a tonne of blog posts with new information that I’ve been bookmarking over the past few months. I try to keep the blog as current as possible by updating posts with new info. That way you’ll always know where to go to find the latest info on sustainable living. Now I’m clear to get started on blog posts for 2019, but before I do lets see how I got on with my goals for 2018.

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Sustainable Ethical Interiors – Bedrooms, Updated 11th Jan 2019

I’m ignoring the big C word today. I’ve had enough of it and all that goes with it. Mentally i’m already at New Years Eve, my favourite day of the whole holiday period. I know a lot of people hate New Year’s Eve but I love the optimism surrounding a new year. The clean break, the fresh start. Next year is going to be the best year yet!

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