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You can still Buy Nothing New in a pandemic world

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This year our world is very different, thanks to COVID-19. But the reasons behind Buy Nothing New Month are the same:

  • to reduce wasteful consumption;
  • to think about our stuff, the people who make it, their working conditions and where it goes when we're done;
  • to extend the life of existing goods to make our precious, finite resources go further; and
  • to stimulate the second-hand and circular economy as we work to repair our world, making it a safer and fairer place for all of us.

Before you start your engines, remember it's not Spend No Money Month or Buy Nothing New Ever Again Month.

buy nothing new month pandemic is it safe to buy second hand during covid19

It's a challenge to rethink how, what and why we buy and to look at alternatives that are better for our people, planet and pocket.

As we move into the recession, being wise with our money is more important than ever.

The massive online market for second-hand goods now gives us every reason to put "second" first.

While some people may have reservations about Facebook and its influence on society and democracy, I love Facebook Marketplace and buy nearly everything second-hand there.

It's a reasonably new, reasonably healthy addiction.

Given kind, friendly and polite communications, you'll (mostly) get beautiful interactions and some great stuff, super cheap, often free.

I use this like a second-hand department store for household items, plants, garden tools, artworks, prints, furniture, clothes and exercise kit.

Most sellers will do contactless transactions for health reasons. And with many of us at home, it's easier to arrange collection times or pop something up for sale in a lunch break.

We also love ebay.com.au for quality second-hand clothes.

In Melbourne and Hobart there is goodbyes.com.au. It can be expensive, but here you're getting groovy items from a well-curated collection that weeds out all the dubious stuff and saves you time if not money.

Then there are the seriously hip and designer places, such as depop.com, thredup.com, vestiairecollective.com and therealreal.com.

While you're ordering online, if possible say no to excessive packaging.

Ordering second-hand online from the couch can save you time and money, promote the circular economy and help repair our planet. But the good intentions can come wrapped in plastic.

I ask all online sellers: "Please avoid or use as little wrapping as possible." This reduces our part in the plastic problem.

The official Buy Nothing New Month is October, but you can make it any month.

If you haven't taken the pledge to buy nothing new this month, you can do it (it's free) at buynothingnew.com.au/pledge.

Get a mate to join you - like a training partner - and enjoy a little healthy rivalry in showing off your amazing finds.

Happy treasure hunting. I hope this sparks inspiration in you to boost the second-hand economy, save stuff from landfill, extend the life of existing stuff, and help regenerate our world.

We're cutting through the confusion to help you manage your money during the coronavirus outbreak. Click here for more on how COVID-19 could affect your job, budget, super and investments.

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Tamara DiMattina studied public relations at RMIT and went on to establish Trumpet PR + Marketing, a communications business focused on strengthening communities through positive behaviour change. She is the founder of Buy Nothing New Month, a campaign for conscientious consumption, and The New Joneses, a living pop-up installation embodying stylish, waste-free, conscious living.
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