With New Year’s resolutions still on everyone’s minds, the Nothing New challenge invites participants to not buy new products in 2018.

Launched by Zero Waste France, this challenge aims to help people explore alternative modes of consuming, inspiring them to avoid buying brand new products and consider other options instead, such as renting, buying second-hand, borrowing, repairing, DIY, donation or sharing.

The challenge focuses on articles and equipment related to daily living: clothes, furniture, appliances, technology, decorations, books, etc. It does not apply to things like food, toiletries or cosmetics, for obvious reasons.

The goal of the exercise is to raise people’s awareness of the impacts of consuming – and producing – goods, as well as the fact that there are already plenty of goods available.

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As explained on the challenge website: “There are many ways to reduce the pressure our resources are under: making production methods less wasteful, for example, but the most effective way is by making products last longer and reducing our consumption of new products. Because when we buy new, that means materials need to be extracted, transformed through expensive processes involving energy and water, and transported long distances. The alternatives to buying new also offer the added bonus of creating jobs and stimulating the local economy!”

The site offers useful ideas, advice and addresses to help make the challenge easier to achieve. Launched at the beginning of January, the challenge has over 8,500 participants so far. And since the most important thing is to participate, the association offers these comforting words: “If you slip up, don’t worry! The main thing is to start asking yourself, before you buy, whether you need to buy new or not.”

*Top photo: La Gaillarde, a boutique in Montreal that specializes in eco-design and ethical fashion.

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