Litterless is a blog run by a woman named Celia, and is one of my favourite zero waste blogs. She shares the imperfect version of sustainability and discusses the lifestyle in a realistic, open, and non-judgemental way. I've wanted to write a series on how you can take on sustainable living without buying anything new, but she's done exactly that. Her 'nothing new' series is fantastic and I wanted to amplify it instead of wasting my time writing the same info, so here are my thoughts on it!
Sustainable living goes far beyond the physical waste we produce, and the lifestyle looks different for all of us. We each have access to different things and have different priorities, so there is no one size fits all. Because accessibility plays a massive role in what one's sustainable journey may look like it is important to stress that it doesn't require buying new things. As zero waste has become trendy it has also become a market, and many have lost sight of one of the fundamental aspects of the lifestyle; losing our consumer mindset.
What I love about her series 'nothing new' is that it focuses on swaps that you can make with things you most likely already have at home, without needing to spend unnecessary money but also without needing to further use up the planet's resources. With that being said, here are a few 'nothing new' things you can do today to start being more conscious of the everyday impact you have on the planet.
Refusing takes minimal effort but can make all the difference. Refuse the straw, refuse the single use cutlery, refuse the paper napkin, refuse the plastic bag, refuse the disposable coffee cup, so on and so forth.
use a to-go cutlery set (+ reusable cloth option)
No need to buy one simply take cutlery you likely already have and wrap it up in a hankie or tea towel. If you want something light or something for flying you can reuse plastic ones you may have accumulated overtime, or ask on a local marketplace group if anyone has any they don't use.
take away water bottle/mug/food container
Use a jar. It's that simple, a jar can be a water bottle, it can be a to-go drink container (bring a headband if it's for hot drinks so you can hold it), and it can be used for take away food, think; leftovers at restaurants, soup, rice, pasta, salad, ice cream - almost anything). If you don't want to do that, many of us have plastic water bottles, plastic containers etc. Plastic does not always equal bad, these are products you own and the sustainable option is to use them!
air-dry your clothing
This one is simple and has a positive impact on your clothes. We try to organise our washing when it is especially sunny to help, but you can easily air-dry inside as well.
choose second-hand before new
This follows the literal meaning of 'nothing new'. If you need something, instead of putting more stress on the planet's resources, look at all the fantastic things we already have and opt for a second-hand option. Thrift stores, online or otherwise, market places, swaps etc.
"any jar will do"
We don't need matching jars, a funky mismatched jar collection is the more sustainable way to go. Save the jars you buy and repurpose them. We recently moved countries so of course had no jar collection to go off for storing bulk dry goods and leftovers, instead of buying new we got donated ones at a local bulk store, some from family and friends, thrift stores, and facebook marketplace.
sit on a purchase
When about to buy something, pause and ask yourself if you really need it. Instead of buying it in that moment sit on it for a few days, or a week or month, do you even remember wanting it by then? If not, it's probably not worth buying.
These are a few ways you can begin to live sustainably without buying anything new, for more ideas see Celia's 'nothing new'!