Habits with impact: the Ailuna “Buy nothing new” action

This series of posts explores each of Ailuna’s actions (sustainability training programs) in more detail, including an introduction to their creators, the reasons and issues behind them and some helpful tips, advice and resources to make sure you can take each action and earn your badge for succeeding!

Not got the Ailuna app yet?

Download it from the App Store or Google Play Store now and select the “buy nothing new” action to start building a new habit that will have a positive impact on you and on the planet.

Ailuna planet (1)

4 minutes to read

Buy nothing new – why this action was created

This action was co-created by Rosie and Ruth.  Rosie has shared her motivation for creating this action, and both Ruth and Rosie have shared their tips and advice for success.
Rosie says: “I started questioning how much I was buying when I travelled to Thailand. The waste and plastic were overwhelming. I returned home feeling inspired to make a change, and started to look at my own life and the waste I produced.  I started to reduce my waste and my consumption. Small steps over time and a little education led me to buy less, more sustainably, and better quality.
I also started to be aware of what and how I felt when I had an urge to buy as I loved to buy something new and beautiful to go out in. This was key for me. Being into meditation practises, I used awareness to understand what I felt and let the urge pass until I could see no point in buying something just for the feeling. It’s an ongoing process, with ups and downs but I no longer feel such an urge to consume and collect things and like to travel light.
Instead, I find pleasure in not buying, knowing I am saving something from becoming waste and knowing I am doing something good for the planet.”

Why is buying nothing new a good idea?

Most of the things we buy contribute to climate change because manufacturing good uses energy and materials. To save energy and money, finding the things you need second-hand is a great first step.
Buying less produces less waste, less clutter, a clearer mind and also tells industries that we want less. Buying less often, but better, long-lasting items creates demand for a new type of goods. This is particularly true in the fashion industry, with a rise in organic, hemp and bamboo clothing as well as the growth of second-hand buying.
Even though second-hand purchases are a much more sustainable option, buying less in general is definitely a better long-term solution. In recent years, charity shops have struggled to keep up with the influx of items and many textiles end up being wasted despite people’s best intentions. 
But please don’t feel disheartened by this news – buying second-hand is still a great option, and with the help of this action, you should be able to identify areas where you can reduce your purchases.


Do I need any special equipment or preparation before I start this action?

You don’t need anything at all! The great thing about this action is it will definitely save you money, because you will reduce or completely stop shopping for things you don’t absolutely need.
It might help to mentally prepare yourself, though. If you have times when you consume for the sake of it, try to feel what that is like. Maybe you could start to think of other ways to recreate that feeling, like seeing loved ones or making something at home, and do those to help you on your journey.


Ruth & Rosie’s top tips for success

  • Get to know your neighbours – lots of things can be borrowed instead of bought!
  • Enjoy the chase. Seeking out bargains in charity/thrift shops or on eBay can be great fun.
  • Out of sight out of mind! One of the best tips to cut that feeling of “craving” a purchase is to remove the stimulus. If you don’t see it you are less likely to want to do it. You can do this by unsubscribing from ads and emails that encourage you to buy, and by recycling catalogues and avoiding shopping areas if you can. Instead, planning nature and country activities and finding a good book to get into can be a lovely, relaxing alternative.
  • Replace buying with a new hobby.  Why not start that class you’ve wanted to try or do something that makes you laugh or smile and allows you to express yourself. You might just find something that fills the shopping void perfectly.
  • Talk to others. By actively changing our habits, we feel better about ourselves and are more likely to share our success with others. There’s nothing more infectious than a success story, so you will probably find that you will inspire others to make a change too. And when we do things together, they’re so much easier and fun to achieve. You can do this in the Ailuna app really easily by inviting your friends and family to join you in taking on this action!
  • Get crafty! Learn to upcycle or mend broken items instead of replacing them.


Need help?

That’s what we are here for! When taking this action, you might find the Ailuna community is a big help. Full of people on a similar journey to you, you can ask anything, judgement-free, and chances are someone else will be able to help.


Related actions

If you’ve already completed this action, why not try reducing your overall household waste with the waste check and reduce your waste actions, both available in the Ailuna app now.