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Buy Nothing New Month

Purchasing just one T-shirt has a carbon footprint equivalent to watching 34,000 hours of TV
Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod
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Could you manage to buy nothing new, for just one month?
Keep Britain Tidy’s Buy Nothing New Month, an award-winning campaign that runs until January 31, encourages people to save their pennies – and the planet – by making small changes to their buying habits.

It could be as simple as resisting purchases, or buying preloved and finding innovative ways to reuse, repair or rehome things that might have been destined for the bin.  

The waste hierarchy

The challenge comes following a YouGov poll on behalf of the charity, which found that 68% of UK adults mistakenly believe recycling is the best thing they can do to reduce the environmental impact of the things they buy.  
Alarmingly, a further 85% of people believe that recycling is a form of waste prevention. 
The ‘waste hierarchy’ – a framework that ranks how we manage our waste according to what is best for the environment – gives priority to preventing waste in the first place, followed by reuse, recycling, recovery and, last of all, disposal. 

‘It’s time to connect the dots. Buying new things has an impact on the environment. 
‘To tackle the damage done to the planet by our excessive consumption, the focus needs to shift from mindlessly throwing things away to thinking about what we buy in the first place and what we do with things we no longer want or need. 
‘Fifty-eight per-cent of UK adults agreed they are concerned about the carbon footprint of their purchases, and so our award-winning Buy Nothing New Month campaign is the perfect time to stop and consider whether we really need something new.  

‘We need to stop kidding ourselves that recycling is a solution – it’s a last resort.’

Keep Britain Tidy’s chief executive

Sharing instead of shopping

Encouragingly, over three-quarters (76%) of UK adults in the YouGov survey agreed they are aware of things they can do, in addition to recycling, to reduce the environmental impact of the things they buy. 
Buy Nothing New Month is managed by Keep Britain Tidy and supported by Olio, the local sharing app where people can find and share items with others living nearby.

‘We have more than enough ‘stuff’ in our local communities, which is why Olio is thrilled to support the Buy Nothing New campaign. We really hope this campaign will inspire millions more Brits to start sharing instead of shopping. It’s a great way to start the new year – by saving money, saving the planet and supporting your local community.’

CEO and co-founder of Olio

How to get involved

Throughout January, Keep Britain Tidy and sustainability and lifestyle experts will share tips on how people can resist the lure of January sales bargains they really don’t need or maybe can’t afford, and signpost them to options such as repair, renting, borrowing or reusing what they already have in their homes.   
Everyone can play their part by finding simple alternatives to buying new, such as abstaining in the first place, repairing instead of replacing, buying pre-loved or borrowing items from community sharing apps. 
Around 81% of people surveyed after 2023’s campaign agreed they ‘feel proud’ of themselves for trying to buy less new stuff. 
Click here to sign up to the Buy Nothing New Month campaign and receive weekly tips to use throughout January and beyond. 

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