My first monday-post in 2019! Time to reflect a little. Not on personal goals, because I am not into that this year. But on sustainability goals! It’s about stuff, because buying new stuff in not sustainable and I’ve trying to avoid that the past year. But, how have I done? And have I bought many things new in all of 2018?
I’ve calculated my impact from a full year a while ago, you can read that here. It was based on a test from a fellow blogger, Zaailingen. But there is something else, a book, which is sort of the sustainability bible. I’ve wrote about that book too, The Hidden Impact. This book says that the biggest impact from a single Dutch person is caused by the stuff he or she buys. This means that I can cut down the biggest part of my negative impact on this planet, by buying nothing new. Now, that is a ambitious goal! I can tell you now however, I did not make it.
Besides the fact that I didn’t want to buy stuff new because it is mostly not sustainable, it is also from a minimalistic point of view. I don’t like stuff. And research has shown that it does not make you happy, experiences do. I don’t like the clutter stuff gives me, you have to buy it (which costs you time, because money is time), you have to clean it, it clutters your mind and you constantly have to keep it in good state. Exhausting. So, no, I don’t like new stuff most of the time.
So, here it is. My list of things I bought new in 2018. These are the things I bought new, so secondhand stuff is not included. Secondhand stuff causes no impact, because it has been produced already, not solely for the purpose of me wanting it. I also don’t include stuff I use, like shampoo, online games or make-up, since I don’t see it as stuff. I need it new, I can’t buy shampoo secondhand, so. And, gifts and things solely for my business aren’t included too. I’ll explain what I bought, why I bought it and whether I regret it or not.
- A new Apple laptop, Januari 2018. I’ll just start with the biggest thing, right? 929 euro’s of impact to be specific. Not sustainable at all. But, my old laptop was soooo bad and I needed another one. I decided to go with a new one because it sits in the category ‘electronics’ and ‘very expensive’. I was just scared that if I bought a refurbished one, it would fail on me. I did the research and Apple was the most sustainable brand I could find (not that it’s very sustainable, let’s just say that it is the least horrible). Do I regret it? Yes and no. I don’t regret the purchase, because I use this laptop almost every day and I love it! I do regret not getting it refurbished. I was new into the no-new journey I guess, and I feel like now, one year later, I would have had the courage to buy a laptop refurbished. I just hope this one will last me very long.
- Solar panels, Januari and September 2018. I invested into solar panels on Zonnepanelendelen, where you can make sure a public building gets solar panels, and you get the efficiency. Yes, I bought 150 euros of the share, and so 150 euros of new solar panels. But I don’t consider this a bad purchase in any way. Renewable energy is something we need, and soon, if we want to stop climate change from becoming catastrophic. So, I am proud of this new purchase, it’s for the future.
- A new key, April 2018. Well, I only had one key for my secondhand lock on my bike. I needed a spare key, for if I would lose my key. I feel like I really needed this, because if I don’t have a spare key I need to buy another lock when I lose the key. I don’t think you can buy a new key secondhand, so I don’t regret this purchase.
- A new Phone, May 2018. I wrote a full blogpost about my FairPhone, it also says why I chose to buy a new phone. Do I regret this choice? I think so. I am very happy to support this brand, but phones are sooo easy to buy secondhand and they usually work just fine. I think I could have done better when I bought a secondhand phone. so, yes, this choice wasn’t the best I guess. But, I do like the fact that I walk around with a Fairphone, it starts the conversation about fair working conditions. And also, if FairPhone is what I hope it is, I never ever have to buy a new phone again. But, still, I think now that secondhand would have been better, I am honest about that.
- A cotton bag, July 2018. During my holiday in Prague, I visited a zero waste shop there which was very small and lovely, it’s called Bezobalu. I did some groceries there, zero waste. But, I really wanted to support them some more and I needed another cotton bag, so I bought an organic cotton bag there. No regrets, even though I could have made one myself from second hand fabric. But, I do regret losing the bag, I still don’t know where it is today.
- A bicycle lamp and dynamo holder, august 2018. I really wanted my bike lamps to run on solar power, since that is the most sustainable way. I managed to find a front lamp with wire and dynamo secondhand, but the holder for the dynamo and a back lamp with wire was something I just could not find secondhand. I had searched online and in second hand shops. This, in my opinion, is something I could not have changed. So, I don’t regret this purchase at all. I now ride my bike while generating my own renewable power, isn’t that amazing?
- Underwear, October 2018. I also wrote a full blogpost about this, quite recently. I bought new underwear because, well, I needed it. I could not find what I wanted second hand and so I bought it new. It sustainable and fair fashion, so I’m totally happy with it. No regrets here.
- Tights, December 2018. This probably gets quite boring, because also I about the tights I wrote a full blogpost. I needed new tights and once again I could not find them secondhand. I bought the most sustainable ones I could find and I am very happy with this purchase.
So, that’s all! I bought 9 new things just for myself with a total worth of 1.701 euros. I am shocked with that number, oh my god. But I bought two very big things in one year, a phone and a laptop. So, my hope is for this year that the number will be very low. I am quite content with the result, even though I have some regrets. But, you know, that happens. The average Dutch person spends 2200 euros a year, so I am still below this, which is astonishing to me. Off to 2019!