Nearly new challenge – #EarthDay2015

As today is none other than #EarthDay2015, I thought it no better day than to write about a new [and sort of not so new idea] that’s been rolling around in my head for some time – a Nearly New Challenge.

Back in November I wrote about my Nearly New Wood Challenge which was inspired by Sophie Amoruso’s #GirlBoss book coupled with my panache for reducing, reusing and recycling. Since publishing that blog post I realized quite quickly that I apply this ‘nearly new’ challenge on a daily basis, but with all kinds of items; not just wooden. Therefore, my new Nearly New Challenge came about!

In the most simple form, this is what it’s all about; in stead of buying new the next time you need something, take a look around and see if you can repurpose something you already have, think outside the box and head to a local charity shop and see if you can find what you need there, or head online and see if someone’s selling what you need second hand [ie – Craigslist,  Freecycle, etc]. 

I’m not perfect. Yes, I still buy new things, for that I am guilty. But if I’m looking for a non-specific item, I will consciously try to find a repurposed or second hand item first ahead in favour of buying something new. To play Caption Obvious for a moment, I acknowledge there are some things we have to buy new, that it inevitable. But there’s an awful lot we don’t need to buy new.  

I grew up with thrifty and creative parents so it’s all I know to be honest. By buying Nearly New, you’re not only contributing less to the demand to produce new products, you’re preventing another item from ending up in a landfill. You’re also getting something that’s bespoke [should you repurpose it] and you’ll be getting a unique item not available on the high street.

So what do you think? Are you up for the Nearly New Challenge? Will you opt for nearly new the next time you need something? If you do, I’d love to hear about it! And if you share it online, use the hashtag …


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  1. Samedi
    April 23, 2015 / 06:53

    This is such a great idea! Count me in!! 🙂

    Sam D

  2. April 23, 2015 / 20:21

    Yep, this is how I furnished a huge barren house with the contents of our tiny condo. Re-purposing and/or buying from charity shops is a fantastic way to make your home eclectic and lively in a way that all new furniture just can't. Character – design with time – has always been my philosophy. Love this post, Alex.

    • April 24, 2015 / 09:09

      Yes!!! That is my dream! To buy a house (existing – none of this new build malarkey) and make it a home through upcycling and repurposing all sorts of items. I would love that so much. Even remodeling things like the kitchen and bathroom – it would take more time, but think of the gems you could find! I am up for the challenge. Oh the faucets and fixtures and repurposed storage. I am such a design + eco nerd.

      But there are things you kinda want to buy new. Like a mattress. And underwear.

    • April 24, 2015 / 19:16

      Wait… you're supposed to buy the underwear new??? I've been doing this all wrong… 😉

  3. April 24, 2015 / 19:29

    Great post! I took part in the nearly new wood challenge (as you know!) – this is a good way to expand it out to everything. My impatience sometimes gets in the way, but I should do better!