From the biggest purchases to the smallest, there are almost always secondhand options available. For six weeks, buy only secondhand (with the exception of food and hygiene products). Buying secondhand extends the life of existing items and prevents the need to extract resources to make new ones.
Often you already have something that will accomplish the purpose of the new item you’re looking for. Pick at least two items on your “things I want to buy” list and instead of getting them, “make do” with something you already have that can fulfill the same purpose. And/or, ask yourself if you really need these things at all and decide you can just do without.
Don’t buy something you only need once or on rare occasions. In the next six weeks think of at least two things that fall into this category that you were planning on buying and, instead, reach out to friends and neighbors and borrow or make trades for those items. Not only do you avoid making the purchase and the environmental impact that goes with it, you’re making a meaningful connection with someone and building a sharing economy.
Often we buy something new to replace something we already have that is broken or outdated. Think of at least two things you were planning to replace/upgrade in the next six weeks and, instead, fix them or find a creative way for them to meet your needs.
For the next six weeks, when you do shop, buy high quality products. Go for items that were made in minimally destructive and extractive ways (e.g., fair trade clothes, items made with recycled materials) and things that are made to last (i.e., designed for durability not obsolescence, and can be repaired).