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Buy Nothing New

Australians have one of the world’s highest rates of disposable income, and know how to spend. In 2012, Australian households spent $14.1 billion on alcohol, $1.1 billion on tea and coffee, $8 billion on beauty, $19 billion on recreational items, $9.5 billion on gadgets, $5.1 billion on fashion, $10.5 billion on personal care and even $780 million on pet pampering.

Now, imagine instead if you bought nothing beyond the barest essentials. No online shopping, no visiting malls, no checking out sales – nothing at all.

Single mother Sash Milne, 28, who has a two-year-old daughter, Bo, vowed in January that this is exactly what she would do: buy nothing new for one year. She has succeeded so far. “It’s something I have always thought about,” she says. “I lived in a remote Indonesian village for three years where I didn’t buy much at all. It amazed me how quickly I got sucked back into the consumer machine when I returned to Australia … I forgot how awful it can make you feel about yourself. I forgot how easy it was to feel that buying something was actually going to make you feel better.”

This article first appeared in the print edition of Sunday Life on September 28, 2014, to read the rest, click here





Following the Sunday Life article, Sash Milne appeared on Channel Nine’s Mornings show, you can watch the clip here. She also presented her own TedX talk in Perth, you can watch the clip here. The inspiration of her story only continues.


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