As thousands embark on #Veganuary to do their bit to help save the planet, one woman has revealed how her New Year’s resolution last year was also inspired by the battle against climate change.
Becky Dell saved £1,600 in 2019 after only letting herself buy essentials.
She allowed herself to purchase food, drink and basic toiletries but, had to go without unnecessary items including new clothes, decorations, presents and flowers.
The Londoner explained on Twitter earlier this week how she had been spurred on to commit to the environmentally-friendly challenge after watching David Attenborough’s Blue Planet.
Speaking to Yahoo UK, the musical director for Citizens of the World Choir said: “I think the biggest takeaway during the year has been that I need a lot less stuff than I thought I did.
“I was never a prolific over-consumer before, but we have so much stuff in the Western world.
“Although I’m not going to continue buying nothing because there are things I desperately need - like socks, tights and pyjamas - I am now going to buy a lot less, better quality and I’m going to try to avoid fast fashion and stick to sustainable options.”
Becky revealed on social media how her 2019 resolution had unfolded in an effort to inspire others to be more environmentally-friendly as they enter 2020, and also to raise awareness of the 203m refugees displaced by natural disasters linked to climate change.
#NewYearChallenge I am on the last day on not-buying-anything-I-don't-need-year and thought I'd share in case it inspires you to do the same— Becky Dell (@beckylucydell) December 31, 2019
Two weeks before Christmas last year I watched a #DavidAttenborough show, #BluePlanet and it inspired me to take massive action#Thread
I watched the plastic floating in the oceans and wondered, with shame, how much was mine :/— Becky Dell (@beckylucydell) December 31, 2019
I decided to do a year of not consuming.
My only rule was "not to buy anything I didn't need". This meant I could buy food, drink and basic toiletries etc.
(I included mascara and moisturiser on my basic lists, I'm not a monster).— Becky Dell (@beckylucydell) December 31, 2019
I didn't buy; clothes, shoes, presents, other makeup, hair products, jewellery, bags, decorations, anything disposable, plants, flowers, house items etc.
*drum roll*— Becky Dell (@beckylucydell) December 31, 2019
I'm pretty chuffed adding that all up I have to say!!
A year of not consuming and doing good with the money at the same time; I reckon @GretaThunberg would be pleased ;0)
“Actually thinking about it, I think it was my desire for a £40 cushion that pushed my guilt over the edge last December.
“Nobody needs a £40 cushion, however pretty it is, particularly when they already have 7 cushions on their sofa. So I decided to level up my challenge...
“The money I saved from not-consuming, I would give to charity.”
Becky added: “Some FAQ's: Did you really not buy anything? I bought 12 things during the year, for example, a new jacket when my zip broke at -15 up a mountain, brr, a couple of essential things for my very elderly cats and a couple of essential house items. Each one made me really annoyed!”
She continued: “What about birthdays/Christmas etc: I explained to friends and family what I was doing and was very well supported. I made presents during this year (jam, cakes, vintage sheet music Xmas decorations) and I sewed and embroidered important wedding presents etc. All were loved!”
The human rights campaigner revealed that the thing she missed most was buying plants and flowers, and that she is now excited to stock up on socks, a Chilly water bottle, plants, tea towels and a tea strainer.
Becky said it had changed the way she shopped, explaining: “We need way less than we think. Buy less but better quality. Don't buy disposable fashion. Support eco-designers.
“Do it with friends, do clothes swaps, join @BuyNothing groups, I have a friend who is doing it but is allowing herself a 40th birthday dress during the year.”
Revealing how she got navigated gifting, she added: “Make presents instead of buying them! This year I made jam, cakes, embroidered things, made candles and vintage sheet music decorations.
”I used old vintage cups I had and ends of old candles to make these - no buying at all!”
She also told Yahoo UK how she had got rid of a lot of things this year, with not buying unnecessary items making her realise how there were possessions she was no longer using that could be re-homed.