The 100 item challenge: Would you try it?

The festive season is here whether we like it not. The key to a No Waste Festive Season is learning to embrace the peace, joy and good will without falling victim to the modern festive season subtext, mindless consumption.

The 100 item challenge is slowly taking on momentum around the world and it may help you avoid impulse purchasing and gratuitous gift buying.

What is the 100 item challenge?

The 100 Thing Challenge is a book by Dave Bruno, which relates how he remade his life and regained his soul by getting rid of almost everything he owned and buying nothing new for a year. According to the book 100 items can completely meet all your personal demands.

While I recognise this is not feasible lifestyle change for everyone, there are elements we can takeaway from the challenge to make the Festive Season more sustainable. It's all about making better choices and buying LESS.

Step 1. Make a list of 100 personal items you have in your life that you couldn't live without - including individual clothing pieces.

Step 2 . Stick your list somewhere that is easily visible to help remind you of all the things you already have in your life. Whenever you go to make a purchase, picture the list in your mind.

Step 3. The list must always remain at 100 items, every new item you buy or receive must replace an old item - SO MAKE IT COUNT!

Step 4. Tell your friends and family about your challenge. Get them involved by pledging to do no waste and DIY gifts this year. Your gift list could be, donations to charity, baked goods or useful household items you've been wanting.

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In a recent article in China's Global Times , Wang Zhe shared his success and happiness after embarking on the 100 things challenge. He notes that in China, he is still seen as 'weird' for his lifestyle choices, which include reducing his clothing items from 400 to just 30 essential items.

"I used to spend lots of money buying fashionable clothes, hoping to win people's recognition and attention. But at that moment I felt that I had just bought a bunch of useless rubbish," said the 34 year old.

"If the items have not been used in the next six months, I will throw them away,"

"Most of the time I will get a new item when the old one is broken. But if I have something that I like so much, I will donate the old one first to get the new one."

"I care about the quality rather than the quantity of items. Using money that could buy seven pairs of jeans, I buy one item of clothing I need. The money saved is instead spent on things that I really want, like traveling," said Wang.

Dumping stuff you already own isn't the answer either.

Over-consumption and waste in our throwaway society are placing an intolerable strain on the planet's natural resources and environment, with climate change a major symptom of the problem. However, sending unwanted items to landfill is also not the answer. Global methane emissions from landfill are estimated to be between 30 and 70 million tonnes each year, this is a shocking amount and is mostly generated from the waste of developed countries.

So what do you do?

The sharing economy is a great way to pass on items and give them a new life!

- Hosting a clothing or item swap with your friends and family. Why not make it festive themed?

- Donate good quality items to charity. Charities are swamped with sub-par quality items everyday, most of them ending up in landfill. Make sure what you're donating is good quality.

- Recycle, repair and up-cycle. Is there a way to transform what you already own into something new? Perhaps as a gift for a friend!

Hopefully this article has served as a helpful guide to reduce impulse purchasing through the festive season. If you have any tips please share them with us in the comments below. Together we can change the world by making better choices and wiser spending decisions.

[Images: Shutterstock]


Top tips for a low-waste, mindful festive season

Check out our guide to avoiding overconsumption in our everyday lives to get started on a more mindful way of living and consuming.

Check out these shocking photos that reveal the impact our love of consumerism has on the planet

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