31 hacks in 31 days to revive your home and lifestyle

We’re celebrating Buy Nothing New Month (1 – 31 October) with the new look Revive Festival 2021. This year’s schedule of workshops, activations, and events will inspire you to reuse, repair, and thrift to help create a clean and green Brisbane with less waste in landfill.

Revive Festival 2021 and Buy Nothing New Month isn’t just about buying nothing new or even going without. It’s about asking yourself:

  • Do I really need it?
  • If it’s broken, can it be repaired? If not, can it be bought second-hand, borrowed, or rented?

Buying nothing new is not only good for our environment and our circular economy, but it's also good for your wallet.

To inspire your journey of conscious consumption, check out our 31 Revive hacks – one for each day in October – to get you started.

Reuse, repair, thrift, recycle and buy local

  1. Give wrapping paper the flick and try your hand at the Japanese art of Furoshiki. Lovingly wrap gifts in scarves from your local thrift store.
  2. Find new ways to use your older clothes by turning them into reusable cleaning cloths for around your home.
  3. Say goodbye to paper towels and paper serviettes – instead, opt for reusables. Bonus points if you upcycle off-cuts of fabric!
  4. For your next art and craft project, skip buying new materials. Choose to reuse with Reverse Garbage Queensland.
  5. Don't let broken ceramics go to waste. You're just one broken plate away from your next mosaic project.
  6. If you like craft, join your local crafting circle. Council's 'what on at our libraries' calendar is a good place to start your search.
  7. Why buy a new tool when you can borrow one? Check out the Brisbane Tool Library in South Brisbane or ask a friend.
  8. Donate your old towels and bedding to your local vet or animal rehoming centre or shelter. You can also donate to Boomerang Bags or take them to a Sheridan Boutique or Outlet store for recycling. Your local mechanic may also take them off your hand to repurpose for rags.
  9. Children can be fickle and lose interest in toys quickly. Join your local toy library and let your child borrow a 'new' toy regularly to stimulate their imagination.
  10. Did you know that Council has 33 libraries across the city with a great collection of books, magazines, and e-books? Next time you need a new page-turner, visit your local library. You'll still be supporting the writing industry with authors receiving payments through the Australian Lending Rights Scheme.
  11. Before you purchase a new kitchen gadget (think air fryer, ice cream maker, juicer), consider whether you really need it, how often you'll use it, and how much space it will take up, by borrowing one from a friend first.
  12. Take your broken household items (such as electronics, electrical appliances, lawnmowers) to Repair Cafe in Sandgate where you can learn new skills and connect with your community.
  13. Looking for a new skill? How about learning a few sewing tricks like shortening a hem, sewing on buttons, or darning? Check out The Nest in Everton Park for upcoming workshops.
  14. Extend the life of your clothes by reducing the number of times you wash them, use a cold water cycle, and let them air dry.
  15. Before getting rid of your old furniture, ask yourself whether it can be refurbished, repaired, or repainted.
  16. Hit up social media for 'repair' inspo – watch an online tutorial, or enrol in a Reverse Garbage Queensland workshop.
  17. Is it time for a wardrobe clean-out? Try selling some pieces online or give them to a friend.
  18. Donate items to charity – but first make sure they pass the 'would I give them to a friend' quality assurance test.
  19. Head to your closest Treasure Trove, op shop superstore, or online marketplace for heaps of furniture options for your home.
  20. Do you need office supplies? World's Biggest Garage Sale has a shop in Morningside, as well as an online store to get you working.
  21. Op shops aren't the only place your can shop second-hand. Car boot sales are a great place to find a pre-loved bargain.
  22. Young children move through many stages in the first five years of life. Highchairs, prams, cots, and other items are often only needed for a short time. Consider buying these items from a friend and then donate or sell them when you're finished with them.
  23. Hit up your local children's or bub's clothing market and grab a bargain to avoid the fast fashion trap.
  24. Find new ways to wear your clothes by restyling your existing wardrobe.
  25. Give up the fast-fashion trend and become a trend-setter. Focus on high quality, classic pieces that never go out of style.
  26. Be inspired by different fashion eras and hit-up your local op shop for inspiration. Classic 70s, 80s and 90s pieces are waiting for you to give them new life.
  27. Need a new outfit for a party or event? Hire it and wear a beautiful, high-end outfit for a fraction of the price.
  28. Take your worn, damaged and unusable clothes, including textiles and shoes to one of the fashion recycling programs offered by clothing retailers, such as H&MZara, UNIQLO and Rebel, so they can be reused or recycled.
  29. Textiles made from natural fibres (cotton, bamboo, linen, wool, silk) can be composted, or added to your worm farm. Be sure to cut them into small pieces first so they break down more easily.
  30. Support a Brisbane local business by purchasing 'experience' vouchers for birthday and Christmas gifts.
  31. If you do have to buy something new, consider supporting a local business. Choose high-quality products that will stand the test of time and think about the product's end life and how it will be disposed of once it is no longer wanted.

Want more inspiration?

Head to a Revive Festival 2021 event, or shop your local second-hand, reuse and recycle trail and find a bargain.

Related links

Date posted:
Last updated: 9 September 2021
Topics: green