I believe that one of the single biggest changes that you can make that will have a positive effect on the economic and environmental issues face us today is to buy second hand whenever possible. Buying used goods means that the supply for new goods is reduced and that waste is diverted from landfills. Buying second hand breaks the production cycle that relies so heavily on cheap oil and carbon emissions without requiring you to make any personal sacrifice! In fact, it can be a ton of fun!
Almost every city has options for second hand shopping. There are chain stores like Value Village or Goodwill but there are also small, local consignment shops that focus on sourcing good quality items to make shopping easier. There are also thrift stores or antique markets if that’s more your style. These last options usually have unique finds, depending on what you are looking for. Alternatively, if you like online shopping, Etsy.com has hundreds of second hand shops with amazing treasures and Kijiji.com can connect you with locals in your area selling their unwanted items, usually for much cheaper than buying new.
For me, buying second hand is like treasure hunting. Finding the perfect item is such a reward and it almost always costs a fraction of buying new goods. Once you get in the mindset of always thinking of second hand solutions before buying new, you’ll wish you had started thrifting sooner.
Finally, share ideas with families and friends! I’ve set out some gift giving rules with my family and buying second hand gifts is one of them (along with buying locally handmade goods, but more on that in a future email!).