Buying second hand goods is the most friendly environment choice any consumer can make. Whether it’s books, clothes, furniture, decorations, media or kids toys, you’re sure to do your part for the environment by buying used.
Today we’ve outlined several reasons why buying used goods should always be your first option if you’re adamant about doing your part to conserve this precious planet’s resources.
- Less Expensive – Purchasing used goods can be up to 90% less expensive than buying new items. Your purchasing power will go farther by buying pre-owned goods and if you’re a savvy shopper, you can probably score items that are in perfect or near-perfect condition – no one will ever know they’re used unless you tell them. Also, if you’re buying at a local garage sale or an item you saw online from a guy across town, you can skip paying any sales tax!
- Conserving Energy – All products require a certain amount of resources to be consumed, from manufacturing to delivery. This includes farming cotton, clear-cutting forests, mining metals or pumping oil. We’ve all witnessed the horrible environmental consequences when resources are pumped, scraped and cut from our planet. Fortunately, buying used goods doesn’t require any new resources to be consumed.
- Pollution-Free Lifestyle – Production of “stuff” just creates more pollution, including toxic chemicals, pesticides and carbon emissions. Did you know one new cotton T-Shirt is responsible for nearly 5 ounces of pesticides to be dumped into the cotton fields? One new mid-size car is responsible for 30,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere.
- Forget the Packaging – New products require packaging, from shrink-wrap, plastic hard casing, cardboard boxes and styrofoam. The packaging materials require energy to create in addition to the production of the product. Not all the packaging is recyclable or reusable, so it gets tossed, contributing to more waste. Not only is it frustrating trying to open the packaging, but disposing of it in an environmentally friendly way is not always an option. However, the bright side is if you shop thrift stores, or buy second hand items from your neighbors next door or across town, you don’t have to deal with packaging!
- Supporting Local Economies – Did you know buying used goods extends the life of the product and the planet and supports your local economy? Think about it, most thrift shops support a cause, so your money not only buys you a cool new “used” item, but also contributes to the well-being of others supported by the business. This is why shopping for items at your local yard sales, tag sales, estate sales, flea markets, pawn shops and consignment shops is so important, and fun! Keeping your money in town supports local businesses and keeps it from contributing to corporate waste.
- Being “Green” is in Vogue – Simply put, recycling is is king and you avoid having to figure out greenwashing claims made by corporations. The money you save by buying pre-owned goods from accessories to clothes, books and media, will stretch your dollar and you can then go to the organic grocery store and support your local farmers. Lastly, don’t feel bad about making certain purchases of “new” items such as appliances with extraordinary energy efficiency or hybrid automobiles. These items can reduce your carbon footprint.