Want to help the environment? Be a little cheap!

To decrease my spending and wasteful ways I have come to appreciate SO MUCH all the free things in life like the radio, the library, free podcasts, and hand holding (aww).

Another thing that I’m learning to love is thrift stores! I still have a slight aversion to buying clothes at thrift stores although I’m starting to get over that. I’ve always, though, been really into them when it comes to furniture (not couches – yuck – but old wooden hutches, book cases, etc). Every single piece of hard furniture that I own was either given to me or purchased at a thrift store – and I have some killer pieces! I’m also really into buying old kitchen stuff from thrift stores – casserole dishes, teapots, china, wine glasses, etc.

I really like the look of sexy, modern pieces mixed with really old, interesting pieces. There is something sort of sterile about a house (or wardrobe) made up completely of brand new stuff. And similarly, someone who hasn’t bought a new item since 1974 is just weird. I think you need a mix.

Also, I have been gifted some unwanted cosmetics/bath goods and clothes, lately (thanks Shaz and Lesh!) and that has been just awesome. If I didn’t constantly throw stuff out (and therefore had stuff I didn’t want) I would throw a clothes swap with my friends. It’d be fun to put on a chick flick, order a pizza, and have everyone throw their old frocks and purses and things in a pile for people to try on.

It all got me thinking – the environmental impact of keeping up with the Jonses’ .. or Kardashians, for that matter – is just huge!

All the new stuff we buy costs energy and resources to make and then has to be packaged in disposable plastic crap, and shipped in big, dirty trucks around the country or world to get to us. Actually, there are so many more costly, energy-zapping, resource-squelching steps than just that. Most things are manufactured in one area (with all the supplies similarly manufactured and trucked into that area) and then shipped somewhere else for labeling, then shipped somewhere else for packaging, then shipped to a storage warehouse, then eventually shipped to a store where you will buy it and then throw it away five minutes later.

OMG we are wasteful!

Imagine what the environmental impact would be if we all acquired 20% of our possessions from “second hand” sources. It’d be massive! I know, I know .. the word “second hand” sucks! I cringe at it myself at but hey, “vintage” is second hand, right! “Antique” is second hand! It can be cool.

So .. my point, what is my point? Ah yes. Free community resources and cheap, used stuff is awesome! It not only helps you get your finances under control but it makes a huge positive environmental impact, too. This probably seems obvious to most of you but I think we could all do with bringing less new crap into our homes.

1 reply
  1. kathryn
    kathryn says:

    I love second hand stuff. I honestly don’t remember the last time I bought a new shirt, bra, pants.My last pair of sneakers were almost new.I do buy new undies and socks…about every 5 years.
    Almost eveything in my house is thrift/kijiji/found stuff. My tv was brandnew..in 1990. It is a floormodel 🙂
    My bedset I bought in 1978 and still looks brandnew. It is solid maple. I’ve been thru a few matresses since then.Some secondhand..you can tell if it will be ok, when you meet the person and their home who is selling it.Same with sofas.
    I’ve decided I’m sick of buying anything new from China especially, but also from any other cheap labor country. We need to protect our jobs! However second stuff is fair game, because it is good to recycle, and the store isn’t restocking the item.
    I don’t purposely buy organic food.If it is cheaper, I do.We make as much from scratch as we can, which cuts down on packaging. I always say, if we could get paid for returning our sorted garbage (without paying a deposit) we would have the cleanest countries. very little would end up in landfills.
    Everyone can grow something. Plant the tomato/greenpepper/cucumber seeds from your grocery purchase.Just dry them out first. Either in a pot or in your back yard.


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