Previously, this was a blog mostly to harass my poor friends and family with the details of my life. Don't worry-- that will continue. However, I'm also going to use this as a terrible forum for dialogue about green tips and eco-revolutions. Hopefully it will be helpful and entertaining...

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Buying Used

Buying used is a cheap way to reduce waste and remove yourself a bit from consumerism. Instead of giving money to big companies, you give money to charities, local businesses, or just local people that are selling their stuff. Plus, if you're like me, you love getting a good deal. In the past few weeks, I've bought:
  • a Samsonite suitcase for $10
  • an awesome steamer trunk for $10
  • a bed desk/tray thingy for $15
  • a pair of jeans, 3 pairs of shorts, and a pair of shoes for about $20
  • a few full dinner sets and silverware and cups, probably all for less than $50
And I love bragging about it.

For those of you out there looking for a good deal, here are some tips:
  • Thrift stores are great! A lot of times, though, there will be a few that are kind of iffy. It takes visiting and asking around to find the good quality ones that have the kind of stuff you're looking for.
  • If you're in a university community, look around for email lists where people sell stuff. Especially international students, because they are often selling everything they don't want to move back with them. It's also a great place to list your own stuff.
  • You can also check your local Freecycle lists, depending on the kind of stuff you're looking for and your patience. Again, this is a great way to get rid of stuff you don't want anymore.
  • Finally, ask friends and family! My housemate regularly offers me clothing that she's going to donate, and I know people are always giving my little sister cloths.
  • You can also get all your friends and family together for a mini-swap-o-rama-rama, where everyone brings cloths (or whatever) they don't want, and everyone can go through each others' stuff and take what they want.
All of these are cheap options that are good for the environment, because you're not supporting the making of a million new things but instead are buying things that are already made.

For other, similar and more crafty ideas, check out the newest series of "Cast-On", a knitting podcast. The new series is called "Make Do and Mend" and focuses on how to... make do with what you have and mend it to improve it. Plus, I adore the host, Brenda Dayne.

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