Thursday, March 4, 2010

Change the World Wednesday (on Thursday)

One of my favorite sites is Reduce Footprints because of their weekly Wednesday challenge to change our world for the better.

This week's challenge is purchase used items rather than new.

This is something I started doing as soon as we had kids. When I was pregnant with my first son, I was given several large garbage bags of used clothes from friends. It was amazing and immediately apparent that there was little point in buying new clothes that would be worn for such a short period of time.

After one trip to the local thrift store (Savers), I was hooked on buying used everything.

I've purchased tea pots, a tea kettle, countless items of clothing, toys, books, movies, craft supplies, frames, silverware, Halloween costumes, furniture. I not only like that buying used means something new doesn't have to be made to replace an item I just took off the shelf, but also that the item has some history to it. I like that other people have owned it and likely loved it.

I also use craigslist a lot, not just to purchase but to sell/give away my own used stuff. Ebay is good for that as well, though I like the local-ness of craigslist and not having to ship anything.

I use Paperbackswap and Bookmooch constantly, though mostly PBS because I feel their selection and the organization of their site is better. And I am a bit of an Amazon addict. I'm not saying I buy constantly, but I just love going on there and looking around. I have several wishlists filled with books I'd like to receive used. They have a great used book selection.

And much to my husband's chagrin, I do occasionally pick things up on the side of the road that other people are throwing away. My great finds: a perfectly perfect train table that my boys use every single day, a gorgeous, solidly built wood school/child's desk that just needs a new paint job, and a small round, low-to-the-ground trampoline that will fill my boys' summer with lots of jumping.

I also want to say that donating my own used items is very important to me. As much as I purchase at Savers, I donate just as much, if not more. In my quest to live a simpler life, I bring trash bags full of our used clothing, toys, household items to Savers at least once a month. I also post on the "Free" section of craigslist, esp. for larger baby items, like a portacrib or exersaucer. I really like knowing our stuff is finding a new home rather than sitting in a landfill.

My motto is: Used Is Good!


  1. you are so right there were 10 of us kids at home when i grew up we always got used items and to this day i rarely buy new because as you say there are lots of good items out there and i think this will make a difference if a lot more people would do this also ..great post i will visit your site often .sissy

  2. I like your point about donations. I find it much easier to "downsize" something by giving it to a thrift store. I feel good knowing it'll go to another home, as well as make a little money for a good cause.