Tuesday, January 31, 2012

JOT #31: What's new?

A while ago, I posted about being on the Compact - a pledge for a year not to buy anything new (but for certain exceptions).

More or less, this has now become a family philosophy. Even my die-hard Gap-loving DH now shops for dress shirts at the thrift shop (doesn't he look handsome in his vintage blazer?). Little One gets hand-me-downs from cousins, mostly. I get my sister's and friends' castoffs. Our placemats and tablecloths are fabric scraps. We haven't bought a camera in years (people always want to trade up!).

If you're squeamish about buying and getting secondhand, think of the benefits: you reduce the use of natural resources by not using new materials, you save energy in the manufacture of new things, and you often get something unique. You also often pay much less money for it.

It's a fairly simple switch in these days of technology. Check out craigslist for gently-used or like-new items. Post a request on freecycle. Ask your neighbors and friends and family for hand-me-downs. Shop at thrift and vintage and secondhand stores.

Soon it becomes second(hand?) nature.

The few things I don't buy used are the obvious: toilet paper, underwear, and household and perishable items, of course. Sometimes you might get a hand-me-down of those, too, like a half-full bottle of shampoo, or a last roll of TP when someone is moving out. It never hurts to ask!

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