Ever hear the saying, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure?” Well, you have now and we can honestly say that it’s completely true. There is just no limit to what people will cast aside these days, a symptom of our societal propensity toward over-consumption, no doubt.
The fact is, we all have too much stuff. From junk drawers to overpacked closets and bursting-at-the-seams garages, we could all stand to pare down a bit. Doing a large de-clutter is one of the best ways to clear our minds and homes from the chaos of trying to manage so many knickknacks, ill-fitting shirts, cast aside shake weights, bags of sea shells from that one time you went to Malibu and books on how to speak Russian. These items are still perfectly good … just not for you anymore. Which makes having a huge garage sale and donating the remainders a great way to minimize the excess in your life.
But, what are you to do when the opposite happens and you actually need something? Never fear, your local thrift store is here! By purchasing a gently used item, you’re helping to keep things in circulation that would have gone into a landfill. Thrifting is the ultimate way to live out the slogan, “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!” Whether you’re picking up a gently used outfit for that party this weekend or some glass vases to do some DIY magic with, the local thrift shop has you covered. Interested where one might be in your area? Follow this link for list of local places to get your shop on!
Keep Things out of the Landfill
The number one, and most obvious, reason to love thrift shopping is its gentleness on the environment. Something that might have ended up in a landfill, refusing to biodegrade and wreaking general long term havoc, can now have a second chance at life in your closet, on your wall or in your kitchen.
Unleash Your Inner Pretty in Pink
Have the burning desire to give each item of clothing you wear its own, unique twist? Do you look at a shirt or dress and think, “this has potential to be more awesome?” Then thrift stores are your mecca. Where else can you find a shirt that you can cut up, embellish, bedazzle or draw on with a bleach pen for $2?
Save Lots of Money on Designer Duds
If your own unique style is less 80s-punk-lite-Molly Ringwald and more name brand, the thrift store has you covered too. Most of these places offer the clothes that come in at least 50 percent less than the original price tag, if not more. This is awesome because, not only are you getting a great discount on a quality item, you’re also assured that it will fit since these items have all been pre-washed. No shrinking!
Give Your House a Vintage Feel, With Actual Vintage Stuff
Decor styles have a way of recycling, which is actually pretty spectacular for the actual act of recycling itself. Remember that weird bowl your mom used to mix cookie dough in when you were a kid? Suddenly it’s getting mass reproduced by Crate and Barrel and sold for $49.99. For real, you can find so much of this retro stuff at your local thrift shop and it’s even better than some schmancy reproduction because it comes with the patina of real experience.
Gather Materials for all of Those Pinterest Projects you Pinned
Wanna paint a bookcase the same color as your den? Or repurpose an old crib into a cool bench for the backyard with some palettes and a few stencils? It makes perfect sense that you wouldn’t want a brand spankin’ new, uber pricey item to get your DIY on. Get those puppies used and let your creativity run free.
Find That Sweet Barry Manilow Album to Round out Your Vinyl Collection
The person donating that slap bracelet set from the 80s has no idea that it’s about to be the find of the century for you. Often times your best bet at finding something you’ve been scouring the earth for is at a donation center. Hey, just because no one else has a cassette player anymore doesn’t mean that you have to stop searching around for The Immaculate Collection of Madonna on EP.
Contribute to Charities While you Replenish Said Vinyl Collection
Many thrift stores contribute to local and national charities alike with a portion of the proceeds they get from your purchase of The Hobbit, some salad tongs and a Sweatin’ to the Oldies VHS. Buffalo Exchange, for example, gives tokens instead of plastic bags at the check-out stand which can be donated to a variety of charities designated by each store. That’s keeping bags out of the environment and making it rain on a good cause. Awesome!
Landfill Space Isn’t the Only Thing you Save. Emissions From Production and Distribution are Eliminated as well.
Think of thrifting as the farmer’s market of non-edible consumer goods. When an item is manufactured, there are a certain amount of emissions produced in not only the creation of that product but also in the shipping required to get it out to local retailers. Because the item you purchase second hand doesn’t come with that environmental price tag twice, you’re cutting those emissions out when you buy those “new” jeans second hand.
Gather Supplies for the Ultimate Plant-Based Kitchen Without Breaking the Bank
One complaint that can come up when it comes to eating more plant-based, and thusly more environmentally sustainably, is the expense. While you genuinely don’t need anything special to eat a wholesome diet devoid of animal products, that juicer, spiralizer, toaster oven or fancy springform pan would make some of those tasty recipes you’ve been dreaming of much easier to try. The beautiful thing is, these types of items show up in donation centers all the time. Your’s truly actually purchased their first juicer at a thrift store and that bad boy lasted for, like, two years. Pretty great bargain, considering the price tag was $10!
Have a truly awesome, thrift store find? Tell us in the comments!
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