Did you know that the second hand economy is a multi-billion dollar sub-industry which helps reduce waste from landfill and brings communities together? Any time you sell, swap, buy, or donate a used item, you are part of the second hand economy, and I am definitely all for supporting it!
I think years ago there was quite a stigma about buying second hand, as though it was in some way a reflection on your wealth, and yet these days with second hand selling sites more popular than ever, as a society we have come to realise that not only is it the sensible thing to do, but it’s actually vitally important for the sake of our planet.
There are many reasons to support the second hand economy and I am sharing my top six with you today in the hope that those who don’t may be persuaded to give it a go. Afterall, if you can save money and the planet, that’s a pretty good incentive don’t you think?
1. Save Money
The main incentive for many is quite simply to save money. The fact is that used products are less expensive (unless of course they are antique!) and you could save on average 50% by buying used over new. The great thing is that often used products are still in great condition so it doesn’t feel as though you have to sacrifice on style or quality, but you can still pocket that extra saving to use in other ways. For me, I often buy used products to save money which we then use for days out with the kids, holidays, and moments together – something which is far more important to me than physical goods.
2. Save on packaging
The great thing about used products is that they come with zero packaging as opposed to the plastic, cardboard, polystyrene, etc when they are new. So not only are you lucking out on having to dispose on all of that packaging (no more tip runs – yay!), but you’re also saving energy and resources to create it. The more used products you buy, the more you save, and if everyone did the same we could marginally reduce waste products and energy.
3. Save Energy
As I touched on above, saving energy is so important and used products don’t require any energy to create. With every new product you buy there is a whole process of manufacturing, shipping, packaging involved, all of which uses a lot of energy. Recent surveys have shown that you can cut energy consumption down to absolute zero simply by buying used goods. That’s amazing isn’t it?
4. Raising money for charity
One way to support the second hand economy is to donate to, or buy from a charity shop. I know that we personally donate the majority of our used goods to our local charity shop which is great for me as it declutters my home and leaves me feeling charitable, and great for them as they get to sell on our goods and raise money for a good cause. It’s a win win situation!
5. Save new resources
The great thing about buying used products is that they do not require new resources. So even by buying second hand books, or used furniture, you are saving more trees to be cut down. Buying second hand clothes saves on cotton, electrical goods on metal, children’s toys on plastic – all of which save the planets natural reserves and in time, if everyone did the same, would have a positive impact on our planet.
It’s so important to be mindful when making any purchase as to whether it is necessary for the item itself to be new. I know there are certain things which we are recommended to buy new (particularly baby products) and yet for the most part, there is no reason why we cannot buy used goods in our every day life and home.
6. It’s Easy!
I think one of the reasons a lot of people buy new is because they deem it easier than searching out used goods, which really isn’t the case. Thanks to websites such as Gumtree you can access a whole world of second hand products and sell yours in return. Gumtree is a huge supporter of the second hand economy and have shared their latest findings on the benefits of being second hand here.
I have used Gumtree and other selling sites for years now and find them so easy to use, quick to upload my images and captions, and the goods are usually sold and collected within a few days. It’s always surprising what other people will buy and has really made me think twice about what I throw away knowing that the old saying “One mans trash is another mans treasure” is actually very true!
So there you have it, my top six reasons for supporting the second hand economy. I think we should all be making a conscious effort to make simple changes to the way we purchase, and dispose of, our items.
How do you support the second hand economy?