Stewardship of Life


Happy “Buy Something Used” Day

Posted in Just Living by Sharron R. Lucas on January 23, 2010

 

Did you know that today is International Buy Something ‘Used’ Day? Well, it is. How about that? We now have a holiday devoted to “sustainability in action.” The holiday is sponsored/promoted by Reyouzd, a Canadian organization dedicated to “sustainable practice–consumer or otherwise.” Check out their website here.

Buying used is something I’ve been doing for over two years now as a member of The Compact. It’s a good thing to do whenever possible–on a whole host of levels. Buying used is usually easier on the pocketbook, and that’s always a good thing. No new manufacturing happens, no transportation is needed if you buy locally, and no energy and resources are expended. You keep something out of the waste stream and increase its usable lifespan. Granted, you may not be able to buy used all the time, but whenever you can do so, you make a difference.

Suppose, for example, you buy a used 100% cotton knit shirt for $3 and wear it once a week for two years.  That’s about two cents each time you wear it. At the end of that two years, you find a hole in the shirt. You repair the hole and wear it for another two years for yard work and sports. Again, assume you wear it once a week. That reduces its per wear cost to a penny. Four years after your initial $3.00 purchase, you finally cut the stained and worn shirt into pieces to use as rags. You are able to use the rags for about another year. Finally, after five years, the rags are cut into even smaller bits and composted. Nothing is left to add to the waste stream. You have gotten your money’s worth and then some, and you’ve made a real difference.

I’ll leave you with a thought from Canadian environmentalist David Suzuki from his article “It’s All About the Biosphere.” He concludes by saying, “We devote a considerable amount of our lives working to earn the money to buy stuff. But in this globalized world, there should be a responsibility that accompanies our purchases, a responsibility to understand the ecological, social and spiritual repercussions of each item.”

So dear readers, Happy Buy Something ‘Used’ Day. I must confess that I didn’t buy anything used today. There was nothing I really needed. In fact, the only purchase I made was groceries. If you bought something ‘used’ today, please share your story. Together we can make a difference.

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One Response to 'Happy “Buy Something Used” Day'

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  1. Robert Charles said,

    Good idea, Sharron. Although it’s not exactly local purchasing, I buy a ton of used stuff on e-bay — books, computer stuff, you name it. Most recently, my son wanted a snowboard for Christmas, and I found a really good board, boots, bindings and helmet for sale. Yes, we do have the energy and waste of packaging and shipping, but at least I’m extending the useful life of the equipment.


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