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Think Green

Preowned items can be good for the environment

Purchasing used items may be good for the wallet, but such purchases also can benefit the environment. Used items go on sale every day, whether they're preowned cars or used clothing. Saving items from landfills prematurely reduces the number of new things that need to be manufactured, saving energy as well as money.

There are so many ways to make the most of used merchandise and find the things you need. Here are some ways men and women concerned about the environment can look to preowned items to benefit the planet and their pocketbooks.

Organize a tag sale

Garage sales, tag sales, yard sales, and flea markets are great places to find preowned items. Men and women who are both bargain- and eco-conscious can organize their own neighborhood sales where several houses around the neighborhood pool their items for one large sale. Bargain hunters can then peruse the collected merchandise and feel good knowing their purchases are benefitting the environment.

Scout local garage sales

Garage sales are another way to bargain hunt and benefit the environment at the same time. Who knows what treasures you may be able to find at nearby garage sales? When shopping, set a spending limit and look for certain items you need, such as a bicycle or furniture. You may be surprised to find a quality item that costs much less than a brand new store-bought product.

Scan local advertisements

Church bulletins, newspaper classified ads and online bullet boards typically boast a number of items for sale, many of which are being sold at a fraction of the cost of new items. Before embarking on shopping trips, check these advertisements to see if there are any preowned items that meet your needs.

In addition, there are a number of social media groups that enable members to advertise their items for sale. Others are encouraged to inquire about the sales and make their own offers. Though it might take some effort, it is possible to get brand-name used merchandise for less.

Visit consignment stores

Consignment shops and Goodwill(R) stores are popular places to buy preowned items. These stores take donations or offer items for sale on consignment, which means once sold the person who provided the item gets a portion of the sale.

When browsing the racks of these stores, it's possibly to discover high-end items mixed in with less expensive items. Shoppers may find designer handbags and clothing for much less than they would sell at retail, especially if the pieces are one or two seasons old. Relying on these stores to supplement classic wardrobe pieces is cost-effective and beneficial to the environment. If you regularly shop consignment stores, you can develop a rapport with the shopkeeper, who may alert you when new items are available.

Arrange private swaps

Many people find it advantageous to host their own swaps of clothing and other items among friends or neighbors. Parents of school-aged children find that sharing clothing helps them to save a good deal of money. Sporting equipment or bicycles the kids may have outgrown can be shared with parents of younger children.

When proposing a swap with fellow parents, inquire as to whether anyone has items that they no longer need or could be seeking things that you have. Parents may be anxious to rid themselves of items or take items off your hands.

Garage sales, private sales, consignment stores, and private swaps are great ways to find preowned items, which is not only economical but good for the environment as well.