Seven Little Resolutions to Save the World in 2017- #5

by - Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Remember a couple of days ago when you were going to give up caffeine? How tired are you right now? These resolutions can be a bitch to keep, but I have some resolutions on deck that can make your life better without making you hangry or a caffeine-deprived zombie. These ideas will cost you less money and have a positive impact on the Earth.

Maybe you are saying to yourself, "Self, I don't actually care that much about my impact on the Earth. I find environmental stuff pretty boring." I hear you friend, but these are things worth doing. They will absolutely make your life better now, but they will also make your life better 30 or 50 years from now. For nearly no effort. Let's do this. 

You can check out #6 here. Let's dig into more easy eco-friendliness! 

Goodwill Vases shopping shelves


5. Fall in Love with Anything Used. 

Fall in Mad,Passionate Love with Buy Nothing


When I was a kid, having used clothes meant you were a real charity case. Even in high school, I had a few used pieces, but they were mostly attempts to be quirky and make old man slacks happen for teenage girls (it did not work). If our generation wants to do better than our parents did, removing the stigma from buying things used would be a miraculous and powerful first step. Because there are already so many things in the world, and the more we reuse what we already have, the more we save from landfills.

Most companies have one goal. To make money. They do this by using cheap unethical labor, cheap materials, and wasteful shipping across the Earth. They have to keep their prices super cheap, but you know what is often cheaper? And better made because it has already survived years of use? Thrifted furniture, kitchen tools, toys etc.

I can buy a plastic shopping cart toy from Target for 35 dollars. Or I can get the same basic toy for 5 dollars at Goodwill. And then give it away. That means three children played with the same toy. So at least 2 parents didn't go buy a new one. That's at least 2 toys less in the landfill.

Creating an economy where we devalue newness has so much power. Stop treating reuse as something charitable. It can be that, but it is also one of the ways we can help everyone.

Want a ridiculously easy resolution for 2017? I have a couple for you and they will all save you money and save the world from waste.

Try one- Go to a consignment store or thrift shop nearby and just see what they have. You can find so many things used. Refurbished electronics. Toys. Picture frames. All of the wood furniture ever. Go explore and be surprised.

Make a Goodwill (or another consignment store) Your First Stop- Have a shopping list? Stop at a consignment store first. We get about 90% of our children's clothes at a kids consignment shop. Treat buying things new as a last resort instead of a first stop. It will save you money and change your life.

Donate the Hell out of 2017- For 2017, I am planning the Great Donate. We are going to donate or gift at least 2, 017 things from our house. This sounds like a lot, but it is less than one percent. The more you consign and donate, the more is available in an economy of reuse. If you aren't using it, let someone else have it.

Join a Buy Nothing or Freecycling Group- YES. If you haven't heard of the Buy Nothing Project, you are missing out. These facebook groups allow you to freely gift with your neighbors, so you can ask for things you need or offer things you want to get rid of. Check out the groups page to see if there is one in your neighborhood. If there is, joining is just a few minutes of your life, and you won't regret it.

Brag about it- If you buy something used, don't be ashamed about it. So simple, but it makes a difference.

To Go Even Bigger- Start a Buy Nothing Group in your neighborhood (or offer to volunteer as a moderator). I have been begging you all to do this for months! Let this be the year you go for it, because it builds community, cuts down on waste, and is all kinds of awesome. It is a time commitment, especially in the beginning, but you can count it as a good big thing you are doing for the world in 2017.

Try Thred Up or Rent the Runway- If you are saying to yourself "Self, I have been to the consignment stores and they suck for clothes" try Thred Up. This site has tons of clothes for women, children, and pregos (especially practical to not waste money on clothes). You could also try Rent the Runway, where you can borrow a beautiful dress and then return it. Bam! When you need to buy something, try these sites first. Once. And Done! Look how much you can accomplish!

Buying used (or getting used for free on Buy Nothing) can be totally life-changing. I love the feeling of keeping things out of landfills, the challenge of finding things to reuse instead of brand new, but the saving money part is also pretty awesome. Check what options you have for 2017!

Ready for more resolutions? Check out Number Four!

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