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Living less unsustainably: thrift stores

Reuser master John Fischer here with KLCC’s Living Less Unsustainably.

Donating used items during the holidays is more environmentally friendly than buying new ones.

There are brick-and-mortar options like Bring, the Habitat for Humanity store, St. Vinnie’s, Goodwill, Babyworld, The Assistance League and Play It Again Sports, as well as many online marketplaces including Craigslist, Freecycle, Pay- It- Transfer, eBay, NextDoor and Offerup. The U of O even opened a second hand furniture store open on Saturday only.

Some used items reduce climate impacts by almost 100% compared to new items. Windows, building materials, anything that would have been buried is ideal as a used item.

But a lot of clothes, some furniture and products that are upgraded can be a different story. I’m not talking to people who buy second-hand items, but to people who donate. If you don’t like the color of your current blue sofa and get a brown one, or if you fancy wearing a dress once and then giving it away, remember the impact of the new item you buy. . Of course, donating is better than putting in the landfill, but redoing the table, salvaging the sofa and putting on the dress from an event will have less of an impact on the climate than buying new and giving away the old. . Thrift stores are overloaded with certain things – fast women’s fashion being the biggest offender.

A plate of cookies – chocolate chips please – is always a hit.

The proliferation of second- and third-hand markets is encouraging in many ways, but disappointing in others. Before buying something new, or even giving away the old one, ask yourself where it will be in three, 10 or 20 years. Always serving Thanksgiving dinner, or at the dump.

I’m John Fischer with Live Less Unsustainably.



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