Reducing Waste By Shopping Pre-Loved

Recycling week might be coming to an end but that doesn’t mean recycling has to. Keep reading to see what little but important changes you can make.

Worldwide, only 9% of plastic is recycled.

79% of the 6.3 billion metric tons of plastic waste plagues our environment in landfills or as litter.

Approximately 19 billion pounds of garbage pollute our oceans, contributing to the creation of “garbage patches” and threatening wildlife.

By shopping pre-loved, we can rely less on plastic or single-use items and reduce our carbon footprint. Below are some ways in which this can be accomplished.

Minimizing Packaging Demand

Purchasing pre-loved extends the life of any given item and creates less demand for the wasteful materials used to produce new packaging. New items are often shielded behind plastic wraps or laden with stickers and tags. The United States Environmental Protection Agency advises that reducing waste at the source “saves on natural resources, conserves energy, reduces pollution and toxicity of our waste, and saves money for consumers and business alike.”

RandomHousewaresIveThriftedGiftwrapping with Reusable Materials

Forego the wrapping paper, disposable bags and tissue paper when gifting, and replace those items with reusable materials.

Make use of scarves, tins, and boxes to create a beautiful presentation of a gift that can continue to be used long after being opened.


Gathering Reusable Totes

Having several reusable totes on hand prepares you for impromptu shopping trips and replaces the need for plastic bags. Their durable and washable characteristics provide for countless uses while folding up compactly for easy transport when empty. Reusable totes tend to be relatively inexpensive, even brand new, but we vote with our dollar. That is, our money supports whom we choose to spend it with. While a cheap tote is attainable outside of a thrift store, it’s worth considering – when available to you — where you make purchases and where your money is going.


Using Glass Containers

Glass containers are a resourceful aid for existing efforts to reduce waste. They serve as storage for products purchased in bulk (like nuts and grains), pickled produce from a home garden, or even reusable toiletries.They are also a more sustainable option than plastic to house your leftover food. Repeatedly used plastic ages and can become scratched or cracked, which Harvard University notes these “may leach out more plasticizers.” “Plasticizers” are essential substances which are added to plastic to manipulate it, and include bisphenol-A (BPA) and phthalates. When it’s time to replace your broken down plastic, try investing in pre-loved glass from your local Barnardo’s.

Christy Miller is based in Fort Myers, Florida and can be found on Instagram sharing her thrifted goods.

Want to share your top Barnardo’s looks with us and feature on The-Thrift? Comment below and we’ll get in touch!

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