I spend a lot of time talking about the benefits of buying second-hand; these include benefits to the environment, to the pennies in your purse and to the charities which receive the proceeds from selling these items.
But there is another side to the benefits of going second-hand that is rarely spoken about or even considered. Giving, donating, or the way I like to think about it… de-cluttering.
That’s right, to keep the cycle of quality second-hand items going, someone has to give their unwanted stuff to second-hand stores or charities who can then process it, sell it in their store to happy consumers and in turn make a profit to pass on to other worthy causes.
And what better way to contribute to this worthy cause than by undertaking a mid-year clean out of all the clothes you swear you will wear next season when you shed the winter kilos, or the CD’s you don’t listen to anymore because lets be honest, you download (legally of course!), or the books you’ve read and are never likely to read again, or the toys you thought would provide endless hours of entertainment but actually sit languishing at the bottom of the toy chest.
I am guilty of all of the above. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg of what can be donated to second-hand stores; records, furniture, kitchen containers, glassware, prints, utensils, anything you don’t want (within reason of course) can be processed and found a new home without ending up in landfill.
If you want to see the journey of your donated clothes and goods there is a great post from Miscellaneous Mum explaining exactly what happens to items donated to Savers Australia.
Another great post from Do The Green Thing shows the setup for Oxfam UK. The sheer size of this operation is staggering and it is really positive to see that so much can be saved from landfill just through donating your unwanted stuff.
What items could you de-clutter from your life and pass on to second hand shops or charities?