The used resolution: all year, all used
Last year blogger Erin wrote about starting her new year with an intention to “think used.” She spoke of selling items no longer needed, asked readers to consider upcycling and buy, where possible, used items.
This year, I’m getting aboard this train in a big way. As my one and only resolution (I had a chocolate with breakfast) I aim, vow, pledge and declare that I will only buy used. All year. All used*. All the time.
For many reasons. The main reason is that I am just sick of the amount of stuff I see thrown away. Useful stuff. Stuff that could be repurposed or even just passed on. Secondly, plastic. The horrid stuff that never biodegrades. I don’t need to encourage anyone to make more of it, so I just won’t buy any more new plastic items. Thirdly, I work for Used.ca and I am pretty proud of that. We take the environment very seriously, it’s exactly the reason why the sites were launched. We are also a community of folk who love to upcycle, DIY, repurpose and encourage people to pass it on. It’s what we do.
Last but not least, I want to save money. In the days when I strived (and failed, obviously) for rock ‘n’ roll notoriety, I didn’t have much of an expendable income. Everything I bought, I bought used. I still have beautiful furniture pieces I bought on my local used site – UsedVictoria.com and in local thrift stores. I also have one particularly lovely piece I found road-side in an upper-class neighbourhood (the best place for garage sales and curb-side loot). I managed then, I can manage now and hopefully save some money in the meantime.
*All used all the time? Okay, that’s a stretch
No, no way will I buy used underwear because I know that’s what you are all wondering and weirding out over. Nor will I be buying used towels, toiletries and other items for my personal ablutions. And honestly, workout gear I need to think about, I really do. Contrary to what our site search statistics tell us, wearing other people’s secondhand lululemon pants is (in my humble opinion) gross.
So I need to give myself a little leeway here. But for everything else, it’s going to be used.
So far so good
I’ll admit, I almost ran out of work and straight to The Brick on December 31. I was panicking because I know we need a new sofa this year. I also thought about hitting up Old Navy because I’ve been putting off buying new jeans for months and jeans are hard enough to buy as it is. And what about running shoes? I am going to need a pair soon and those I definitely can’t buy used.
But I didn’t. I just sucked it up and realized, hey, this is meant to be a challenge.
But it has still been concerning me, so I have been browsing and whaddaya know. Next week I will be picking up a pair of Saucony running shoes I found on UsedVictoria.com. Bought a half size too big on the hopes they would fit with extra socks, they have not been worn outside. I only wear Saucony and for $25, I am saving $175 (inc. tax) compared to the first pair of these runners I bought.
I have also been lucky enough to catch the post-Christmas clear out and as my son’s birthday is February, I have my eye on many a games console that might be considered outdated to some but one hell of a deal to me.
And just last night, I picked up three immaculate hardcover Dr. Seuss books for $15, a saving of $15 if I buy via Amazon and more if I buy local, which I always prefer to do. The lovely thing about these books is that they were being sold by the youngsters who had previously read and cherished them. They had been preserved in order to sell on, allowing those kids pocketmoney to spend. This thrilled me. This is the “used community” we love to brag about here at UsedHQ!
So absolutely, so far, so good.
Gifts and experiences
How do you feel about receiving new to you gifts rather than brand new? I am A OK with it, but others, not so much. Which brings me to my recently solved quandary of gifts for others, particularly daycare friends I don’t know. In fact we have two birthday parties this coming weekend. I refuse to bend my no new plastic rule so the game plan is this: everyone is getting an experience gift this year. For the two boys this weekend it will be movie theatre gift cards, enough for a kid and for a parent to accompany.
Stay with me here
So what do you think? Will you join me? Do you buy mostly used items already? What about gifts? I’ll be updating you on my escapades every month this year, so stay tuned and please, share your finds, treasures and experiences with me! Can we start the Used Revolution?