Re: [C-L] Walking Lightly - buying used things
From: Ruthpoet (
Date: Tue, 3 Jul 2007 08:13:41 -0700 (PDT)
Stuart - thanks for your comment about using it 'til you wear it out!   In 
all of the conversations about greenness vs. affordability, I've been  
that no one has mentioned buying used goods.  
Frankly, I feel much better about buying used goods than I do about buying  
new cheap goods (e.g. WalMart), new not-so-cheap goods (e.g. Macy's) or new  
"green" goods.  It is MUCH more affordable, giving me much more  flexibility 
financial freedom, AND I feel like I've taken myself (to some  extent) out of 
the consumerist loop. I would estimate that 90% of the  non-consumables that 
I own (car, clothes, electronics, housewares,  furniture) were bought used, or 
in some cases gotten for free, at _www.craigslist.org_ 
(  (a great place to find  any and everything - for 
any of you who don't 
already know about it), _www.freecycle.org_ ( , or at 
a thrift store or  flea market.  It's been a long time since I had a job where 
I had to dress  up, but when I did, I always found good quality "dressy" 
clothes in thrift or  consignment stores at a fraction of the cost of buying 
For me, buying  used is also more fun - there are more surprises (you never 
know quite what  you'll find), it's more creative, and more eclectic.
For anyone who doesn't know about _www.freecycle.org_ 
(  -- it's  international, with myriad local chapters 
all over.  In just the 
 past few months, my partner and I have received, for FREE, a great  futon 
and frame, two canoe paddles, a grill in very good condition, and a bunch  of 
dishes -- and we've given away some stereo equipment, electronics equipment,  
some plants, a different futon mattress, an animal cage, a set of chairs,  etc. 
Everybody's happy, and no new goods had to be produced to meet any of  our 
needs/desires. (OK, the only "cost" was a little fossil fuel required to  pick 
the goods up. Which isn't nothing.)
Speaking of used items: I don't know how this equation works out is in  
buying a "used" (i.e. already existing) house, vs. building a new, but more  
greenly-constructed house. Since there are so many already-built houses on the  
market, it makes sense to me on the one hand that it would be better to buy one 
of them, rather than using up materials to have a new one constructed. On the  
other hand, most existing houses are not as well insulated or set up for 
solar,  etc.  Comments, anyone?

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