I am a big advocate for buying things secondhand. It is truly the most eco-friendly way to shop! Think about it: an item was used by someone and when they didn't need it anymore, instead of sending it to a landfill, they donated it to a thrift store, you walked in and realized you needed that exact thing! Shopping secondhand saves many things from just getting thrown away. It's okay if you have to draw the line on some items. For me, I'll never buy undies or a toaster secondhand. Toaster slots can't really be cleaned and used undies are just a little too close for comfort for me. Other than that, there are lots of things that are perfectly fine to buy secondhand--furniture, clothing, home decor, dishes, etc. The thrift store is your oyster! Not only does it save things from becoming trash, but buying secondhand is usually cheaper! Plus, thrift stores often benefit people in need. One of our local thrift stores benefits teens in need and another one helps out with cat and dog rescue. Sometimes churches have thrift stores, too! Here are just a few places you can check to shop secondhand, this list is by no means comprehensive and I would love your input on places I've missed:
- Thrift Stores (Goodwill, Salvation Army, local thrift stores)
- Facebook Marketplace
Recycling rules vary by city, so I can't really tell you what you can and can't recycle. Many plastics are not recyclable these days, which is why I think it's important to be as plastic free as possible. This means you might need to buy berries at your local farmer's market instead of at a large grocery store. Those plastic clamshell containers that hold berries are no longer recyclable in most places. So, you might need to make more food from scratch. Paper and cardboard are typically recyclable. When you want to swap out some of your furniture or change up your wardrobe, don't just dump that stuff in the trash, donate it or sell it! People will buy the craziest stuff! Even if it's a little broken, you might be able to sell it. People are always looking for parts. I once sold a broken couch because someone wanted the cushions. Even if you think your clothes are beyond repair, many people need fabric to make other projects. Maybe there's a tiny hole in your shirt, but someone could create something else out of it. I know because I have done this! It's always worth a shot to sell something (on any of the aforementioned sites). If that doesn't work or you don't want to spend the time doing that, just donate it or list it for free. There are also a few things that are recyclable, just not in your curbside bin. Some kinds of batteries and light bulbs can be recycled at places like The Home Depot. Grocery bags are recyclable at Wal-Mart and Target. Your local dump may be able to take other things that are usually not recyclable, like styrofoam.
I don't know a ton about composting yet so I will create more posts concerning this topic later on. However, as a start, you can get a counter top composting container. You can certainly put fruit/veggie scraps and coffee grounds in there. Once your container is full, transfer it to a larger, outdoor container and let it decompose for a while. It's great if you can have worms in your outdoor compost to help the process. You'll need to stir the compost every once in a while. You can add your compost (once it's ready) to your plants. It provides them with wonderful nutrients. If you don't garden, you can donate your compost to a local garden or a friend who does have a garden! If you're interested in composting, please continue to follow along with me as I learn!
Do you already do these 3 things - recycle, thrift, and compost? I'd love to know in what ways you do these simple, eco-friendly tasks!