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Week 41: #Waves4Change 2020 Sustainability Challenge: Buy Nothing New or Made Just For You

Did you know that…

It takes an estimated 2,700 liters of water to produce a cotton t-shirt?

It’s estimated that a single piece of plastic will take 1,000 years to decompose?

The book printing industry cuts down an estimated 125 million trees a year?

Buying new or personally made items not only is costly on your monthly budget, but costly on the environment. Ranging from books to clothes and furniture, everything you buy has an environmental price tag. So, our next challenge is to ditch the brand new, personalized shopping spree and try a different route.

What To Do

Thrift shopping! Fashion is evolving so rapidly these days that when you go thrift store shopping for clothing, you’d be surprised at the clothing you may find. Not only is everything exceptionally cheaper than the major retailers, but there is a huge variety of options that may help you expand your wardrobe in a more unique direction.

Library, online, ebooks. If you’re a fast reader, there is no reason for you to buy a $20 book, only to read it once and then let it collect dust on your shelf, so go to the library! But if you take a little longer to read a book, like myself, then go to the thrift store or check out or other sites that allow people to sell their own materials. Honestly, you know a book is a good book when it is a little weathered!

Get crafty! Buying secondhand doesn’t mean you have to purchase the item as is. You have a creative eye and talent! So, go ahead and take that old wooden chair your mom wants to get rid of! Buy that flowerpot that needs repainting and buckle down on your arts and crafts! You can easily search for youtube tutorials on how to refurbish furniture, stitch holes in your clothes and so many other things. Take an opportunity where it would be easier to replace something and instead improve what you already own!

Rethink it. There are so many times when we impulse buy and that has an impact beyond ourselves. The next time you want to impulsively buy something, take a moment to think if it’s something you really need or can’t get secondhand. Remember the three facts that start this article and think to yourself “do I really need this?” because what you buy today may be around long after we’re all gone.