We are a world full of consumers. Top brands sell us the idea that we need the newest of their products, and we buy into it – quite literally. While it gives us a feeling of worth and pride to own the latest trainers, technology and fashion, this temporary high comes at a hefty price – not only to us, the consumer but to our planet. Unfortunately, we produce much more than we can effectively recycle, so it’s time that we take responsibility for our impact on the world and make small but significant changes. One such change, buying used instead of new.
Cutting down a whole tree only produces enough paper for around sixty books. That’s not many books to come from something that has taken years to grow and provides us with the very oxygen we breathe to live. Take into account how many books are made and sold every day, and the fact that many books are only read a few times (if that!), and very soon you will realise the toll that this takes on forests and habitats. Books are printed in mass due to demand, so reducing this demand by purchasing second-hand books, will make a difference. It will be kinder to your wallets too, as used books are substantially cheaper than buying new. It is also somewhat romantic to own a previously loved book, before selling it on again afterwards.
With clothes dyes causing extensive water pollution and landfills overflowing with garments, the clothing industry is an environmental nightmare. Long gone are the days of a piece of clothing being handmade and then passed on through generations. Instead, we buy new – and awful lot of new. Often entire outfits are purchased and then thrown away after only being worn once, due to them going out of fashion or not wanting to be seen twice in the same clothes. When you look at it in black and white, it is every bit as ludicrous as it appears. Why not save your well-earned money, and the earth, by buying used clothes. Nobody would be able to tell any different – not that it’s anything to be ashamed of. In fact, looking at the concerning facts surrounding this industry, it would be something to be proud of.
Many people wonder, is it better to buy a new or a used car? There are many aspects to take into account here and, technically, advantages and disadvantages to both. Many car parts are not recyclable. This means the cars that are being scrapped are polluting the earth. You could save yourself a lot of money by opting for a used car, and help slow the demand down for new vehicles in the process. Be sure to check the emissions of a car before purchasing, however, as some older cars are not so eco-friendly. Alternatively, why not try to limit the use of your car, and use other methods of travelling, such as public transport, cycling or walking. These options save money, the planet, and can help to keep you in better shape too!
These are just a small handful of ways in which you could save money while helping to keep our earth healthy too. Make just a small change, and from now on take the time when buying to consider whether you could buy second-hand instead.