How to Reduce Your Waste by Shopping Secondhand

Thrift shopping combines two of my greatest passions–environmentalism and saving money. And since one of my best skills is resourcefulness, I know where it’s at!

One of the best ways to defeat consumerism

Consumerism is one of our environment’s worst enemies.

Marketing and media are constantly shoving a “buy, buy, buy!” message in our faces, one that is hard to ignore. I, myself, have been guilty of neglecting to realize how intensely this produce, consume and dispose cycle is contributing to our chemical exposure as well as a massive breakdown of our natural resources.

Moreover, all that crap has to go somewhere when we’re done with it.

Less glamorous than it appears

Fun, convenient, economical and safe

I know . . it’s sometimes hard to get excited about buying someone else’s stuff. But thrift shopping just needs you to approach it from a fresh perspective.


Think of it as more of a scavenger hunt. I mean, what other kind of shopping offers you such variety. Every piece has it’s own unique story.


And there are options for every lifestyle. For busy moms like us who don’t have the luxury of wading through all the stuff to get to our treasured items, there are now online shopping versions, too!


Love to get free stuff?–no problem, there are free giveaway sources as well.

We already know that thrift shopping saves us tons of money. How else can we shop at such a fraction of regular price?

Environmentally Safe

An added benefit is the absence of or lowered off-gassing that is present in nearly all conventional purchases of clothing, furnishings, etc.

So what are we waiting for? Let’s get shopping!

Shopping for free

Seriously, what could be more glorious than free shopping?

There is a wonderful organization called the Buy Nothing Project, whose main objective is to encourage people to find ways to get what they need without purchasing new. If you’d like to gain access to other Buy Nothing members, who are offering up their free stuff, check out their site. There are groups cropping up all over the world–or learn how to start your own!

Online consignment

As a busy mom, I love having access to some great used clothing without even leaving my home. I have stumbled upon a few really good ones, and

Unique shopping options

ThredUP has really expanded its options in recent years. They now offer “Rescues”, where you can purchase several clothing items in one category at greatly reduced prices.

Another newer category is their “Goody boxes.” This is where you elect to have a personal shopper send you a box of clothing based on your answers to a questionnaire.

ThredUP has also added “Remade,” their own clothing line, with the guarantee that they will offer you 40% of the purchase price if you return it to them once you are finished.

50% Off your first shop!

ThredUP is offering up to 50% off your first order. They also include free shipping on all orders over $79.

All the perks of retail

Included in each shipment is a prepaid return shipping label, which you must use within 7 days. One of the great things about shopping ThredUP is that each shipment feels like you are receiving brand new clothing. is similar to ThredUP, but less varied in their offerings. That said, they tend to run a little closer to typical consignment prices, which is a plus. They also sell gently used toys, decor, movies, books and more

Garage sale apps

Who needs to wake up at the break of dawn to hit the sales on Saturday mornings any more? Not when you have all these great apps at your disposal 24-7. All you do is pull up your app, do a quick search for what you are looking for, and then contact the seller to negotiate price and schedule pickup. There are so many, I’ve included a list of some of the best out there.

Kids consignment sales

Consignment equals cute x 2!

For moms who prefer to get up close and personal to their potential purchases, kids consignment sales abound! Don’t know where and when your local sales take place? Utilize the consignment sale finder to do search by state.

Shopping can be Eco-friendly

So, the next time you are craving a trip to the mall, opt instead for one of these amazing resale opportunities.

Avoid chemicals, keep them out of your air/water, and do your part to prevent more materials from lingering in landfills. If you need more convincing, check out the mind-opening documentary, The True Cost, now playing on Netflix.

Where do you go to shop secondhand for your family?

Do you want to know more about how to live a greener, healthier life with your family? Sign up for more great tips!

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