An important part of a zero waste lifestyle is shopping secondhand. Secondhand shopping is really a great part and I would even say, a staple, of this lifestyle for a couple of reasons. To begin with, it provides alternative ways for getting what you need while preventing items from being sent to landfills. Oftentimes the items have no or minimal packaging and trash (generally just stickers) and best of all they can usually be purchased at a fraction of what it would cost to buy new. I tend to find my items at local tag sales, secondhand/consignment shops, online websites for local sellers, and from friends/family. Here are a few such secondhand items that I acquired recently.
The local auction house held a tag sale of items that weren’t valuable enough to be able to auction off. The auction house had become responsible for the estate of 93 year old hoarder who unfortunately passed away not too long ago. Although many of the things I saw were mainly just “clutter” after some digging around and even a trip into the depths of the basement, I walked away with some very useful items. When buying secondhand you really have to be on the lookout for your diamonds in the rough because typically you come across a bunch of junk before you find the quality items you are looking for. The best part was that altogether I only paid $20 for these items. After making my purchases, I had an interesting conversation with the lady at the auction house. She told me a little bit about how they came to acquire the estate of the hoarder and mentioned that most of these items had been in storage for about eight years. She told me never to put things in storage stating that the cost of storing all these items that they had acquired had been more expensive than what they were actually worth. Now that I’m a minimalist, I doubt my hoarder tendencies will return but it was intriguing to see now from the other side how the inability to let go of things negatively affects people.