Buying less is not only good for your wallet, it is also good for our environment. Next time you are planning on recycling, ask yourself if there is another use for that item. Here are some quick tips to help you re-think, repair, reduce, and reuse... before you Recycle:
Use what you have
Take a minute to consider if you can use what you already have. Do your pots and pans do the same trick as that specialty gadget? Check your storage spaces to see if you already own an item, but just forgot or misplaced it.
Does your existing item just need a little TLC? Look online for Do-It-Yourself videos. Maybe an old piece of furniture can come back to life with fresh paint, new hardware, or fabric. Fixing something may be easier than you think, it will save you money and give you a sense of accomplishment.
Borrow or rent it
Friends, family, or neighbors may be able to lend us what we need instead of buying it. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, see if you can rent it. A carpet cleaner, for example, is a specialty item that is not often used but is expensive to buy. Rentals shops and hardware stores are great resources.
Think of swapping like a garage sale, only everything is free. Consider hosting one with neighbors, friends, or a community organization. It is simple to do when you focus on one theme like fashion, kitchen items, kids’ clothes/toys, sporting goods, tools/hardware, home decor, garden, etc. Find tips on hosting your own swap meet.
Find it for free
Check online Facebook groups like “Buy Nothing” Hudson or Stillwater, as well as online marketplaces like Craigslist or networks like Freecycle. You may even find free stuff curbside.
Secondhand goods are more sustainable simply because the necessary resources have already been extracted, the production process completed, and shipping satisfied. The best part is giving an old item a new life and keeping it out of the landfill.
Buy it better
If you can’t find what you want for free or secondhand, then “buy it better”. Buy the best quality you can afford so that you aren’t replacing it soon.
You can find more information about recycling, local resources, and upcoming collection events on the St. Croix County Recycling Page.