Secondhand Shopping

Buy secondhand merchandise to create less waste.

| March/April 2006


Each American creates 4.3 pounds of trash per day.

Why not buy new? The reasons are heaped as high as the local landfill. Each person in the United States generates 4.3 pounds of trash per day. Altogether, that’s approximately 200 million tons every year. Less than one-fourth of it is recycled—the rest is incinerated or dumped.

We can extend the lifespan of goods by repurposing, donating, swapping or reselling them. An even bigger reason to buy secondhand merchandise is waste: With every new purchase comes boxes, bags, plastic shells, Styrofoam chunks and shipping pallets. Some of these can be recycled, but those piles of packaging account for approximately one-third of all our landfill garbage mountains. That’s a hefty reason to choose used.

Sources: Annenberg Foundation and Earth Works Group

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