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Earth Day 2012: Buying Used–Their Trash, Your Treasure

Buying used goods, whether for your home or costume attire, is the ultimate sustainable act.

Written by Erin Reynante, volunteer outreach coordinator at San Diego Coastkeeper.

This tip is part of San Diego Coastkeeper's Earth Day blog series running through April 22, 2012.

We’ve all done it, and so it’s so hard NOT to do–cruise by a second-hand store or antique shop and think, "Wow, I could really use that" or "That would look awesome on my front porch" and perhaps even "That would make an awesome Halloween costume" and my favorite "I could use a new book to read." Buying used goods, whether for your home or costume attire, is the ultimate sustainable act (in my opinion).

It’s true, the act of buying used stuff requires a bit of creativity and willingness to dig through mounds of goods at second-hand retailers, but it's very satisfying when you find that awesome dresser you’ve been searching for followed by the purchase of a can of paint, some new knobs and voilà, you have the most unique piece of furniture on your block.

Thankfully San Diego has no shortage of these stores. There even exists an entire website dedicated to second-hand shopping. So the next time you move, re-organize, or perhaps need a professional ensemble for that dream job you’re about to interview for, check out your local second-hand store. Not only will you find some unexpected treasures, but more importantly you will NOT add to this excessive surplus of single-use packaging most commonly associated with purchasing new goods large and small.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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