We live in a consumerist society, and there is no denying there is something a little bit special about being able to purchase a brand new item and be the first person to use it. However, there are undeniable advantages to buying pre-owned, second-hand items, as we’ll discuss in more depth below…
#1 – Less waste
Every time you choose to buy a second-hand item, you are effectively saving that item from landfill. Given that the world is rapidly running out of landfill space, this is an undeniable benefit that really can make a difference.
Some people wonder if this is indeed a benefit; after all, when the item inevitably breaks at some point, it will just end up in landfill anyway. However, it’s worth seeing a purchase of a second-hand item as a way of buying time; extending life a little bit longer, until hopefully alternatives to landfill are found. This might not always be the case in practice, but it’s still worth doing – every item that is saved from landfill, even if it’s just for now, is of a huge benefit to overall environmental efforts.
#2 – Lack of packaging
As well as saving items from landfill, buying second-hand goods also benefits the environment due to the lack of packaging required. Given that packaging – and particularly plastic packaging – is a huge contributor to overall waste issues, this is a vitally important consideration.
If you were to purchase a new blender, you would also be buying a box, plastic wrap, and styrofoam peanuts – all of which you would then have to dispose of, and much of which would not be suitable for recycling. On the other hand, if you buy a second-hand item, no packaging is required – and the environment benefits as a result.
#3 – More character
Admittedly this may be subjective, but the vast majority of people who buy second-hand items prefer the character of these items. This is especially true for things such as books and clothes; items that have already lived a life, been enjoyed by another person, and now start a new chapter with you. Modern, mass-produced items are often described as lacking any meaningful sense of history or personality; if this has always bothered you, then second-hand options could be the perfect solution for you.
#4 – High affordability
Finally, it is also important to note that second-hand items aren’t just better for the environment; they’re better for your wallet too. This is particularly true for big-ticket items, such as furniture and modes of transport; you’ll save a fortune if you take the time to find a used motorcycle, car, or new bedroom set when compared to buying the same items new. If you’re on a tight budget, or just want to ensure you get a great deal, second-hand is the right choice for you.
New items are wonderful and do, of course, have their place – but there is a beauty to second-hand items that makes them well worth considering the next time you’re looking to make a purchase.