Plastic Free July - Day 26 - Second Hand

We live in a culture which is continually pushing us to have the latest thing, the next upgrade, the newest designs. There is a huge environmental impact from fast fashion, with the textile industry occupying 5% of landfill space, not to mention the human and environmental costs of producing and transporting cheap clothing around the globe. I highly recommend the film "The True Cost" if you want to learn more about the impact of fast fashion …

And it's not just clothing, is it? Phones, computers, toys - the endless acquisition of more and more 'stuff' which clutters our homes, our minds, our lives … So here is a simple challenge for Day 26 of this Plastic Free month … Before you buy something, see if you can find it second hand. Or consider whether you need to buy it at all. Is it an item that can be borrowed or shared amongst friends?

Recently, we were planning our holiday, and my husband wanted to go and buy a roofbox to enable us to fit our luggage (as well as six people) into our car. The larger our boys grow, the more of a challenge this becomes. Anyway, a new plastic roofbox is a substantial purchase, particularly for an item which will spend most of the year sitting in our shed. So I suggested he wait while I asked on Facebook whether anyone had a roofbox we might be able to borrow. Within hours I had several local offers. This is a good example of sharing our resources, no? It seems to me sensible. We do not have to own everything for ourselves, and in fact community is built when we share what we have.

Websites like ebay and Freecycle are super for facilitating the sharing of our stuff. And it is also encouraging to hear of community initiatives like toy and tool libraries from which items can be borrowed as and when needed. When my boys were small we made great use of our local toy library.

Do such schemes exist where you live? Maybe you could get something started?

#breakfreefromplastic #plasticfreejuly