Why this Should be Your Year of Second Hand.

Have you ever bought second hand furniture? If not, why not?

Could it be for any of these reasons?

  • You’ve always been able to afford brand new, so you buy brand new.

  • Ew. Who knows what the previous owners have done with it.

  • It’s too much trouble and you’d rather just go to the shops.

  • It takes too much time.

If you think of any other reasons, let me know in the comments below.

There are times when you will want to avoid buying used furniture, such as with old mattresses, for health reasons. Here is a helpful article on when to avoid buying second hand furniture.

For the most part, purchasing used furniture is not only a good thing from a financial point of view, with the savings you could make, it’s also better for the environment, for which YOU and I are responsible.

Yes, you.

Mainstream culture exalts those who can afford shiny, brand new things and display them on social media to increase their social capital. “Look at me and my brand new car, my brand new shoes and my brand new bag.”

How about we exalt the kind of mindset and thoughtfulness that has regard for the planet that is suffering around us and makes counter-cultural choices that bring healing to our world, little by little.

If you’re open to considering them, here are some counter-arguments to the excuses above:

  • You’ve always been able to afford brand new, so you buy brand new.

    • No problems. Now that you know differently, you can do differently. If you’ve got the money to throw around, why don’t you challenge yourself to check out the retail price at the shops, wait for a 2nd hand alternative, buy it, calculate the difference and donate the leftover money (since you now have it) to The Wilderness Society or another charity you care about.

  • Ew. Who knows what the previous owners have done with it.

    • It will forever be their secret. But give yourself credit for being smart enough to recognise when something looks disgusting beyond repair and when something can just be cleaned or wiped up before you reuse it. You’ll know.

      And I’d bet you’re also kind enough to put in that little extra effort for the planet rather than waddling into a shop and saying, “So shiny. Already clean. Me want.”

  • It’s too much trouble and you’d rather just go to the shops.

    • If you’re here, reading this, I’ll hazard a guess that heart is big enough to be willing to go to the trouble. Even if you haven’t in the past. It’s never too late to change the way you’ve been doing something.

  • It takes too much time.

    • The latest report from the UN has warned that there are only 12 years left for us to make changes before the effects of global warming are disastrous. Have a look at this article if you’re interested.

      If I were you, I’d take the time. There’s a lot more we need to do (and I’ll keep posting about those things). But for here and now, this is one small way you can make a difference.

Buying a few pieces of used furniture isn’t going to reverse global warming. But if everyone did it, imagine the difference it would make in terms of resources, emissions and other negative externalities of producing each new unit of furniture.

And every time one of your guests or one of your children sits on that used sofa or chair and puts their drink on the used coffee table in your lounge, you can tell them your story; your small labour of love for the well-being of our beloved planet (who’s probably not feeling the love at the moment).

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