If companies designed products for easy reuse, repair, remanufacture and recycling, we would have the ingredients of a “circular economy” which is beneficial to people and the planet. Thrift stores operate on this model, helping us reuse what we already have.
Joel Gorthy, of St. Vincent de Paul of Lane County, shares three reasons why thrifting is a good choice:
“St. Vinnie’s and other local thrift stores divert products from landfills and extends their use, reselling what still has value and turning recyclable materials into marketable commodities. This ‘social entrepreneurship’ creates jobs and generates revenue to provide vital community services.
With every pre-owned item purchased, you extend its useful life, maximizing its embodied energy input and delaying the need for it to be recycled or landfilled (and replaced). You also reduce your overall carbon footprint and the demand for newly manufactured items.
You can buy premium-quality, unused items that retailers can no longer sell as new. For example, St. Vinnie’s procures many customer returns, floor models, overstock items and other name-brand products that would otherwise be discarded. These goods are typically sold for less than half of the original retail price.”
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Kelly Bell is the Master Recycler coordinator for the Lane County Waste Management Division. She feels privileged to support the many citizen waste prevention educators who volunteer their time. Learn more at lanecountyor.gov/masterrecyclers.