Refuse = buy less stuff
Save money and the earth’s resources by buying only what you need. Consider the following tips before you purchase a new item:
- Get it for free! There are many online websites that connect people who are getting rid of stuff with people who need stuff. Often there is no money exchanged. Also, visit the CVRD’s Free Stores regularly to see what people are dropping off. And if you’re excited about something that you found there, tell us about it!
- Rent or share. Renting is a great choice if you only need to use something once in a while. Consider renting tools for home projects, lawn and garden equipment, party supplies, and camping and recreational gear. Rent sports equipment when trying a new sport for the first few times. Many items are needed only for special projects or activities. Sharing can save you money and build relationships within your community. Offer to lend your neighbour your power washer in exchange for using their carpet cleaner.
- Maintain and repair. Regular maintenance of clothing, tools, and other items can prolong their life considerably. Repairs can be less expensive than replacement and can improve the performance, safety, and/or efficiency of a product.
- Get it second hand. You'll save money buying from a used goods store or consignment shop. Buying used helps the environment by keeping usable goods out of the trash and by reducing the resources required to manufacture and distribute new products.
- Buy once, buy well. Well-designed and constructed products will last longer and usually save you money even if they cost more initially. Also, they are more likely to be useful to others when you are done with them. Do some research before you buy and avoid impulse purchases. Also, look for products designed with the environment in mind, meaning they don’t contain harmful chemicals and have been engineered to have a long life or multiple lives.
- Visit a library. Consider checking out a book or CD from the local library instead of buying your own copy.