A Mini-Series on Greening Your Dorm or Apartment: Part 1

Go Green to Save Green: Editor’s Note

The following post is a kick-off to a series of posts written to help you make greener changes to wherever you live on campus. I know that serving as a steward to your environment alone does not drive all of us to change our actions. However, one thing that does is that greenish, crinkly, paper/linen stuff: money. All of these tips can lessen your environmental footprint while also leaving money in your bank account.

Used is IN

chairSavers, Salvation Army, UConn Buy or Sell: all of these shopping arenas are second-hand stores where you can find clothing, couches, chairs, tables, glasses, cookware, and even old Backstreet Boys CD’s.

I have never received more compliments on a piece of furniture than my red cushioned papasan that I bought from the Salvation Army. Many might ask, what is a papasan? Well, it is a stylish chair made famous by Pier 1 Imports Furniture that goes for $149.95 ($79.95 for the frame $70 for the cushion). I bought it from a thrift store in a used, like-new condition for $15. Not only did I save over $130, but by buying something in its second, third, maybe fourth cycle from a local enterprise, I prevented a new papasan from being made in the long-run (saving the environmental impacts of manufacturing and transportation) and my $15 dollars went to a social cause rather than straight into Pier 1’s income accounts.

Second hand stores are a beautiful opportunity to find cheap deals and to make a statement with your purchase. Consumerism is a rampant idealism of our society, but buying brand new doesn’t benefit your budget or the environment. So what does purchasing second-hand do? It gives you more power for your dollar. Instead of feeding a wasteful lifestyle, your money instead goes to the local economy, your pocket, and supports a larger shift towards a more sustainable society that uses existing resources to fulfill current needs. Also, by shopping at more charitable organizations you are investing your dollar in helping others. The Salvation Army who take 82 cents of every dollar to providing to food distribution, disaster relief, and other beneficial community programs.

Editor’s note: Yes, buying used items can be deemed “unsanitary”, “mysterious”, even “dangerous,” so play it smart and enjoy the hunt. Look for the items that look the cleanest and a few thorough washes are never a bad idea!