Small Changes: April 2012

by Rachael on April 3, 2012

the gnome, 04.02.12

Gnome top by Auntie Heather. Pants by Tea, from Monk's Trunk.

The small changes I planned for this winter might have been possible, had I not been so busy running around the city to appointments with various doctors, preparing for an unexpected hospital birth, and crying. Nevertheless, I haven’t given up on making the changes. For one thing, with the Gnome here, I’m probably taking shorter showers anyway. Second, we’ve found a couple places that will take our #5 plastic; we just have to find a place in our apartment to collect it and a way to get it to the places that will take it. And as for the re-usable bags for produce and bulk goods, Melissa suggests these; I just have a couple questions to ask before I buy.

Meanwhile, on to more changes! Our most recent change: Whenever we need to get new clothing for the Critter or the Gnome, we’re going to start at the consignment shop. As it is, nearly all of their clothing is second- or third-hand. Much of the Critter’s wardrobe, for example, comes from a friend whose son is a couple years older than he. And much of the Gnome’s wardrobe, of course, comes from the Critter. Family and friends give us most of the rest — sometimes new, sometimes not, and usually something very much needed, such as pants that actually fit the Critter.

Even with so much generosity, though, sometimes we find there’s something missing from one or the other’s wardrobe. A couple weeks ago, for example, I realized that the Gnome had no pants to wear with his onesies. To the local consignment shop I went (Monk’s Trunk in Prospect Lefferts Gardens), simply because it was on my way to pick up the Critter from school. I didn’t just find two pairs of pants there — I found two great pairs of pants there. Just look at my little Gnome!

This small change makes sense for us, not only because, as it says at the FAQ page for Monk’s Trunk, “from an environmental perspective, the only thing better than buying used is buying nothing at all.” It makes because we’re always selling our stuff to consignment shops, used bookstores, and so on. By buying used, we do our duty to close the loop, too.

What do you buy used?

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Jo April 3, 2012 at 2:53 PM

I love Monk’s Trunk! Not only because I’m married to a diehard tree hugger, but a cheap tree hugger at that 😉

We do what we can to get used toys and books. That’s a big one for us. Lots of scouring local listservs does us pretty well in this department, as do trips home where we have 9 nieces and nephews, most of whom are just a tad older than our two girls. It doesn’t make much sense to me to buy loads new when kids only use them for a short period anyway and they usually outlive their usefulness long before they actually wear out physically. It also helps our budget since so much of that stuff is SO expensive.

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laura emily April 4, 2012 at 1:16 PM

buy used: just about everything.
……but food. 🙂

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mumsyjr April 10, 2012 at 8:37 AM

Yep, we buy just about everything used here, too. Except for obvious things like food and toilet paper. Examples: clothes (me and Pookie both), kitchenware (I don’t actually have my own kitchen but I will in a couple of years), books, furniture, toys (but we do get some new sometimes), vinyl albums, DVDs, picture frames and other doo-dads, luggage, etc. And I am not above picking up a kid’s bike for Pookie, or a piece of furniture in good condition, that’s sitting by the curb or the dumpsters. Since I always ask the owners for the curbside ones first, this has led to the added bonus of striking up some kind of rapport and familiarity with the neighbors.

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Rachael April 15, 2012 at 10:34 AM

Wow. I guess we could be buying much more of our stuff used! Though I suppose we don’t really buy all that much stuff, other than food, anyway. I look at this change as a start … or perhaps as my getting back to first thoughts. My registry for the Critter, for example, was not at a store, and I requested (or bought) just about all of his baby stuff used.

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