The downside of doing something like the 2011 in 2011 is that you end up with 2011 things that you have to do something with. Separating recycling, composting and trash was easy, it is the donate vs sell that is hard because seriously selling shit is a lot of work for so little money sometimes. At some consignment shops you get like 25 cents for a piece of clothing that they turn around and sell for $5. If you have more time and patience then there is always the option of selling directly to someone else. I have found that I get more money this way but I really have to wonder if it is worth it. Not just from time and energy perspective either but from the environmental perspective.
No one will debate that re-selling items so that they can be used by someone is the a great green solution. But what about the resources involved? I am on two Mom 2 Mom Facebook groups where I have sold a few things. One sale was local so I was able to drop it off on my way home from work. The other sales were in the town I grew up in and I was able to arrange the drop offs for when I was in town visiting my parents. In those situations I didn't feel like I was wasting gas or creating more emissions by selling my items.
This week I decided it was time to start selling the rest of the stuff that is currently littering the spare bedroom. As people inquire I love that I am able to sell things that B loved and has now outgrown but I am starting to question the environmental impact of it. Is it better to just take it all to a consignment shop get my nickel and walk away knowing I sold it all in one trip or is it better to sell the items myself and get more money but have to do several drop offs at various locations?
So I have thought about it and come up with what I think is the best solution. We have a fantastic classifieds website at work so I am going to list my items there. Anything that doesn't sell through this avenue I will try my local Mom 2 Mom Facebook site and try to arrange all drop offs to occur at the same public location around the same time so it is only one trip for me. Option 3 will be to take it to the consignment shop or donate whatever hasn't sold.
I think that there are lots of great ways for you to re-sell your stuff without having to increase your carbon footprint. You can:
* Buy a table at a Mom 2 Mom sale. Even do it with a friend to split the cost!
* Sell to people that live or work close to you
* Group clothing together and sell as a packaged deal
* Be realistic about your pricing You will have a better chance of selling if you give discounts for someone buying more items. Plus it means less trips to get rid of all your stuff.
* Sell items that you know you can get money for. It isn't worth it to drive around dropping something off that you are selling for $1. Donate anything that you feel isn't worth it.
* Mention that you have cleaned items with non toxic cleaners or soaps
I was going to suggest having a garage sale and this would decrease your own personal impact but think of all the people that drive around from garage sale to garage sale. I think it is still a green option but I think that there are others that have less of an overall impact.
I think this is also a great lesson to teach kids. Get them involved by allowing them to pick out what toys they want to sell or donate. If you are selling the items give a portion of it back to them to add to their piggy bank. I think it really goes a long way to showing them the value in selling and buying used goods.
How do you sell things in a way that keeps your environmental impact as low as possible?
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