Every year before going back to school it’s always exciting to restock and update my clothes, school supplies, room decorations and everything else, but most often I hardly ever stop to consider the impacts of this fun process. “Out with the old and in with the new” is the way most of us have come to live our lives, but this can be very wasteful. You might not realize just how much you will throw away each time you buy new things. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to update your belongings, but before going straight to your favorite store and dumping what you already have into the dumpster, consider donating it.
In 2010, UConn diverted 14, 137 pounds of donations from going to dumpsters through the Give and Go program. The program is especially useful at the end of the year when you don’t feel like packing up everything you’ve got. For now, if you’re still in the process of acquiring new items it’s not too late to be green about it! Instead of purchasing brand new items, consider going to thrift stores, clothing swaps, or consignment shops. Not only are things cheaper there, but you can often find great unique pieces that no one else will have. Look through your stuff and try not to get rid of anything that’s still useful, just for a newer model. Also try trading with your friends, that way you can each have a change of scenery without having to spend a dime! My favorite things are usually not what I buy new, but those random items I find at rummage sales or consignment shops because they are one of a kind and so different from items of mass production you see on every shelf.