<a href="http://www.greenlifestylemag.com.au/blogs/julie#">Green challenges</a>

Green challenges

Thinking global and acting local, Julie Grundy takes on any challenge we throw at her.

Not new, but new to you

Shirt on a hanger

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So our challenge is to buy nothing new all this month. That does however leave us a few options if we find that we absolutely must acquire something we don’t already own: buying secondhand, and swapping.

Hundreds of thousands of people around Australia rely on the Quokka and other classified ads for finding a good deal on slightly used items. But for a lot of people, the only time they’ve purchased something pre-loved is when they wanted a car.

With our buy nothing new challenge, now might be a good time for you to look into buying used instead of new. I’ve done a little secondhand shopping lately - here are my suggestions for where to look for quality stuff.

Op shops are leaving behind their daggy image and becoming a good way for families and hipsters alike to get something new-to-them while supporting a charity and saving perfectly good clothes from being thrown out. This is a good option for people like me who enjoy a good browse around the shops.

If you’re not convinced by op shops, try a swap party with your friends instead. That purple top that looks terrible on you could be swapped for your best friend’s sparkly top that’s too big for her. I had one a few months ago, and when I added in a few snacks and drinks and some music, the practical clothes swap turned into a fun night in with friends.

Freecycle, Yoink and Scoodi are places where you can pick up free things that are unwanted by other people. I recently gave away a laundry drying rack and two washing baskets for free to someone in my neighbourhood via Yoink. And a while ago I gave away a gas heater after I moved into a house that didn’t have a gas point. They’re definitely a good place to check for household goods and toys.

eBay and Gumtree are websites where you can buy and sell secondhand goods - you can get anything from electronics to furniture to craft supplies on there. If you’re not certain about buying things online, there’s always the reliable old secondhand/antiques stores. You can try before you buy, and they’ve already found the good stuff from what’s available at auction houses.

Have you tried buying secondhand before? If you’ve got any tips, please share them in the comments - and if you’ve got any questions, let us know and we’ll answer them for you...