Goodwill Hunting: The Environment Loves Thrift Stores, Too

We’re college students– and money doesn’t grow on trees. This used to mean cutting down on your clothing purchases, but no more! There are tons of fun, stylish and cheap treasures waiting to be found at thrift stores. Each week, Daphne Weidner will take you on a thrifty journey to prove that being tight on money does not mean sacrificing style. Let’s get thrifty.

“Going green” seems to be a growing trend in the college community. I keep seeing articles about the student government pushing for more action to be taken to make Penn State a more sustainable university, and signs in the residence halls encouraging students to recycle in the proper way. There are also many clubs on campus fully dedicated to raising awareness about environmental issues.

While sadly there isn’t a club dedicated to thrift shopping, many people don’t recognize that it’s a very “green” thing to do. Students love clothes, obviously. We pass hundreds of other students every day on our way to class, so lookin’ cute on campus doesn’t hurt.

What you may have never considered, though, is how much energy those clothes used up to make it to your closet. Especially when you order clothes online, a ton of energy is sucked up to make, process and ship the clothes to you.

On the flip side, when you buy clothes from a thrift store, barely any extra energy is used. You are giving the clothes a second life, but they’re still new to you!

You don’t have to give up the addictive task of online shopping cold turkey. Maybe you could start by going to Goodwill and seeing if you can find something close to what you’re looking for. Even if you only buy a few things there and only every once in awhile, every action counts!

I’m completely on board with this “green” movement. The more students care about the environment and are willing to make a slight shift in their lifestyles to reduce their carbon footprint, the better. It doesn’t seem like we can make a difference, but we are a university of over 40,000 students and a significant amount of attention is on us. People in this country and around the world see what we do and that’s a huge amount of impact we hold.

Buy cool clothes and help the environment; it’s a win-win situation.

Photo by Fuli Wang

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