More Than Just Money: The Environmental Benefits of Buying Second-Hand

Buying second-hand can save money, but did you know that it can help the environment too? We’ve examined the life changes that involve spending the most money on new items, whose manufacture in turn generates carbon emissions. Read on to find out how shopping the Good Finds on Gumtree instead could therefore be kinder to the planet as well as your wallet.

The Environmental Benefits of Buying Second-Hand

Moving house

Moving home is the start of an exciting new chapter, but buying new goods is often expensive and has a significant environmental impact, too. Furnishing a new home costs £3,416 on average and generates around 17 kg of CO2 emissions, which is the equivalent of leaving a light on for 8 whole weeks!

Luckily, buying second-hand can help reduce your costs while also avoiding the large carbon footprint that manufacturing new products creates. The prices of used appliances are significantly lower than their new counterparts. For example, you can save a whopping 75% by getting your washing machine second-hand, as well as saving carbon emissions equivalent to 594 days of central heating.

A new addition to the family

A new addition to the family

Having a baby is one life change where buying second-hand could save you the most, since babies use things for such a short time you can often pick them up nearly new. In fact, people spend around 55% less when purchasing prams second-hand, and opting for pre-loved clothes as kids grow is more economical.

If the savings alone aren’t enough to convince you, consider the environmental toll of buying brand-new – by the time you’ve sorted a cot, pushchair, baby monitor and plenty of baby-grows, you may have generated carbon emissions equivalent to travelling 39 million kilometres by car. That’s the same as driving to the moon and back 50 times!

The big move to university

The big move to university

Moving into your first student house is a big moment, but it often means doubling up on everything you already had in the family home, which can cost upward of £1,423 on average.

All this new kit can easily end up in landfill come graduation time, so you could save the planet carbon emissions totalling around 1,900 hot showers by looking for your laptop, appliances and cosy bedding on Gumtree. Who knows, you might even grab a Good Find that’s better quality than you could have afforded if you’d hit the shops!

home office

The home office

Since April 2020, over 13 million people in the UK have had to work from home for the first time. That’s a huge number of us adapting our lives and incurring costs as we set up our home offices. To make this transition a little easier on the pocket, why not try to pick up a laptop around 60% cheaper by buying second hand or refurbished? Manufacturing a brand new laptop generates emissions equivalent to heating your home for 7,222 days, so you’ll be doing your part for the planet too.

There are savings of up to 85% to be had on other WFH essentials like drawers and desks when you buy second hand, too. What’s more, if you furnish your whole home workspace with pre-loved pieces, you could save the carbon emissions equivalent to flying a plane 5 billion kilometres. When you count all the costs, buying second hand really is a no-brainer. Check out our guide on home office design and workspace decorating ideas for more inspiration.

So why not browse Gumtree to make those big life changes that bit cheaper and more environmentally friendly to boot? With everything from clothes to gadgets to bicycles available, you’re bound to bag a Good Find.