By Guest Contributor Krista Blasier
When embarking on the college journey, students usually arrive in the fall with a very large desire to express their individuality through their living arrangements, but with a very small pocketbook. Now, don’t you fret your pretty little heads; I have an amazing solution to this sticky little situation. Let your inner thriftster out to play! Looking for a great deal on a tight budget not only forces you to stretch your creative muscles, but it also can be a great bonding experience with your newfound friends at school!
The best part about hunting (and oftentimes, digging) in antique shops for lovely unique treasures, is that it is perfectly amazing for the environment as well! All of these items have already been created and used by others, so by purchasing them, you are merely continuing to utilize the product. Buying brand new items, while sometimes necessary, (example: toilet paper, right?!), sucks up precious resources from the earth, and should be minimized when possible. Buying used items will give you a clear conscious in regards to the environment, which will allow you to enjoy your purchase more thoroughly.
Your college years really are the best time to adopt a green lifestyle because these good habits will stick with you for life. Making small green choices now, can be a simple step towards leading a greener lifestyle in the future. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency offers the following tips in regards to green shopping:
- Buy recycled. Items made from paper and plastic are often made from recycled materials. You can also look out for household furnishings made from recycled materials.
- Buy in bulk or multi-packs. Buying more items at once reduces packaging waste. This is actually very easy to do when you have several roommates!
- Buy used. You can find authentic retro clothes, accessories, and other items at your local thrift store.
- Trade with friends. Instead of buying brand new products, swap with friends or family.
- Combine bags. When you’re at the mall, you don’t need to get a new shopping bag for every singe item. You can even just throw small items in your purse. Just make sure to hold on to that receipt!
- Buy energy-efficient items. Look for the Energy Star logo when buying electronics such as TVs, CD players, DVD players, and computers. (1)
Now that you know why buying antiques and looking for great deals at thrift stores is wonderful for the environment, take a look at the list below for some wonderful shops in the Twin Cities!
Some of the best Antique/Thrift shops in the Twin Cities:
- Hunt and Gather (404 Xerxes Ave. S, Minneapolis)
- Salvation Army (900 North 4th St., Minneapolis)**
- Missouri Mouse Antiques (1750 Selby Avenue, St. Paul)
- The Cottage House (4304 Chicago Ave., Minneapolis)
- Goodwill (553 Fairview Ave. N, St. Paul)
**This is the best Salvation Army to go to because this is where Target sends all of its samples no longer being used. Just go into the basement portion and you will literally be seeing all Target samples.
Krista Blasier is a former Women’s Center communications intern. She graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2009 with a BA in Communication Studies. If you would like to read more about easy tips and tricks for going green, feel free to visit her blog, Green Organic Devotion, where she looks at many more ways to go green and why it is so important!