Plastic-Free July Eco-Challenge, Day 29- Get Items Second-Hand

There is something cathartic, almost therapeutic about moving to me. Living in the same place for over three years is kind of a rarity for me and my husband. We usually move every one or two years.

Well, Sully and the Kid don’t like moving… so, not the ENTIRE family is thrilled about this

What I enjoy most is going through our belongings and figuring out what to keep, and what we don’t. This year, I feel we gave away a lot more things we historically would have held onto. I like to think of that as growth. Why hold onto a popcorn popper when neither one of use eats popcorn anymore?

So, as we pack our belongings, I put many items aside to give away to the thrift store. And this reminded me of an important aspect for Plastic-Free July. Find as many items as you can second-hand before buying them brand new. And since this is ZooFit, everything relates to fitness and health. So, let me emphasize getting equipment, cooking utensils, and cookbooks from thrift stores.

Most of my personal workout equipment I make myself (via Reuse, Recycle, Reduce Your Waist). But there are common items I always see at the thrift store that can make a huge impact on your fitness. Plus getting items from a local thrift store helps the community, since many local stores are charity-run organizations.

Here are some great finds from second-hand shops to help you train positive.

1) Dumbbells

Here’s some inside information. Dumbbells can cost upwards of $1-$2 PER POUND at a regular fitness store. At a thrift store? A pair of 5 lb dumbbells will probably set you back about $3. And I constantly see 5 lb dumbbells at thrift stores. Five’s work great for beginners, or even those just wanting a little added umph for their triumph. If you can’t go heavy, just increase your rep count. Dumbbells are staple workout equipment, but don’t go overboard paying too much. Get them second-hand and save a bundle.

2) Kitchen gadgets

As I said, I got rid of my popcorn popper because neither of us eat it anymore. But there are way more exciting and helpful gadgets for the kitchen than poppers. Juicers, crockpots, blenders, and everything in-between can be found in thrift stores. If you don’t have a crockpot, this is one item you MUST get. And you can find one pretty cheap at a second-hand shop.

3) Cookbooks

Whether you are vegetarian, paleo, or low carb, thrift stores have PLENTY of books for you to peruse. I’ll admit, this is a guilty pleasure of mine. It’s really hard for me to go to a second-hand store and NOT buy a cookbook. It may not be new, but it’s brand new to ME. There are tons of recipes I haven’t tried. I want to try them all. My moving boxes are telling me to stop this habit. The box with my cookbooks is the heaviest of the bunch. But when you find a cookbook for only a dollar? What am I supposed to do? NOT buy it? Don’t be ridiculous.

4) Yoga mats

You don’t have to do yoga to use a yoga mat in your workout. The mats help you not slip and slide all over the floor while doing burpees or mountain climbers. And nowadays, yoga mats are pretty pricey. I often find mats at thrift stores for $4-$5. About a $25 discount.

5) Games

I know, what do games have to do with fitness? Well, if you follow my blog long enough, you will discover I LOVE playing games for workouts. Deck of Cards, UNO, Memory, Fate of the Die. All these games were inspired by items I found at a thrift store. I’m currently trying to figure out how to turn Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit into workouts, because those games are EVERYWHERE.

6) Comfy workout clothes

You don’t need a $50 jogging suit to go jogging. A $5 pair of pants and a $3 T-shirt work just as nice. You’re going to get your sweat on, not present your dissertation to Nobel Peace Prize laureates. Even if you’re hoping to catch the eye of that hot guy or sexy woman at the gym, I promise you, they aren’t looking at your clothes. They are checking out your awesome motivation to get to the gym.

There are a couple items I do recommend NOT getting at the thrift store. Don’t get your footwear second-hand. Your workout shoes should be fitted for your ultimate comfort. I’m not saying you can’t buy a pair of Nikes for $4. Just don’t make those your workout shoes you wear all the time. Get fitted or try on shoes to make sure they are good for you.

Also, a slight word of warning about kitchen gadgets. Keep in mind, if you buy used, it’s likely outside its warranty. If it breaks, it’s on you to fix it. So, do tread carefully if you are getting a $200 food processor for $15.

Have a fun and fit summer, without breaking the bank. Reduce your waste while reducing your waist. And support your local community. That’s definitely the ZooFit way.

One Comment

  1. I am all for buying at resale/thrift stores especially since I volunteer at one. Everyone wins…the giver gets rid of unwanted stuff that doesn’t go in landfill, the buyers saves money and the charity gets needed money.

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