Monique Tait

Monique Tait

Jan 30, 2023. 8 mins read

Sustainability

How Embracing the Used Life Benefits Your Kids and the Planet

What if you could do something that improved the quality of your children’s lives and helped the planet at the same time? Sounds like a win-win, right? Don’t worry; it isn’t some overly complicated scientific concept. It’s the idea of using a used life and gaining major momentum.

kids drawing of earth

A used life simply means extending the life of products by buying and using second-hand items such as toys, clothes, books, and more. It also includes refurbishment, repair, recycling and resale. And businesses are catching on swiftly, adopting the model of a circular economy that extends the life of goods. Embracing the used life significantly benefits the environment, reducing waste and conserving natural resources. It also has many benefits for families and children. 

The Benefits of Living a Used Life for Children

Understandably, many people believe giving their children brand-new toys, clothes, and other items make them happy and successful. Likewise, you might feel that if you give your kids second-hand toys, you’re somehow short-changing them, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Living a used life benefits your children and teaches them many critical life lessons.

Encourages creativity and resourcefulness

You’ll be amazed at how creative kids become when they don’t have a ton of the latest and greatest toys. If you’ve seen a kid play with a cardboard box, you know exactly what this means. 

Helps kids appreciate the value of money

Your kids watch everything you do (then tell their teachers about it). So they’ll notice how you’re budgeting and saving through swapping toys and shopping at second-hand marketplaces or stores. The concept of bartering is coming back strong because people realise how it helps stretch their dollars. It’s also a great lesson when something breaks if you try to repair or repurpose it instead of rushing out to buy a new one.

Teaches children how vital it is to reduce waste and be a friend to the environment

Again, kids live by example. Therefore, if you start making it important, your kids believe it’s important.

Provides opportunities for children to learn about history and different cultures

When kids live in a culture where it’s super simple to go out and buy whatever they need, it becomes easy to take things for granted. Adopting this second-hand lifestyle helps kids build gratitude and appreciate things more. Use it as a window into history and the lives of others to show how things aren’t always so easy.

Encourages children to help others

When you live a used life, charity shops and thrift stores are often popular shopping options. Let your kids know that not only does it save money, but you’re helping others when you choose to shop at these places. 

The Benefits of Living a Used Life for the Planet

Toy swapping, buying second-hand in thrift stores or online marketplaces, and upcycling items are excellent ways to reduce your carbon footprint. They promote sustainability and allow you to help the planet in a meaningful way. Here are a few ways living a used life benefits the earth.

Reduces waste

When you reuse and repurpose items, they don’t end up in a landfill somewhere.

Conserves natural resources

Instead of using valuable resources to make brand-new items, extend the life of what you have. Refill jars, repair broken items instead of tossing them into the trash, and start recycling.

Decreases your carbon footprint

When there’s less need to produce new items, it reduces your carbon footprint.

Promotes a circular economy

When more and more people embrace the used life, businesses notice. The UK appears to be leading the way. Department store Selfridges in the UK have already started striving to concentrate more on repairing, recycling, and refilling items instead of new production. The Little Loop offers kids’ clothes sharing and Whirli toy rentals. These businesses aim to keep products in use for longer to help reduce waste and do a fantastic job at promoting sustainability.

Are You Ready to Embrace the Used-life?

With all the benefits a used life provides, it's hard to find a reason not to try it. Plus, it's really easy to do! Start taking simple steps today to improve the planet and your children's quality of life.

  • Skip shopping at mainstream retailers and visit a local thrift shop instead. Finding new-to-you toys and games at a toy library is also possible. Your kids will get something new to play with, and the membership fees are minimal.

  • When something you own doesn’t fit in your life anymore, don’t toss it. Instead, think about how to upcycle it in some way. Perhaps that old bookshelf just needs a new paint job and some pretty shelf liners. Or your kid’s favourite teddy that’s looking a bit limp just needs some fresh stuffing (snag some from that old throw pillow you were thinking about tossing). It starts to get quite fun as you challenge yourself to be creative.

  • Trade toys and other items with others through easy-to-use toy swapping apps like Sassybae. It’s a great way to get something “new” without draining resources or your wallet. 

  • Involve your kids in the process. Using second-hand should be something you do with your kids, not to your kids. Let your children know, experience the benefits, and work through things with you. 

  • Repurpose everyday items instead of tossing them in the garbage. You would be amazed at how many ways you can use something many consider trash. Get creative and make a game out of it. You know you’re just itching to discover how many ways to use a toilet paper roll!

Pave the Way for a Richer Life

It's time to reframe your way of thinking. Living a used life doesn't mean you're living with less than. You're paving the way for a rich life by embracing second-hand, refurbishment, repair, recycling, resale, and living sustainability.

The used life isn't a passing trend; it's the way of the future, so it's time to hop on board! You can significantly impact your kids' lives and the planet with just a few small steps. It's time to take the first one now! Do it

Monique Tait

Monique Tait

Mothering . Wife . Founder . Chicken Wing Aficionado .

When she's not scouring the city for the best fried chicken joint, she's busy being a parenting superhero, starting with her new toy swapping app called Sassybae. Because let's be real, what better way to show your love for your kids than by swapping out their old toys for new ones? Monique is on a mission to make parenting easier, one wing and one toy at a time.

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