Challenge 4 - Think Twice Before You Buy

Mending-Robert-Donovan-cropped-400kb.jpgThink Twice Before You Buy!

Did you know that you can help the environment and reduce waste by simply not buying something? By repairing, sharing, swapping or re-using things, you can avoid wasteful packaging and avoid sending more things to landfill - and you’ll probably save money.

We can buy less, share things, or buy second-hand things to reduce the waste impact of what we own.

This includes things like borrowing a book from the library, or sharing tools with a neighbour instead of buying your own. You can also buy second hand clothing or donate your old furniture to a charitable store.


  • Instead of buying something new, reconsider it – borrow it from a friend, or rent it instead. Or, if you really need your own, buy it second hand. Share a photo and tell us about it!
  • Instead of throwing out something you don’t use anymore, donate or sell it to someone who could use it. Tell us about it! The City of Toronto website lists local non-profit groups that accept donations of used goods.


Take the extra step:
Repair it! Instead of tossing something out, get it repaired, or learn to maintain it yourself so it lasts longer. Mend your clothes, or get them altered by a tailor. Tell us about your repair adventure and snap a photo!

Did you take this challenge?

  • Neil Wick
    Took Challenge 2017-03-03 15:56:59 -0500
    I have some old clothes to throw out
  • Irma Marigsa
    Took Challenge via 2017-01-31 00:21:42 -0500
  • Karen Pace
    Took Challenge 2016-07-04 10:55:52 -0400
  • Paul Cressman
    Took Challenge 2016-07-02 13:55:28 -0400
    This is something I need to do more. Rethink what I buy. Repair things I have.
  • Benedicte Le Quang
    Took Challenge 2016-05-31 09:47:55 -0400
    I have mended a jersey myself like my grandma does! Long life, jersey!

    The CEO of Patagonia said “It’s a radical thought, but change can start with a needle and thread”
  • Kate Ziegler
    Took Challenge 2016-01-12 15:21:19 -0500
    I took boxes of clothing and housewares to the Salvation Army. I also put a small recycling bin in the bathroom! It goes a long way.
  • @TeresaMWright tweeted link to this page. 2014-08-16 12:49:30 -0400
  • Teresa Wright
    Took Challenge 2014-08-16 12:48:34 -0400
    do this everyday ;) This is one of my upcycles
  • Melissa Shah
    Took Challenge 2014-07-19 21:34:48 -0400
  • Jennifer Kath
    Took Challenge 2014-07-16 12:27:10 -0400
    Donated my old clothes. There are many bins in my neighbourhood, which makes it easy.
  • John D. Lundy
    Took Challenge 2014-07-15 23:28:34 -0400
    I repaired two pairs of pants!
  • Daniel Brennan
    Took Challenge 2014-07-15 23:08:44 -0400
    I like buy quality clothes, new or used then repair them when needed -they last longer!
  • Charles Ritchie
    Took Challenge 2014-07-15 22:14:12 -0400
    Since circa 2012,I have gone to a certain number of free Repair Cafes;here in Toornto.
  • Jessica C Dubelaar
    Took Challenge 2014-07-15 21:15:16 -0400
    I’m expecting a baby and have been collecting second hand baby clothes from friends
  • Heidi Breier
    Took Challenge 2014-07-15 21:06:47 -0400
    I mend my clothes all the time. I’m the darning queen!! :)
  • Dawn Lyons
    Took Challenge 2014-07-14 18:57:14 -0400
    Yes, and more all the time! Photo attached is a neighbour’s garden cuttings (an old honeysuckle tree) that we are drying, then we will give to a neighbour who has a fireplace. The plastic fencing will become tomato cage for another neighbour. Other resources we use all the time are 1.) neighbourhood recycling , eg, put used items out on the curb in case anyone else can use them. Got rid of an unused rice cooker, picked up a nice watering can just this week. 2.) The Toronto Tool Library, we are fortunate to have a branch within two blocks, find them at <a href=“”http://torontotoollibrary.com/“>http://torontotoollibrary.com/”>http://torontotoollibrary.com/, and 3.) Bike Pirates, happy to get old bikes, happy to sell refurbished bikes (at very affordable prices), and keen on using salvaged parts to help you fix your own bike. More here: htp://www.bikepirates.com. Am assembling a bunch of old clothing to be used as rags in their shop, too. Every bit of trash is someone’s treasure, just gotta find them.
  • Ria Bilous
    Took Challenge 2014-07-14 18:57:04 -0400
    I love to use the little free library. It’s a great way to exchange old books you no longer want to read and I always find something odd that I wouldn’t have thought of reading otherwise. They have locations all over the city.
  • Adele Therias
    Took Challenge 2014-07-14 18:53:45 -0400
    Since I am moving out of the house soon for university, I figured I needed my own “grown-up” address book. I was about to buy a brand new one, but instead realized that I didn’t really need to purchase a new product. Instead, I tool an old, unused agenda and created letters A to Z and assigned pages to each letter- voila! A perfectly waste free address book :)
  • Grant Lowe
    Took Challenge 2014-07-14 18:49:30 -0400
    often use second-hand clothes or donate clothes to charities; I also mend my clothes when needed (prolongs their lifespan)
  • Leslie Forge
    Took Challenge 2014-07-14 18:49:19 -0400
  • P Sutharshini
    Took Challenge 2014-07-14 15:50:15 -0400
    Will repair handbag. Will borrow books. Will buy phone secondhand.
  • Karthika A
    Took Challenge 2014-07-14 15:49:28 -0400
    Will repair handbag. Will borrow watch. Will buy phone secondhand.
  • Nesha .
    Took Challenge 2014-07-14 15:33:47 -0400
    Will repair shoes, trousers, shirt, handbag, school bag. Will borrow books, play kits, sports items. Will buy furniture, clothes from Salvation Army or Value Village.
  • Thuraisingam Appudurai
    Took Challenge 2014-07-14 15:31:46 -0400
    Will repair tv and blender. Will borrow books and garden tools. Will buy bicycle second hand.
  • Sadie Wardougou
    Took Challenge 2014-07-14 15:30:35 -0400
    I will repair. I will buy secondhand.
  • Tharsika K
    Took Challenge 2014-07-14 15:29:54 -0400
    Will repair shoes and tv. Will borrow sports items. Will buy phone, car and house secondhand.
  • K Sinthujah
    Took Challenge 2014-07-14 15:28:36 -0400
    Will repair bag, tv and radio. Will borrow book. Will buy phone secondhand
  • Srinath Kumarasingh
    Took Challenge 2014-07-14 15:27:16 -0400
    I will repair
  • Mary Arapura
    Took Challenge 2014-07-14 15:25:38 -0400
  • Nesha .
    Took Challenge 2014-07-14 14:41:03 -0400
    Will try to repair shoes, borrow play kits and buy clothes second hand.