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?

  • @Binu1117 tweeted link to this page. 2014-07-14 14:35:36 -0400
  • Binu Saradakutty
    Took Challenge 2014-07-14 14:30:19 -0400
    I usually repair my clothes and reuse it. I also donate clothes to my neighbourhood Goodwill.
  • Rebecca Ong
    Took Challenge via 2014-07-11 00:02:25 -0400
    I always grab a bunch of clothes to try in the dressing room but as I approach the cashier the pile gets smaller and smaller, and usually when I get there I decide to leave empty handed . I save worn out clothing for messy jobs around the house or turn them into rags.
  • Nancy Ong
    Took Challenge via 2014-07-10 23:26:13 -0400
  • Christine S
    Took Challenge via 2014-07-10 21:56:40 -0400
    -buy second hand clothes

    -borrow books/movies from the library

    -choose not to buy products with a lot of packaging

    But I guess I could do more by mending my clothes…
  • Franz Hartmann
    Took Challenge 2014-07-10 11:43:58 -0400
    Thanks to the help of my partner, we turned a long-sleeved shirt that had a hole in one of the elbows into a short-sleeved shirt! So, I saved the cost of buying a new summer shirt!
  • Lina Lum
    Took Challenge 2014-07-09 21:50:22 -0400
    I borrow books, magazines, and DVDs from the library all the time.
  • Arlynn MacDermott
    Took Challenge 2014-07-09 18:59:08 -0400
  • Sandra Nakata
    Took Challenge 2014-07-09 18:45:55 -0400
  • Willie Macrae
    Took Challenge 2014-07-09 15:48:39 -0400
  • Stephanie Savoie
    Took Challenge 2014-07-08 21:38:35 -0400
    Whenever I have an item I don’t use anymore, I either try to sell it on Kijiji or donate it to charity depending on the item in question. Also, I definitely have started to embrasse ‘Think Twice Before You Buy’ to reduce my consumption habits. Also, I am in the need of a bike but I have decided to shop in used bike stores around Toronto and have found plenty of options of bikes that are still functioning great!
  • Emily Alfred
    Took Challenge 2014-07-07 22:48:06 -0400
    We’re renovating our house – instead of buying new wood for things like baseboards, we found someone selling old trim from their old farmhouse on kijiji. It takes more work from us to sort through it, but it’ll be nice in our house!
  • Kassidy Crowe
    Took Challenge 2014-07-07 15:39:55 -0400
    98% of the time, I don’t buy new clothing. The exception is mostly shoes and other footwear. I shop at local thrift stores, attend clothing swaps, dumpster dive, and I also recycle my old clothing by donating to others instead of throwing things away.

    Summer is the best time to find things you need in great condition at yard sales! I do this every year as well, and pass on my outdated appliances and household items via Freecycle or through friends.

    Hooray for recycling!
  • Denise Robichaud
    Took Challenge 2014-07-07 08:45:38 -0400
    that’s why we have garage sales and friends !
  • Louis Mikolainis
    Took Challenge 2014-07-06 10:10:20 -0400
    I fix lots of my stuff, socks, clothing. We only use rechargeable batteries
  • catherine sutherland
    Took Challenge 2014-07-06 09:04:19 -0400

    I don’t gave a camera or cell phone/camera. Please accept my description of challenge 4 actions.

    For years I have bought most of my clothes at the Good Will second hand store, and I do the hems myself. When the cuffs of pants are worn out I make them into shorts. Likewise when I’m finished with an item I take it to the Good Will. (I don’t like crowds so won’t attend the swap, thank you for the info.) I borrow garden tools from a neighbor in my housing co-op. I faithfully use the green and blue bins. I gave a dresser I no longer wanted to a local non-profit. I’m glad to see a list of more non-profits taking donations of things other than clothes.

    How could improve what I do? I confess to using a lot of take-out paper cups. I pledge to stop this and either use a stainless steel cup, or reuse the disposable until it’s done, for a week or so. For years I’ve wanted to know what to do with worn out clothes that aren’t fit for going to the Good Will. I’m thankful to see a resource for reusing fabric and rags, that I can go to in future.


    Catherine Sutherland
  • Amanda Lewis
    Took Challenge 2014-07-05 17:18:20 -0400
    Yes! Our house held a mega clothing swap last week, with about 20 people and BAGS of clothes. We all benefitted from new-to-us duds, and we’re donating the (quality) leftovers to Goodwill.
  • Olivia Waterman
    Took Challenge 2014-07-03 17:17:52 -0400
    I recently went to my local thrift store to purchase some clothes for summer – it was great to know that a portion of what I was buying was going to a local cause.
  • Irma Marigsa
    Took Challenge 2014-06-25 18:33:38 -0400
  • Diane Devenyi
    Took Challenge 2014-06-24 22:02:34 -0400
    I am renovating my home and am reusing many materials, including previous kitchen cabinets, reclaimed wood from the ceiling, and today I bought a relatively new but used fridge rather than buy a new one.
  • Timon Baphometic
    Took Challenge 2014-06-21 12:29:37 -0400
    When my computer screen died, I went online and learned how to repair it instead of immediately jumping to by a new laptop.
  • Deborah Livingston-Lowe
    Took Challenge 2014-06-21 09:50:09 -0400
    We keep our things for a long period of time and try to get them repaired.
  • David Livingston-Lowe
    Took Challenge 2014-06-20 10:49:56 -0400
    If it’s good enough to give away, it goes to a charity. We buy second-hand furniture, repair clothes to extend use, or turn them into cleaning rags. I bought a sharpening stone to maintain garden tools.
  • Maria Rots
    Took Challenge 2014-06-20 09:27:52 -0400
  • Marny Gibson
    Took Challenge 2014-06-04 12:27:40 -0400
    Well, this has been a habit of mine for a long time. I live near a Salvation Army store, so I take things there, including the unsolicited cards I receive from charities aiming to guilt me into donating to them. I do mend clothes when possible, though I don’t have a sewing machine, so it has to be something I can do by hand. I also use the library quite a lot, and rent videos – I never buy them (who does these days?)
  • Celia Zhang
    Took Challenge via 2014-06-02 12:25:01 -0400
  • Justin Conley
    Took Challenge 2014-05-29 16:24:41 -0400
    Recently, I was in need of a new pair of jeans. I was sad to say good-bye to a couple of pairs of my old jeans. Since I don’t have a sewing machine and lack the skill to sew I just thought “go shopping.” Then I started looking into places that repair clothes. Quickly, I found that most dry cleans offer an option to repair clothes. Within a day I had two pairs of my favourite jeans repaired! I saved money and reduced my waste.
  • John Cowan
    Took Challenge 2014-05-28 07:19:49 -0400
    Its my culture to repair, reuse, find in someone else’s garbage …….
  • Amanda Johnson
    Took Challenge 2014-05-26 14:04:43 -0400
    I get a lot of things, mostly clothes, second hand. I would really like to get into using the Toronto tool library or some sort of community tool sharing group.
  • David Simmons
    Took Challenge 2014-05-26 00:23:51 -0400
    I donate 0ld clothing and other articles to Goodwill