Consumer guilt and what we can do about it.

Ethical buying makes a difference

Ethical buying makes a difference

I’ve struggled for a while now since I’ve slowly switched to op shopping as my habit of buying choice.  As I write this I hear trucks from our local council crushing tonnes of hard rubbish. While the opportunity to dispose of rubbish like this rather than forcing those who cannot afford tipping fees has some benefits I think people have become lazy and are using it as an opportunity to legally dump almost anything.

Perfectly useable items are getting crushed on a huge scale and it makes me so uneasy.  I try to put my mind at rest a little though by knowing I am trying to do my part to minimise the waste and reduce this where I can.

This article is split into two parts, input and output (or buying and disposing).


  1. Op Shopping
    Well as this website is about op shopping this was probably going to be no surprise!  Op shops provide a host of shopping opportunities for buying preowned items which as a huge bonus also support community, national and international charities.  You can by almost anything from an op shop and many are now open 5-7 days a week, some also offer postage and some sell online via their own websites.
  2. Ebay
    An easy to use alternative where you can choose a preowned or used option during your search, you can also specify it’s distance if you’re keen to pick up locally. The Ebay website is here
  3. Gumtree
    This can also be used to search locally for items, many of which are second-hand and the variety of items available is limitless, The Gumtree website is here.
  4. Garage Sales
    Literally reducing the hard rubbish piles from your own neighbourhood.  The awesome Garage Sale Trail is almost here and there is still time to register for the Saturday 25th October garage sale bonanza happening all over Australia. Find out more on their website here
  5. Markets
    These can include trash and treasure markets, rotary markets and farmers markets which mean you’re supporting local businesses and reducing your carbon footprint on your food and produce purchases.
    If you’re looking to buy clothing try a market based specifically on what you’re looking for such as Take2Markets or Round She Goes Markets .
    If you’re looking for children’s items try a market like The Bumble Bee Markets
  6. Freecycle Groups
    As the name suggests this online group (well there are over 5,000 of them now) are designed to recycle items for free, they have local groups all over the world.  Try searching for one in a suburb or city close to you. Check out the Freecycle website here
  7. Facebook Groups and Pages
    These have really taken off over the past 2-3 years and are easy to take part in but not that easy to search or source specific items.
  8. Swapping
    Get some friends together and swap some stuff, what’s left can be donated en mass to charity.  See sites like he Clothing Exchange for organised events and tips.



See above, yes it’s that simple – Donate to the op shop, sell on Ebay, list on Gumtree, have a garage sale, take part in a market, give away on Freecycle, take some pictures and share them on a group on Facebook.

Ethical buying babits

Ethical buying babits

What’s left after you’ve tried a few of these is probably the rubbish, this is what should be left on the kerb.

Have I missed something?  Let me know what else you do to shop with a clear conscious.