one man's trash...

you know how the saying goes. so true, too. i had the great pleasure of spending sunday afternoon out at the alameda antique fair with friends. for those of you not in the know, this is a HUGE event that occurs the first sunday of every month. nearly 1,000 vendors from around california come together to sell off a dizzying array of antiques & collectibles. more on this awesome event can be found by clicking here.

so how does this fit with the eco-friendly theme? because buying used benefits the environment in 2 ways: first by keeping stuff out of landfills, and additionally by conserving resources and limiting the toxic emissions that come from producing new products. if you've never watched "the story of stuff," i highly recommend it. this short, 20-minute video can be watched online for free, and it teaches the viewer about the actual, environmental cost of manufacturing (and tossing) products in our disposable society. i learned a great deal from watching it, both about myself as a consumer and the throwaway mindset that has somehow become so acceptable in our culture despite detrimental impact on the planet. it was enough to make me question (and begin to change) my shopaholic ways... no small feat, i guarantee you.

jeremy and i have filled our home with used items. this is partly due to being on a budget, but also because we happen to love a distressed "shabby chic" look when it comes to our decorating aesthetic. the antique fair has always been a great place for us to find furniture and decor. craigslist has also been a wonderful resource. in looking around our home, jeremy and i can easily say that at least 90% of our furniture is secondhand of some sort.

lucy's arrival pulls us into a whole new world of consumerism. there's literally no end to the "things" you can buy for a baby. savvy marketing makes new parents think they need tons of products and gadgets... from bottle sterilizers to wipes warmers to shoes for newborn babies. i admit falling for some of these myself... just today i spent $50 on toys designed to engage infants in active, brain-stimulating play (i had a giftcard burning a hole in my pocket, what can i say?). but really, from day to day lucy gets by perfectly on diapers, a blanket, a pair of jammies, some form of comfortable clothing, a glass bottle, the most compact swing we could find, a carseat, and me. that's it.

buying used makes sense, especially when it comes to babies. tomorrow i'm picking up a used bumbo seat that i found on craigslist. babies r' us wanted $40 + tax for it. the woman i'm buying it from wants $15. plus, no resources used to make the bumbo. no packaging. when lucy is done with it (in 2 or 3 months) i hope to resell.

so what did i get at the antique fair? i happened to go kind of crazy this month... the big purchase was a charming 1930's refrigerator that jeremy plans to convert into clothing storage. i also got a large cabinet to hold lucy's toys in her future playroom, plus a vintage baby jacket, vintage baby sweater, vintage baby blanket (for a future sewing project), and a darling miniature folding stool for future time-outs!

watch the video if you can!

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