Think before you shop and Choose to Reuse

We are bombarded with ads to buy the newer, better, or prestigious item. The hidden costs of the new stuff are often hidden, however, and our buying decisions impact the systems we rely upon. So before you buy something new, think first if a used item would do the trick instead.

There are many benefits to shopping for used items.

Buying used can save time. While at first glance it may look overwhelming — racks and racks of clothing at a thrift store — you’ll find all the brands at one location, limiting the time you spend at multiple retailers. In less than an hour or so, you can have several new outfits of all the popular brands at a fraction of the price.

Many thrift stores have a charitable focus, so you can look at it as contributing to the well being of others and the earth at the same time. It’s OK to brag about getting your designer dress, suit or new table for way less!

Children’s clothing and toys are used for such a short time. One wash at home and you have new-to-you clothing and toys at a great price. Shoes, handbags, tools, appliances, electronics, and computers are among the many items that can be repaired for cheaper than buying new, providing jobs and protecting what we love — our families and natural resources.

Hennepin County organizes the annual Choose to Reuse campaign with more than 50 reuse businesses and organizations. Choose to Reuse coupons will help you get great deals on quality products while supporting local businesses and protecting the environment. Coupons are valid August 1 through October 31 at local retailers that rent, repair, resell, consign and exchange used goods.

Here is a sampling of Choose to Reuse coupons this year:

  • Arc’s Value Village – four locations, including one in Brooklyn Center. Arc is a nonprofit devoted to supporting people with disabilities. Get 20 percent off one item and buy that reusable coffee mug or toy or back to school outfit!
  • Resale – consign clothing you no longer use or buy quality feel good fashion. Get 20 percent off your entire purchase.
  • Broadway Rental Equipment Company – rent anything from a saw to lawn care or plumbing tools. Get $5 off $25 of rental equipment.
  • PRISM’s Shop for Change Thrift Shop: Find low-cost high-quality clothing, household and arts craft items at this non-profit thrift store dedicated to assisting those in need. Get 50 percent off the highest priced item in your purchase.
  • Tech Discounts: Employs formerly incarcerated or hard to employ people to refurbish, repair and sell electronics up to 75 percent off compared to new. Get a free 19” monitor, keyboard and mouse with purchase of a refurbished, guaranteed desktop computer valued at $200 or more.

Enjoy the savings in your wallet and for the planet on your reuse journey. Follow Hennepin County Environment and Energy on Facebook and Twitter for more tips, resources and events.


To obtain your Choose to Reuse coupons, visit


Information provided by Hennepin County Environment and Energy