Published on June 29, 2020—  Leave a comment

Choose Used: 24 Sustainable Tips to Live by This Summer

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If you shop at thredUP, you already know how awesome you are for choosing used. The planet loves you for it, and so do we. When you live sustainably, it simply means you’re doing your best to take care of the environment and maintain the natural resources we already have. 

You can easily implement sustainability into your daily routine, and there’s no better time to do it than summer. From shopping fresh summer digs secondhand to making your next BBQ a sustainable affair, here are some of our best tips to help you make this the greenest summer yet. First off, your closet!

Start a Conscious Closet



  1. Clean out your clothes and pass them on. The average piece of clothing is worn only seven times before it goes straight in the garbage! When purging your closet to make room for a new summer wardrobe, be sure your unwanted clothes end up in someone else’s closet rather than landfill. Order a thredUP Clean Out Kit to give your clothes a second life. 
  2. Keep choosing used. Did you know? If everyone bought one secondhand clothing item instead of something new, it would save 6 BILLION lbs of CO2 emissions this year. We love summer trends but not at the expense of the planet. Good thing trendy brands like Madewell, Free People, Lululemon, and Nike are ALL considered sustainable when you shop them secondhand (wink, wink).        
  3. Be mindful of the brands you shop. When possible, shop brands that have a sustainable or ethical mission. There are tons of brands that prioritize sustainability in their materials and manufacturing, you can check out our comprehensive list of sustainable brands and shop them all at thredUP too. Double eco points! 
  4. Before you buy something you can easily make yourself, try a DIY project. We’ve already tried our hand at tie-dyeing, upcycling denim, and scrunchie making. Now it’s your turn.

Stop Using Single-use Products


  1. Say goodbye to disposable straws. Enjoy your iced tea through a metal or bamboo strawit’ll taste just as good, we promise! 
  2. Repurpose empty glass jars. Glass jars come in many shapes and sizes, so you’re sure to find a use for each one. Fill a tall jar with flowers as a table centerpiece, or enjoy your favorite smoothie in another one. 
  3. More than 60 million water bottles end up in landfills daily, so find your favorite reusable water bottle to stay hydrated all summer long.
  4. Bring your canvas bags and mesh produce bags to your weekly grocery runs. (Style tip: you can match your reusable bag to your outfit).
  5. For your next backyard BBQ, do your best to avoid single-use products made from styrofoam, plastic, and paper. Make your party a little classier with silverware, cloth napkins, and cute plates. 

Go Green in the Kitchen


  1. Spend your Saturday morning at a local farmer’s market. It’s a fun and sustainable way to shop for groceries. Support your local businesses and get fresh food while you’re at it. Win-win.
  2. Implement Meatless Monday into your summer calendar. Or challenge yourself to hosting a meatless BBQ. Did you know that it takes 660 gallons of water to make a single hamburger? Save that water for your garden by trying these tasty vegetarian recipes.
  3. Brew your morning coffee with a French press instead of a Keurig to avoid throwing away plastic cups every day. 
  4. Give your coffee grounds a second life. You can use them to exfoliate your skin, fertilize your garden, and more!
  5. There’s no better time than summer to put your green thumb to good use. Try planting a garden to grow your own fruits and vegetables. Farm to table ALWAYS tastes better. You can start with these easy-to-grow vegetables. No green thumb needed.
  6. Give your food scraps a second life and start composting. Composting reduces the amount of trash in landfills and helps feed your garden too. Click here to learn how to start a compost bin. 
  7. Try the latest quarantine trend and grow your veggies right from your windowsill. Simply put produce like green onions, celery, and more in a vase of water and wait for their second round of growth. No soil necessary! 

Make Your Home Eco-Friendly

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  1. Take advantage of these long sunny days and turn off the lights whenever you can. If you want to be an eco-friendly superstar, unplug all your electronics when you’re not using them to eliminate ANY wasted energy.
  2. Switch out your light bulbs for LED bulbs. LED lights use significantly less energy than traditional light bulbs and last much longer. Still not convinced? Read more advantages of LED lights here.
  3. Try DIY-ing your cleaning products. It’s more natural and sustainable than buying chemical-filled products from the store. These are our favorites, and they really work!
  4. Make your summer reading list green by renting books from your local library instead of buying them. You can also start a book exchange to share the wealth with friends. How can you pass up this totally FREE at-home activity? 
  5. Host a yard sale. Choosing used isn’t just about secondhand clothes, your old stuff could be someone else’s treasure. Here’s your chance to get rid of that corner chair you’ve never liked.

Change Up Your Routine


  1. Find a local zero waste store to refill shampoo and conditioner bottles. You can use the bottles you already have to fill up on new hair products every time you run out. If there’s nothing like that in your area, buy in bulk and refill containers instead of buying new.  
  2. Use a soap bar instead of liquid soap to make your self-care routine zero waste. Less plastic bottles! 
  3. Try going makeup freethe newest and most sustainable quarantine beauty trend. Most makeup products are sold in single-use packaging, so consider changing up your routine to more minimalistic and sustainable brands.


How have you made your summer more green? Share your best sustainable living tips with the hashtag #sustainablesummer and #secondhandfirst.