Conscious by Chloé

Chloé Lepeltier - Conscious By Chloé

Conscious by Chloé is a sustainable lifestyle blog focused on Zero Waste, Slow Living and Ethical Fashion written by Chloé Lepeltier.

My Favorite Local Second Hand Resources

Vintage Shopping for Conscious by Chloé

As you can see on the above picture, our house is a work in progress. Wires hanging here and there, sofa cushions waiting to be upholstered and other DIYs and purchases that we have not yet agreed on.

Octave knows that every time he leaves the house for a couple days he'll find it in a totally different state as I love to rearrange things around the house (things have moved quite a bit since he took this picture).

There aren't many things we brought with us from Switzerland when we moved to the US except for small tables and art, mostly.

The rest of our home decor consists of items we found at flea markets, garage sales, second hand shops, and some we made ourselves.

There are of course a couple new items we were in a rush to get when we found a place to live/work, but for the most part, we were naturally drawn to gently used items.

Here are my favorite resources, for home decor and more:

  • Buy Nothing - Find your local group on the website and join it on Facebook, then browse through the dozens of pictures of items your neighbors are parting with, express your interest and go pick them up.

Other neighborhood social networks like Rooster and Nextdoor also have "classified" and "free items" sections.

  • Instagram - Some people create specific accounts to sell items via Instagram, and others randomly organize garage sales and you're lucky enough to live close by. This is what happened to me last winter. I had been following Liz's Insta for a while and suddenly realized that she was selling her army cot for peanuts. I jumped on the occasion and brought back an extra bed for our guests. She later organized a big garage sale when she emptied her house and left for a big road trip in her Winnebaggo and I scored a couple more items, including the most crooked cactus.

Look for local interior designers on Insta and keep a close eye on their Insta stories, you never know when they're gonna realize that they might be hoarding and decide to host a small or big sale!

  • Craigslist - Is it really worth mentioning why Craigslist is an awesome second hand resource. Our best score was a fridge. Octave noticed the ad, and even though there was no picture and the price was too low to be good, he felt like this was no scam. He was right! The older couple just did not want to bother taking and uploading a picture. We came back home with a close to new KitchenAid fridge for less than $100!

I usually look for specific items but am more and more on the lookout for estate and garage sale dates and times. I'm gonna start getting up earlier and earlier on week-ends to catch the best items.

And a list of my favorite resources for second hand treasures in Portland:

You can find more gems in the "Shop Second Hand" section of my Zero Waste City Guide.

What your best second hand score? Where and how did you find it?

Picture by Octave Zangs for Conscious by Chloé.

Zero Waste On The Go

Zero Waste On The Go by Conscious by Chloé

I've been showing what's in my to go bag a lot on Insta Stories lately and got many questions about my Zero Waste tips on the go.

So here's what's in my to-go bag at all times:

  • a napkin: you've now seen this one everywhere, I made it during a shibori dyeing class a couple summers ago. I use it as a napkin at restaurants, as a handkerchief, to dry my hands at the restroom, to pack my croissant furoshiki-style at the bakery on Sunday mornings (not at all the same time).

  • a muslin bag: my mother in law sewed a bunch of these for me for Christmas, but the one I use the most is a dust bag I got from a local shop. I bring it to the bakery to put my croissant in, or fill it with trail mix when I go for a hike.

  • stainless steel straws (regular and fat): for juice or bubble tea.

  • stainless steel chopsticks: I got mine for free through my local Buy Nothing chapter. They are pretty heavy but do the job. I take them with me in order to avoid using the non reusable ones wrapped in paper you usually find at sushi restaurants.

  • mason jars: of various sizes, for various uses, from coffee mug to leftovers container.

  • a drink top: to put on my mason jar and drink my chai tea without spilling it.

  • a stainless steel box: to put leftovers in at restaurants.

That's a lot of items, but I like to be ready for any scenario. I usually leave the bag in my car and just grab whatever I need before getting off. I guess you can do the same, or, just be a little more organized than I am and plan for the day before leaving on your bike or to take the bus/tram/metro.

Also, weight is no issue for me, because I mostly walk short distances or drive. But most of these items can be found in lighter versions (like bamboo or titanium chopsticks). A bamboo utensil kit is also pretty lightweight and durable, I'd recommend starting here.

What's one thing you always carry with you to prevent waste?

You might also be interested in my Zero Waste Shopping Kit article and 3 Ways to Kickstart your Journey to Less Waste.

You can find most on these items mentioned in this post in the Conscious by Chloé Shop.