Welcome to my new weekly feature! Every week I will attempt to explain what being a Big City Pioneer means to me.

This week, though is special, because finally, this Big City Pioneer is employed! I feel totally blessed because I was only unemployed for a month, and I know there are many people out there who have been looking for work for much longer than that. I also feel blessed because I am working at one of my all-time favorite stores – Half Price Books. Not to go all advertisement on you, but have you ever been to Half Price Books? It’s amazing. I now work at a store who’s motto is: “Waste Not, Read A Lot.” Really, that might as well be my personal motto.

That brings me to the real “Big City Pioneers Are:” Part of the post. Here it is. You ready?

Big City Pioneers Are: Used Stuff Purchasers

Big City Pioneers try to reduce their waste. Can you imagine how much paper is used yearly to print new books? I looked it up and couldn’t find a statistic, but I can tell you this – it’s a lot. According to The EPA, more than 2 billion books and 350 million magazines are published each year. The “greenest” way to read is definitely the library – but the second most sustainable way to read is to buy and sell used books.

This philosophy of buying used extends into many other aspects of your life. The Boyfriend and I rarely buy new clothes. Instead we shop at places like Buffalo Exchange, The Goodwill, and other used clothing stores. Buying used clothes can be fun and exciting, like being on your own personal treasure hunt. Brooklyn-based designer Jessi Arrington gave a TED talk on this great idea – check it out:

I also buy most of my housewares, furniture, and kitchen supplies used – again, at The Goodwill, and a few other local thrift stores. Last fall I bought a TV stand from Ikea and my friend joked that it was the first piece of new furniture I had ever bought – except once I thought about it, I realized she was right, and it wasn’t a joke. Every other piece of furniture I own was given to me by a friend or family member, found on freecycle, or bought secondhand.

In addition to reducing the amount of waste we create, buying used items saves us a lot of money. If you, like me and The Boyfriend, are affected by the current economic recession, or if you just want to save money, buying used is the way to go. Ma Ingalls would agree.