Doubtless one of the most pressing and concerning matters at the forefront of worldwide discussions now, is the definite threat of global warming we are facing.
A rapid increase in the emmissions of greenhouse gasses, such as CO2 and Methane, into the atmosphere, is steadily causing a rise in the average global temperature and change in climate patterns.
Some of the effects of global warming among others include frequent and extreme weather conditions, severe health risks with an increased death rate, aggravated air pollution, higher sea levels, acidic oceans and wildlife extinction.
The irrefutable cause
95% of scientists attribute global warming and its devastating effects to human activity and the greenhouse gasses which are emitted through this activity. Most of these gasses, which trap heat in the lower atmosphere of the earth, are formed through the combustion of fossil fuels in factories, cars, electricity production, agricultural, refrigeration and industrial processes.
Carbon Dioxide, also known as CO2, is predominantly responsible for the rising temperatures the earth is experiencing. CO2 is released through human activities such as deforestation, burning oil, coal and natural gas, and producing cement and other consumer products.
Right now, the earth is under immense pressure as human activity releasing greenhouse gasses increases rapidly, every year, and our temperature is on a steady incline, with grave consequences. Worldwide, intense efforts have been implemented to raise awareness and implement strategy to reduce the total of greenhouse gasses emitted into the atmosphere and put a halt on global warming.
A staggering result
A recent report published by a leading international media group, as part of a sustainability strategy, takes an in-depth look at how secondhand trade assists to relieve the pressure on the earth due to global warming, by reducing CO2 emissions drastically.
Data from five of the group’s major online market places and its popular categories was used to determine the environmental benefit of their users’ trade, and convert it to numbers. The results were absolutely staggering, finding that a total of 12.5 million tons of carbon dioxide was potentially being saved by approximately 46 million users using their sites and trading secondhand rather than buying new. This amount of CO2, according to the report, would be equivalent to flying an Airbus 380 1,100 times around the world or 50.6 million new couches being produced.
The potential climate benefit was calculated based on the assumption that every secondhand product that is being sold replaces the need to produce a brand new, equivalent product. So, if a user buys a secondhand car, there would be no need to produce a similar new car, which in effect would be responsible for a significant volume of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere.
‘Buying into’ sustainable living
By buying secondhand, users are saving on the amount of CO2 emissions caused by the extraction of materials for new products, the production of the products, waste management and the transportation of the goods between buyers and sellers.
The primary motive behind trading secondhand has thus far been ‘bargain’ hunting, but worldwide there is a clear shift in consumers’ thinking with regards to buying and selling. The concern over global warming and the threat of climate change are affecting buyers’ habits and we are seeing a social movement towards adapting more sustainability living. Consumers are increasingly opting to trade secondhand rather than buying new in an effort to do their bit to save the environment.
In South Africa, there has also been a major boom in the secondhand trade market, with websites such as Junk Mail Classifieds and others, not only providing a platform to buy and sell secondhand, but also allowing more and more consumers the opportunity to help combat the effects of global warming.
One simple purchase decision such as choosing to buy your next dining room suite secondhand on a trading platform like Junk Mail, rather than buying one brand new, might seem trivial, but in actual fact, is quite significant and necessary…
As awareness on the dire consequences of climate change intensifies and more consumers are opting to buy secondhand instead of new, research has proven that we can expect to see a great relief on the pressure that’s currently on the earth. This means a stabilisation, or better, a decline in the soaring temperature, restoration of eco systems, wildlife preservation, healthier air, cleaner oceans, and a general improvement in the health and wellbeing of mankind.
Ultimately, by buying secondhand, we are able to leave a safe and sustainable environment for our children and generations to come.
This article was originally published on TheMarketingSite.com on 22 Nov 2016.