Green Ideas:To Buy or Not to Buy

Green Ideas:To Buy or Not to Buy

Julia Cho
Jul 9, 2008

Going green really means living with less. How do you limit the amount of "stuff" you collect? We definitely live in a consumer society, and we find we can easily spend a few hours looking online at "stuff" we're thinking about buying. But after moving apartments a few times, we think a lot longer before making the purchase.

There's a thought-provoking article over at Care2.com on just this subject.

"Most of this stuff–like that $2,000 TV with the one-year warranty you just bought–will sadly end up in a landfill. And as if that's not bad enough, the stuff we buy comes with even more stuff we don't want. Bags, boxes, packing materials, and most annoyingly, those clear plastic hermetically sealed "clam shells" that electronic devices come in (ever try getting one of these open quickly without losing a digit?).

So I am suggesting we all stop."

How does the author propose we stop? Well, you can ask yourself some basic questions before you purchase something: is it a need or a want? If it's a need, try to borrow from a neighbor or get it off of Craigslist or Freecycle before you purchase it new. Buy in bulk to save on packaging. He also suggests writing to companies to let them know that you didn't buy their brand because of their packaging.

A few things we do: after we research something we might buy, we sit on the idea for a few days or a week and decide if we still really NEED that item before purchasing. We also ask ourselves whether buying that item will actually make our lives better, or provide just one more thing we need to maintain. In a few years will we be trying to get rid of the item? Sometimes it's hard to answer these questions at the time, but oftentimes we know when the purchase just isn't necessary.

Image via Eshopping partner.com

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