OK. We're kidding. We swear. We are not advocating for a 5th "R."
However, we just read a fascinating article in the San Francisco Chronicle about "returnistas" -- people who buy things (the Chronicle focuses on clothing, but we think it could be anything) and then almost immediately return them, unused.
The SF Gate doesn't posit this as a "green" habit -- they consider it a habit created by the current economic nosedive. They're calling it "one of the biggest trends for Fall/Winter '08."
But we think this rise of the "returnista" does have a little to do with green habits, and how this economic crisis (as painful as it is) might be reinforcing that first "R" -- reduce. Even if shopping addicts have to buy that "thing" first, only to return it later, they are still effectively reducing. Aren't they, in some way, learning the joy of not consuming?
It's a fascinating article that really cuts to the mental/emotional aspect of shopping.
Are you a returnista? Do you buy things you don't need only to, with much joy, return them later? Or is this a pretty pathetic trend that only a super-materialistic person would understand? (That's what the commenters at SF Gate seem to think...)
Get the whole article here.
image via kennymatic; Flickr.com