Sunday, November 27, 2005

Buy Nothing Day - Don't Consume Everything

I admit I didn't strictly observe Buy Nothing Day. I present this list of the the items I did purchase on that day or the two days subsequent:

Garden hose, work gloves, Christmas tree ornaments and wrapping paper, four 1943 steel pennies, and a jar of Mayhaw jelly.

The hose, gloves, ornaments and paper were probably all made in China. The pennies and the jelly are all-American.

Hose and gloves I'll use in the yard and garden which contain herbs and winter vegetables that the household will consume.

The Christmas stuff has no intrinsic value and fills no pressing need.

The steel pennies remind me that during WWII folks were willing to save and ration and reuse and recycle, much more than Americans are willing to do today.

The Mayhaw jelly was produced by a small-scale operation in Georgia and sold by a very old man in Suwannee County, FL, from the back of his pickup. Local production and consumption, local economy.

I should ask these questions every time I purchase something:
  • Do I need this?
  • Why do I want this?
  • Who made this, and where?
  • Who profits the most from this purchase?
  • How long until I don't need or want this item?
  • How much waste will this purchase eventually generate?
  • Can this item, its packaging, or its parts be recycled?
  • To which landfill will this item go when discarded?
Reducing the footprint each of us leaves on the earth by consuming less is a good thing. Just remember that in the United States of America our individual consumer footprints are enormous and world-reaching. We should do what we can to avoid trodding on everything there is.

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Anonymous said...

I like your list of questions to yourself. I am teaching my teenage son to think this way and it sems to be working. Its harder with teenage girls though. My daughter shops until her allowance runs dry!
By the way - no shopping day - I bought one newspaper - how good is that? Lyds

CALL said...

I too am trying to teach my children selectivity, value, and to thoughtfully consume less while consuming locally. Great, Lyds.