How can you (we) all go about buying less stuff?
I have bought many things over the last few decades. I started with bike parts, I was forever looking to build the ‘ultimate’ bicycle.
I have easily spent tens of thousands of dollars on bike parts of the last 20 years. But every time I got something new, I would lust for something even newer. The more I got, the more I’d want. It was pure greed and indulgence.
But looking back, some of my favourite rides (most of them actually) weren’t done on my most expensive bikes. Most of my favourite rides were made on relatively cheap bikes!
Whenever I see a product now I ask many additional things:
1. Where did it come from / how was it made? What was the the environmental cost of manufacture?
2. Will I be able to resell it, reuse it, recycle it or compost it when I am finished with it? (and the packaging)
3. Do I really even need it? Or do I think I just ‘want’ it?
4. What are the “false promises” being advertised?
5. Will the new item create extra ‘worry’?
The next time you go to buy something, stop yourself and ask whether you really need it. Never buy on impulse. Never! Wait. Put things in your ‘watch’ list. Meanwhile, look for the most sustainable or ecological alternative. If you still think you ‘need’ something after one or two months, by all means, go ahead and buy it.
Ever since I started doing this, I almost never regret anything I have purchased. [Read more…]