I like creativity. I love seeing the cool things that are being made with eco-friendly materials, sustainable woods, etc. What I don’t get though, is producing these materials just in order to make these items. Items made with reclaimed, re-worked, recycled, materials are different, but the point of that is it’s already here. The wood is already cut; the plastic already produced; the fabric already here; the ore already mined. I certainly understand people wanting to do their part & buy & utilize items that are free of dyes, chemicals, non-renewable resources and all things bad, but in regard to the production of said items, I don’t see how being the ‘eco-friendly’ purchaser of ‘newer, cleaner, more environmentally friendly’ products is much better than just using what is already here. I know that this is a very simplistic view from me, as a consumer. I suppose I should be thankful that at least there is an interest in the eco-friendly, sustainable materials – regardless of if I think it’s one step, forward two steps back.
I was talking with someone the other day about trashpicking, and as the conversation developed, they were incredulous at how little I actually purchase new. As much as I trashpick & buy used, I honestly don’t know if I every really stepped back & analyzed my ‘new’ purchases. I would say this individual is a normal, average consumer (stating ‘average’ without looking at the wealth of marketing information available..not the point right now). The conversation got me thinking as to why do I have to buy anything new at all? My general thriftyness has led me to lots of tips on household cost-cutting, that up until know, I didn’t think I was willing to do. While I’m not venturing into being a freegan just yet (I’m getting closer..), I know there is plenty I can still eliminate. For instance, even though I could still stretch a huge warehouse store pack for about six months, I’ve recently stopped buying paper towels & finally cut up a few old towels and am adapting fairly well. This was a really tough one for me as with ten pets, you get a lot of clean-ups. For the small amount of ‘products’ (I use vinegar & baking soda for a lot) I do use, I’m going to try to cut-back even more or eliminate altogether. I’ll report my progress in future postings.
How about you? Is there something you’ve eliminated from everyday use that was a little tough to do? What did you do? How did you do it and were you successful? I’d love to hear your experiences!