Purchasing New Items

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!

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