Both Nikki and I watched the ‘crash course’ with the point being fairly clear, whilst it’s pretty tempting and lets face it satisfying to blame the corporations, the reality is that it’s us, the everyday consumers that drive the never-ending lust for goods and the destruction and energy that goes into their creation. Yeh I know it’s more complicated than that but the aim of ‘buying lightly’ is to think about what little changes everyone can make to reframe our current ‘more and bigger is better’ reality into something that doesn’t lead us towards global destruction!
So this is our plan:
- Buy necessary. Only buy things that you actually need. There’s not too many of us who don’t have loads of stuff that we’ve bought and then never used. Put your ‘buy necessary’ hat on and go for a wander through IKEA or watch some ads on TV and realise that you are being conned into buying stuff you know you don’t need. NO…..that SUV doesn’t make you more adventurous and drinking coke wont suddenly result in a spontaneous party full of attractive people on your roof.
- Buy Quality: Okay so you really need something, cool! So do your research and buy a high quality product. Sure it’s going to cost more, but it will last longer, you’ll look after it and most likely even when it does break it will be easier to repair rather than just ditch and buy another one.
- Buy Local. There are people with amazing creative skills to make really cool stuff all around you, but they go screaming out of business unless you support them. So if you need something, ask around, check the interweb…you might be amazed to find there is somebody who can make exactly what you want…and much better quality than you could buy buy from a cheap imported chain store.
- Buy Sustainable: Think about what you are buying, is there a more sustainable version of the same thing? if so buy it. Do you need to wipe your bum with virgin timber? or is recycled office paper a better option?
- Don’t Buy: Can you fix it, make it, repurpose it, borrow it, or even buy it second hand. There’s a whole world of sharing out there….check out thesharehood if you don’t believe me. Sharing things not only makes complete sense it’s a great way to engage with those around you.
- Don’t buy oil. Oil is one of the most amazing substances around…and it’s finite…once it’s gone its gone! It can be made into just about anything like, I don’t know, dialysis machines, medicines and a whole range of plastics that do really important things. So the need to walk away from your cafe day after day with a plastic container, plastic bag and plastic knife and fork as you walk back to work only makes sense if it hasn’t occured to you to take ayour own containers.
Alright so that’s the preachy bit of buying lightly. From this point on we’ll be adding stories about how we’ve tried to change our purchasing habits to make less of an impact on the environment and consume less. We’ll also be asking for any of your great ideas about what works for you.