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Cool 'green' buying questions

I just put this on my user info page:

A little green list:
Key Questions to Ask Before Buying Anything
adapted from
http://www.eco-chick.com/?p=143

How much do we need it?
Can we borrow, rent or get it used?
How durable is it?
How multi-functional is it?
Does it use or is it made of renewable resources?
How recyclable or repairable is it?
How recyclable or reusable is the packaging?
Is it made with post-consumer recycled or reclaimed materials?
Is it made with non-toxic materials?
Is it made by / sold by socially/environmentally responsible companies?
Is it made locally?
Memories:

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
cjsmith
Mar. 31st, 2006 02:24 am (UTC)
Oh interesting! Some of the questions are very reminiscent of these from a Your Money Or Your Life web site:

1. Do I need it?
2. How many do I already have?
3. How much will I use it?
4. How long will it last?
5. Can I borrow it from a friend or family member?
6. Is there anything that I already own that I can substitute for it?
7. Can I do without it?
8. Am I able to clean, lubricate and/or maintain it myself?
9. Am I willing to [clean, lubricate and/or maintain it myself]?
10. Will I be able to repair it?
11. Have I researched it to get the best quality for the best price?
12. How will I dispose of it when I'm done using it?
13. Are the resources that went into it renewable or nonrenewable?
14. Is it made of recycled material, and is it recyclable?

Interesting how green the frugality-focused set is. (In particular, 12 could be a good addition to the green set.)
firecat
Mar. 31st, 2006 05:08 am (UTC)
Thanks! I'm going to add some of those.
epi_lj
Mar. 31st, 2006 02:31 pm (UTC)
Hm. The last thing I bought was Native Instruments Komplete Sound 2:

How much do we need it? Not at all.
Can we borrow, rent or get it used? No.
How durable is it? It's data. Uh. Infinitely? But it'll go obsolete in a few years probably.
How multi-functional is it? Not at all.
Does it use or is it made of renewable resources? Is data renewable? The physical DVD and manual were probably not, no.
How recyclable or repairable is it? Uh. I don't know if you could recycle a DVD. The manual and box are recyclable, I suppose. You could repair it by copying it, I imagine, but if the DVD gets damaged you're pretty much up the creek.
How recyclable or reusable is the packaging? It's all recyclable -- it's a cardboard box. Reusable... it's nice and square. It could easily be used for shipping or gift wrapping.
Is it made with post-consumer recycled or reclaimed materials? No.
Is it made with non-toxic materials? Probably not.
Is it made by / sold by socially/environmentally responsible companies? Not that I'm aware of. At leat, Native Instruments doesn't have any environmental data on their website, so I assume they have no particular enviro. cred.
Is it made locally? No.

So I guess that qualifies it as a bad purchase. :/

The very first question, "How much do we need it?", doesn't seem useful to me. Needs, to me, are things like basic foodstuffs, shelter, clean water, the cats' litter and food and medication, medical visits and care, etc. If I only ever bought things I needed, I'd never be able to write or listen to music, or write or read books/literature, or do anything creative except perhaps spoken word or physical performance with other people within walking distance.
firecat
Mar. 31st, 2006 06:25 pm (UTC)
So I guess that qualifies it as a bad purchase. :/

I certainly didn't post the list intending for people to use it to beat themselves up about their purchases, or imply that I was going to look down on people who didn't use it.

As for "need", I don't entirely agree with your definition. (1) I think many/most people need creative outlets; and (2) "need" can be "a need for a specific goal or purpose" as well as a basic physical survival need.

The list is useful for me because I have an "ooh shiny" reaction to things and a resulting house full of formerly shiny clutter that is collecting dust. Also, when I am buying basic things such as clothing, I like to keep handy such a list that I can consider when deciding among multiple choices.
firecat
Mar. 31st, 2006 06:34 pm (UTC)
See the additions to the version on my user info page.
cha
Mar. 31st, 2006 10:57 pm (UTC)
We've made lots of changes like that since my big "purge" of junk prior to moving here. We pretty much don't buy anything "new" now... except food! ;)
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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