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Eight days of happiness: five

My town has a lot of antique shops. One of them has a sign in the window that says "Going green? Buy antiques!"

Why does that make me happy?

I used to read several "green" blogs. Eventually I stopped because I got really sick of the blogs advertising all these green products you could buy, mostly for very high prices, and rarely ever reminding people "But actually, buying new products, even green ones, isn't as good for the environment as not buying new products."

So I think the sign is a good reminder: "Hey, if you buy this thing that someone already made, it's better than using up even more resources to buy something brand new."

And it's a clever form of marketing. (Well, in theory. I haven't actually bought anything in that shop, and I don't even remember which one it is. I just smile when I drive past the sign.)

While I'm on the subject of reusing things, I'll put in a plug for http://www.freecycle.org/ — another way to get things that someone already made into the hands of people who will put them to use. It's an organization that supports a lot of local mailing lists where you can post that you are giving something away or that you want something. I've had both good and bad experiences with my local groups—mostly reasonably good.

Some of the folks on my friends list talk about barter, which also seems like a good thing. I've never done it myself except for informally with friends.

What are your experiences with freecycle / barter / other ways of redistributing things?


Dec. 15th, 2008 11:53 am (UTC)
I tried my local freecycle for a bit, and found that the bandwidth was too high: either a hundred emails a day, or everything in digest form and the things I wanted were snapped up by the time I read the digests. This is one of the cases where living in a big city is a problem.

The mention of green reminds me of ads I'm seeing on the subway these days, saying "We were green in 1960. We're greener now." You don't get a much better deal in terms of passenger miles/energy expended than a full subway train. In that sense, one of the greenest decisions I've made recently is that I'm getting almost all my books from the library: I'm doing it because I'm out of shelf space, but it means that I am buying almost no books. (The last books I bought were in August, at a used bookstore here in Montreal. And the "here in Montreal" is where I am being least green, of course, but I'm not prepared to give up my long-distance travel to see my partners, nor can I think of any likely way to get all of us living in the same city.)
Dec. 15th, 2008 06:54 pm (UTC)
We're getting most of our books out of the library for the same reason you are.

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