Sadly, it’s easier than ever to hurt the planet these days. With anything we desire at our fingertips, it’s also easy to forget how much of an imprint each of those little boxes that arrive on our porch really makes.
Covered in bubble-wrap, boxed in warehouses, and often taped shut with plastic that will never break down, those items may feel like a bargain to you, but they’re a complete luxury item in terms of impact.
That’s why it’s more important than ever to consider not only WHAT you purchase but from where. Are they implementing sustainable practices? Are they committed to the same values you are? But maybe more importantly– do I need that (fill in the blank) right now?
I have a little secret. I keep a list called “May buy later” on my phone of things that would be nice to have, but not really necessary. It’s usually a lot of books, gadgets, toys my kids would like, a cute pair of shoes, or decorative items that could be neat to incorporate into my house one day.
And with a little patience, it’s pretty likely that I’ll run into those items eventually. I did this once with a wool blanket I was obsessed with. I couldn’t bring myself to pay full price ($200) or even the online auction price (about $100 and in bad shape) and it stayed on my “May buy later list” for TWO WHOLE YEARS. Then one day– BOOM– it was hanging in the linens section just waiting or me with a $20 price tag. Every time I snuggle up with it I feel the glow of warm, wonderful karma all around me.
It happened again recently when I was browsing the books section of my local Goodwill and spotted a book that a friend recommended a few years ago–so I added it to my list. Sure, it was for sale on the popular online ‘website that smiles at you’ but I knew I didn’t need it right away. So it was an easy decision to finally buy it when I saw it at Goodwill, and considering its carbon footprint had already been made, not only was I saving money by purchasing it at Goodwill, I was saving a newly made box, several feet of plastic tape, and who knows how many miles of delivery truck emissions by waiting to find it used instead.
Gadgets come and go, but if you wait long enough, the quality stuff sticks around and gets more affordable. Like this Bose Wave Music System, with Radio and 3 disk changer with remote found by @incognitothrifts. Seriously folks. For those of us that still have CD collections, this is Goodwill GOLD!
Earth Day is every day at Goodwill if you decide to make it so. Purchase wisely and use your patience. Your purchases at Goodwill help fund programs that create jobs in your community and save items from the waste stream. It’s consumerism with a conscience, and that’s a beautiful thing. There’s nowhere else I’d rather spend my money!