What if I do really need to buy something?
Five important questions before you spend your money!
1. Do I really need it?
We are often convinced that we desperately need something, when in reality we can simply do without. Try to resist impulse buying. Instead take time to consider whether you really need it.
2. Can I repair rather than replace it?
If you buy good-quality items and take good care of them, they should last you for years. A quick patch-up and cleaning could be all that’s needed to restore an item. Find out more here.
3. Can I rent or borrow it?
Books, DVDs, videos, and games can be rented instead of bought, or swapped and shared with friends. Renting is also a great option when it comes to electrical appliances, especially those required for house and garden maintenance.
4. Is there a gift that can give back?
Want that special something for a special someone? Why not do something rather than buy something? Memories of time shared with friends and family can be treasured for a lifetime. Your special someone might also appreciate a charitable donation on their behalf, such as sponsorship of a child or support for nature conservation.
5. Is there a better use of my time?
Shopping has become a popular pastime, but is there a better way to spend your day? Rather than head to the shops, perhaps you could learn something new, create something of your own, volunteer for a good cause, or go to a park with friends?
A better buy for the planet
The good news is that when you really do need to buy, you needn’t sell-out the planet.
One great solution is to visit second hand stores or search your local paper. Buying other people’s past treasures is an opportunity to find something unique – at bargain prices. A visit to local recycling centres and dumps can also turn up surprises because many people throw away barely-used items! same
If you still cannot find what you need, the next-best option is to buy fair trade, organic and energy-efficient items.
Also consider participating in cooperatives or local exchange and trading systems, which create healthy local economies.
Finally, when you no longer need something, pass it on to someone else rather than throwing it away.
Fine-tune your lifestyle to Mother Earth’s signal
Nobody was born to shop; we all have a bigger purpose on the planet than endless consumption. Your lifestyle is your own very personal demonstration of your “give and take” with Mother Earth. In this sense, each consumer choice is a defining moment: the food you eat, the water you use, the appliances you switch on and the transport you take. These decisions truly affect your world, now and in the future. For inspiration for a lifestyle change, visit these pages!