There are a few things that I pretty much don’t ever buy. They seem wasteful or unnecessary or I just don’t need them. I am not perfect about these, so I suppose I am somewhat of a hypocrite but I do try. Here is a short list:
1. Bottled water. There was a time when I did not think all that much about bottled water. When I did think about it, it seemed a little silly. Why pay for water? The stuff is free. But when I started to learn about how wasteful it is when one considers the larger consequences, it became a full on boycott. I won’t even drink bottled water if it is given to me, unless I am desperate. Think about it simply: instead of energy to extract and treat the water, you’ve got those same concerns plus energy and resources to make bottles, fill the bottles, transport the full bottles and then deal with disposal.
2. Drinking straws. We have them around but I will not purchase them myself. They are fun, sure, but they are way too wasteful. Sip slowly and maybe they get used for one hour. And then they last forever in a landfill. That seems a little unbalanced. Our glass straws work pretty well so far.
3. Paper towels or napkins. These seem a little excessive. Paper towels? Real cloth towels and napkins work way better, last longer and are cheaper over their lifetime. A no brainer in my book.
4. Incandescent light bulbs. Considering how much more energy they use, I won’t ever buy one again. Feeling the heat from one is tangibly soaking in wasted electricity. One of the these days we will switch to all LED light bulbs and we will wonder how we ever wasted so much energy on compact fluorescents.
5. DVD’s. With Netflix, video stores, the library and random freebies, I can’t justify buying them. I rarely watch a movie more than once so purchasing one seems too much.
6. Television. Now that things have gone digital, we really don’t get television at all. We get information and entertainment from other sources–the internet, magazines, radio. I have considered satellite television, but I just can’t fork over cash every month for something I either won’t watch or will regret wasting time on. One of these days we will get around to getting a converter box so we can at least watch the bad news if we want to.
7. Bar soap. It isn’t that I don’t use bar soap, but I haven’t purchased it in years. I have gotten free samples and random bars in gift bags and soap from who knows where. I still have plenty waiting in the wings when the currently in-use bars are exhausted. I have purchased shampoo and dish soap and some liquid hand soap but bar soap? No need to buy.
8. Pencils. With the stock we have collected over the years, as well as the ones that manage to filter into our household from all kinds of sources (school events, conferences, holidays, what have you), we have enough to last pretty much forever. I even try to keep them sharp at all times when I use them. Plus, I do lots of crossword and similar puzzles. Nonetheless, buying a pencil would be like buying air. I can always find them when I need them.
There are others, of course. But these come to mind at the moment. I would love to say that I don’t ever purchase electricity, but that day seems far off. Someday, I hope. Someday.