Buy lasting products
Today's consumer society is governed by economic growth. Such growth implies an increasing production of goods and therefore an ever increasing replacement rate of household items. For example, while the good old VHS tape lasted many years, its younger counterpart, the DVD, is already in the process of being replaced by Blue-Ray technology... This implies the purchase of a Blue-Ray player, which is expensive, and the old DVDs will be thrown out. What an utter waste.
Whenever it is possible, buy quality products that won't go out of style and will last much longer than low-end items of the latest fashion. They won't cost you more than if you were to replace a low-end item several times, plus you will appreciate the good quality.
Buy lasting goods
Stay clear of disposable goods. Buy your child a small, simple digital camera instead of a disposable one. Avoid disposable plates and cutlery, or at least get the ones in paper rather than in plastic. Avoid buying small 50cl bottles of water, which are too expensive and pollute too much. Instead, refill them with tap water, or buy large 5L round bottles that can fill 10 small ones. Avoid non-rechargeable batteries; choose shopping bags rather than plastic ones at the supermarket; otherwise, recycle plastic bags - or even better, corn starch based bags - as trash bags. Avoid Nespresso and its disposable capsules, which are purely commercial products that benefit from a great deal of marketing hype and that pollute a lot because of the capsules involved. Choose other espresso machines that you can fill directly with coffee instead.
Rent rather than buy
There are many products that we don't use very often. Why buy these, which amounts to higher costs and pollution, when you can rent them instead? For example, it is better to rent a DVD for $5.60 than buy 20 of them, knowing that we watch most DVDs only once, or twice at the very most. It's cheaper and avoids the production of yet another DVD and its case.
The same goes for books and magazines: while it's nice to own certain works that may be difficult to find later on, try to borrow or read most books at a library instead of buying them. It's cheaper and more eco-friendly.
Instead of making a comprehensive list of all the products that you must keep an eye on, analyze your consumption and ask yourself which of the products that you currently buy can be rented, lent by friends or replaced less often. When it comes to such products, rent, borrow and lend - it's ecological and economical.
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