Friday, February 1, 2008


Lately I've been trying to be a responsible consumer, or at least thinking about what a responsible consumer is. I've been trying thinking about who I buy from, what materials the product is made from and if I should buy things at all. I'm trying.
One way of being a responsible consumer is really thinking about the personal worth of what you're buying. There's this book I've heard of and would like to read about someone who went a little more to the extreme than I think I ever could. Its called "Not buying it: My year without shopping." by: Judith Levine. I doubt I'll ever be brave enough to try an experiment like that, but there are plenty of ways
I've also been looking for companies/products that are socially/environmentally beneficial... or at least better for the environment than their alternatives. I really like the Bert's Bees products, for example. Besides just being nice products, they are not tested on animals, use recycled/recyclable packaging and part of the proceeds goes towards buying land for conservation. I've also started using Preserve razors lately too. I've read about them in the past and finally found them at Wegman's so I decided to give them a try. These are razors that the handle is made from recycled plastic (something like 60% comes from Stony Field Farm yogurt containers). On top of that, once you use them (they're disposable) you can get free packaging to send the handles back to Preserve where they make them into plastic lumber that picnic tables are made of! I don't know where these picnic tables go or are sold. Maybe I'd be helping them make double profits by giving them their materials back, but I guess thats okay because its keeping them out of the landfills.
Speaking of giving back materials, there are some neat recycling things I have found out about lately too. There are these paper recycling dumpsters at several locations around town, usually schools and churches. Depending on how much paper that place collects, the recycling company donates money to them! What a neat fund raiser :) I've found that I go through a lot of paper and typically take a paper bag over twice a month. Another great recycling thing I've found lately is a website called Book Mooch. Basically its a trading site for people to get rid of books they're finished with and "mooch" books that they want to read from other people... free! The more books that are shared, the less that are printed... which is bad for publishers, but good for the environment. And for my wallet... which most eco-friendly/organic things are not....
Maybe I'm just jumping on the environmentalism bandwagon that is so popular now. But is that really a bad thing?

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