Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Lets Talk About Stuff, Baby!

Now that the holidays are over...can we talk about stuff?

The word consumer has always made me cringe...and with good reason. By definition it means to devour, destroy, use up, expend, waste! I don't want to be a consumer. I would rather be a conserver.

When my printer died in December of 2006, I called Epson and they offered me a "great deal" on a new one which I took because I was desperate, but it disturbed me. I called them back and gave them a piece of my mind about the wastefulness of it all and you know what? They sent me a shipping label, fixed my old printer and returned it looking and working mighty spiffy AND threw in a bag of new inks too...AND it was all done for FREE!

Until recently, I've been using the same corded phone for so long that I can't even tell you when it was purchased. It was only last week that I gave it away on freecycle because I received a used cordless phone from freecycle. As the mom of a toddler, I felt it was time to get a cordless so that receiving a call would not interrupt our play and I could put it on speaker-phone so Satch could be a part of the conversation. The phone looks like new, and works GREAT...even outside and on the third floor...AND it was free!

So why aren't more people buying refurbs, or used or freecycling? Call me crazy, but I'm guessing that if more people bought used goods or refurbished goods then the manufacturers would stop making junk that breaks. Hmmm! My friends can tell you that back in the 90's I was running my mouth off about what I called "forced obsolescence", but the actual terminology is....

Visit Story of Stuff Site for the entire scoop...there you will find the full length movie to watch or download for free as well as posters etc to help spread the truth!

Conserve or have a choice!

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posted by Wendy at 5:59 AM


Blogger Love Squalor said...

i am so with you on this! i found freecycle a few years back and have been devoted ever since. thanks for the great link.

10:39 AM  
Blogger Carla said...

I love freecycle. I've been a member in every city I've lived in since 2004. I list items on ours at least once a week as I come across things needing to be passed on. And I just posted a wanted ad for a glass mannequin head (no responders as I assumed - I may have to buy that)

We hate buying though... And resist it until absolutely necessary. You should have seen me refrigerator shopping a few months ago. The sales woman tried to talk me into a lesser priced, non energy star model stating that "no model will last as long as you think - so don't waste the money". And my couch is a 10 year old, VERY HIGH END futon. It is on its last legs, but I hate to think about buying new furniture.
Even our minivan. I know we'll have to replace it this year, and I cringe thinking about it. We finally got it paid off (ok.. 2 more payments) but I doubt it will last through another year, despite our meticulous maintenance, and many repairs.

It just bugs me to no end, that nothing is made to last anymore.

11:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If we only did consume what we consume, but we don't. We don't use anything up. Although I like to live lightly, I'm as guilty as they come. Thanks for the jolt.

10:35 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

i hear you, maezen. i'm mindful, but not perfect. it's like flossing...i keep trying.


7:20 AM  
Blogger margaret said...

I am going to have to spend some time on freecycle. Funny, I came across the Story of Stuff recently too and linked to the 20 mimnute video. It's really worth watching.

10:51 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

Thank you, thank you !! Amy

8:34 PM  

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