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Get On Board the Non-Consumption Train

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Get On Board the Non-Consumption Train

I sat down at the keyboard this morning, all set to write up a new post when I found this note that I thought was worth sharing. I’ve had it on my computer for a while and, to be totally honest, have no idea where I found it, so I can’t really give credit where credit is due. My apologies to the original author but I assume that, given the nature in which it was written, they won’t mind me sharing it. As I recall, this was printed on a little card that the owner carried in his/her wallet. Every time they went to make a purchase, they were confronted with these questions–all of which spoke to the underlying wish: I want my money to support the environment, not destroy it.

1. Is this purchase something I need?

2. Do I already own something that will serve the same purpose?

3. Can I borrow one instead of buying new?

4. Can I make something that will serve the same purpose?

5. Can I buy a used one?

5. Would someone be willing to split the cost and share this with me?

6. Can I buy or commission one made locally?

7. Can I buy one that was made with environmentally responsible materials?

8. Can I buy one that serves more than one purpose?

9. Can I get something human powered instead of gas or electric?

10. Can I compost or recycle it when I’m done with it?

11. What is the impact on the environment of the full life cycle of it?

12. Does the manufacture or disposal of it damage the environment?

I love this because it’s simple, to the point, and a great “thought tree” if you will. I’m actually going to write it up on some used card stock and pop it in my wallet right now.

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Dave Chameides

Dave Chameides is a filmmaker and environmental educator. His website and newsletter are designed to inspire thought and dialogue on environmental solutions and revolve around the idea that no one can do everything, but everyone can do something. "Give people the facts, and they'll choose to do the right thing."

210 comments

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3:01AM PDT on Jul 15, 2013

Thanks for posting.

12:19AM PDT on Aug 21, 2012

Shiny new things make me sad. Shops that sell a lot of plastic are the worst. I don't want to be seen in them.
Everything I need comes from the trash. Sometimes it takes patience, but in the end I will get it. Or my friend who lives in another part of town finds it for me.

12:19AM PDT on Aug 21, 2012

Shiny new things make me sad. Shops that sell a lot of plastic are the worst. I don't want to be seen in them.
Everything I need comes from the trash. Sometimes it takes patience, but in the end I will get it. Or my friend who lives in another part of town finds it for me.

4:12PM PDT on Aug 2, 2012

Thank you.

6:45AM PDT on Jul 23, 2012

If people can also grasp the concept that waste can be profitable they will go out of their way to recycle.

3:59AM PDT on Jul 17, 2012

to each their own

5:37AM PDT on Apr 4, 2012

Thanks!

2:09PM PST on Mar 7, 2012

We can purchase non-materialistic things and only those materialistic things we really need, as opposed to want. And we must change the way the economy works so that it is not dependent on ceaseless consumerism.

9:59AM PDT on Jul 7, 2011

Very good advice, People dont need a bunch of stuff to be happy or boost the economy its a lie,the goverment wonts you people who dont know any better,to fall in to,. the pit of know return. Thats not a life.

8:52AM PDT on Jun 18, 2011

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Thanks for sharing.

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