Friday, 7 November 2008

Buy less - buy nothing?

Following up on yesterday's post about the mountains of recyclables building up - I wonder whether there is another ideal opportunity here. For a long time, councils and national government have pushed the recycling idea hard, promoting it perhaps (in my opinion) beyond its third place in the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle hierarchy. Perhaps this is because the other two have less council involvement, and so they just have less to tell us about those options, but I still feel they are the poor relations sometimes. Of course, we do need to recycle things - but where are the strong messages on not throwing away so much into any kind of bin? On making things last, repairing them, and finding new uses for old stuff? Or (gasp) buying less stuff in the first place? There's the beginnings of a movement on reducing packaging, but the idea of just not purchasing so much doesn't really seem to be getting as much exposure. Yet, if we didn't purchase so much, we wouldn't have to deal with so much recycling.

As I wrote yesterday, the Bank of England had just cut the interest rate by a massive 1.5%, to try kick-start the economy and keep us all buying stuff, so that we can continue with "business as usual". How big a financial crisis does it take to make us realise this isn't a sustainable way to live? (Answers on a reused envelope please...)

Neatly wrapping up these rhetorical musings is a reminder about Buy Nothing Day, 29th November. The wrapping is even recycled as it was used a couple of days ago by Mrs A over on The Rubbish Diet :)

1 comment:

  1. Well my buy nothing new month is working well for me this month. It's incredible what you realise you don't actually need when you start thinking about it.