Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Buying Wisely

New American Dream logo

Organizers see so many unwise purchases, cluttering up our clients' environments. One way to help prevent clutter is to make more conscious buying decisions - to take a fresh look at what comes into our homes and offices.

New American Dream has a wallet buddy (PDF) you can print out and wrap around your credit card, with the following words of wisdom. Some of the questions have to do with whether the object is something worth buying at all; others deal with values you may want to incorporate into your buying decisions.

Quoting the wallet buddy:

Every dollar I spend is a statement about the kind of world I want & the quality of life I value.

Sample questions to ask before buying:
- Is this something I need?
- Do I already own something that could serve the same purpose?
- Can I borrow one, find one used, or make one instead of buying one?
- Was it made locally?
- Was it made with environmentally preferable materials?
- Was it made with fair labor practices?
- Will it serve more than one purpose?
- Is it made well enough to last a useful length of time?
- Will it be easy and cost-effective to maintain?
- Will using it require excessive energy?
- Does it come in excessive packaging?
- Can I recycle or compost it when I'm done with it?
- If I'm still not sure, can I wait a month before deciding to buy it?

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