Resolution: Every time I enter a store, I will make conscious choices. I will try to buy less. I will ask myself if I really need it, if I already have something similar, and how long I will use the item before I throw it away or recycle it.
I will pay attention to where the item is made, how much packaging is used, and how far the item had to travel to get to me.
I will change the way I think about shopping. Instead of "getting groceries" I will "select and purchase provisions."
Explanation: This one came about because of a few factors. First, we buy too much stuff. Stuff I don't really need and the like. I simply want to buy less stuff. It will save money and I will have, well, less stuff. From now on, I will ask myself "Do I really need this" before I buy anything. This will cut down on frivilous purchases, convenience purchases, and waste in general.
Second, I will really look at the thing I want to buy. If it appears poorly made and looks like it woiuld break with regular use, I am not going to buy it. If it breaks and I can not fix it, it will end up in a landfill. And if it is poorly made in the first place, how long would a "fix" last anyway? I am willing to spend a little more money if it means that the item, if I decide that I really need it, is of good quality.
Next, I will make a conscious effort to find out where the item was made. Mostly this means looking on the tag or packaging. I don't know about you but I am sick of cheap crap from China. They make some good things, but mostly I see pastic junk. And all those reports about the lead paint and chemicals, not to mention the sky-high environmental impact of China, are just plain scary. Especially now that I have a baby who puts everything in his mouth. I am going to try and buy American as much as possible. The packaging must be minimal, or recyclable. Bottom line.
As for buying local, that is something we already do as much as possible. What vegetables I don't grow in the yard we get at the farmers market in the summer and we try to buy organic, and local if possible, from the grocery store in the winter. Products, services, milk - we try to get local whenever we can.
So, let me just say right now that I am not some strange person. I just want to know where my stuff comes from and what is going to happen to it. I want to know that the bread I got at the bakery was made at that bakery that morning. And that the milk I get in the glass bottles is from the cow down the road. I don't want to buy a cheap electronic device/household item/clothing/baby toys made in China with chemicals I can not pronounce that may be toxic and will break within a month and contaminate a landfill for 500 years. I will pay more for the good, local stuff or I will go without.
I know this will send our household budget into a tailspin and it will be cause for much aggrivation in the grocery store. It takes time to read all those labels!!! And I have to admit - I like stuff! I like getting new clothes and gadgets here and there. It is going to be hard not to want to raid the flipflop section of Target this spring. But I think it will be worth it.
So that is Resolution #1 and i plan to stick to it. I will keep you updated.