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Monday, July 28, 2008

Is It Too Stuffy In Here?

by Vestina F. Crayton, Pinellas County Extension Educator, Urban Sustainability

Making the decision to purchase green is motivated by many reasons such as the desire to conserve natural resources, supporting a local economy, and living a healthier lifestyle.

Retailers, marketers, and advertisers entice the consumer to go out and shop. With clever slogans, catchy jingles and the promise of being “new and improved,” it’s easy to get caught up in the marketing frenzy.

Before you head out to the stores, take a moment to ask yourself, “Do I need it or just want it?” What is my true motivation for making this purchase? Whether by choice or necessity, rising costs for gas and food are making individuals take a closer look at their spending habits.

Here are some questions to ask yourself before you decide to purchase:
· Is my current one sufficient?
· Can I reuse or refurbish what I have to meet my needs?
· Can I borrow it from a family member, friend, or neighbor?
· Can I rent or lease the item if it is used infrequently?
· Can I share the cost with someone who can also use it?
· Will I be able to maintain it?
· Can I recycle it once I am done with it?
· Can I donate the item I’m replacing?

Everyone knows the three R’s: Reduce, reuse, and recycle. Add a fourth one: Refuse! Refuse to purchase something you really don’t need or want. Then you won’t have to reduce, reuse, or recycle it! (UF/IFAS Sustainable Living booklet-version 7-06-26-07)

If you’ve examined your motivation and have determined that you must purchase, consider green or environmentally preferable products (this post explains such products). Look for items that are reusable, durable, require little or no maintenance, and are recyclable.

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