To consume or not to consume…

To consume or not consume... - My Green NookWhen it comes to buying new things I always think twice. The best thing for the environment is not to consume at all. But in today’s society we sometimes have to spend since we are not self-sufficient. When I have to buy something I always ask myself:

  1. Do I need this at all or is it just an impulse?
  2. Can I find it second-hand?
  3. What is the market´s best offer from a sustainable perspective?

Sustainability starts in the mind – you have to change your mind-set. That is actually the hardest part. When you get over the threshold you will find that a sustainable living is both fun and inspiring. On top of that you will even save money. Now some of you will argue and say that organic and fair trade is more expensive. Yes, sometimes it is true but since you cut down on consumption you will not have to spend more. And you should at least manage to live on the same budget. As a beginner you do not have to walk the whole sustainability line. Figure out what you can handle and cut down on. Every small step counts. For starter you may begin looking for organic and locally produced food in your store. Compare prices and get familiar with the organic alternatives. Read about which groceries have the largest environmental impact changing from conventional to organic.

Sustainibility - My Green Nook

There is a market for second-hand stuff and you can make real bargains. Many communities also arrange swapping days where you can find new things in exchange of your old. If you do not have the effort at least recycle and hand in your clothes etc to a second-hand store or charity. Someone will be very happy to get them. Your trash may be someone elses treasure.

As a first time parent there is much you need to get for your baby. If you have to buy everything it can be very expensive. The market knows how to use the situation. To buy a baby carriage is almost like buying a car there are so many models and brands to choose from. And you will feel it in your wallet. Me and my spouse have the fortune of being last one out so our friends and relatives are eager to give us their outgrown baby stuff. We have been offered even the most costly things like a buggy and a baby safe second-hand. We are thrilled – not only will we save money we will also make a good environmental deed. In our families we have some talented crafters who are happy to make things for our baby. And what can be better than do it yourself customized things made with love and awareness of our lifestyle. Somethings we still have to buy. I would like to share some of the products on our shopping list with you so you get a glimpse of how we think:

Baby bottle

We have decided not to use plastic food items for the baby. Even though the market works to reduce the use of toxic chemicals especially in items for children. We want to feel safe and not jeopardize anything. Besides it is easier to keep glass or stainless steel bottles clean and fresh.

Diapers

Imaging the amount of waste produced when using traditional disposable diapers. Instead of disposable diapers you can go with cloth diapers and fabric wiping. If it scares you too much you can choose organic labeled diapers and wiping cloths. EC (Elimination Communication) aka IPT (Infant Potty Training) is also recommended to get your child diaper free earlier.

Pacifier

Many pacifiers are made of plastic, silicon and other chemical based materials. Instead we have found organic pacifiers made of natural rubber. They may look kind of boring compared to traditional ones but if you add a pacifier holder it will not be noticed that much.

Toys

Today many toys are made of plastic or likewise. And colored with sometimes questionable colors and paints. Be aware and ask for safer toys colored with food-colors or water based paint. FSC-labeled wooden toys are to prefer over plastic. Textiles should be labeled with GOTS or Oeko-Tex. Natural unprocessed materials are often better to choose. Most of all reduce the amount of toys – many kids have so many toys I wonder if they really use them all. Quality before quantity.

This is just a taste of what the market has to offer. The awareness is spreading and sustainable alternatives keep taking market space.

Do you want to know more about sustainability? Here are some links to start with:

You may also be interested in reading Sustainability in the bathroom cabinet

Take care of the Earth - My Green Nook

We Do Not Inherit the Earth from Our Ancestors; We Borrow It from Our Children

This post is shared at Healthy, Happy, Green & Natural Party Hop

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19 thoughts on “To consume or not to consume…

  1. I’ve really made a conscious decision to reduce and edit my consumption so love this thought-provoking post! I also appreciate the helpful product selections in “To consume or not to consume…” Thanks for sharing it with us on the Healthy Happy Green and Natural Party Blog Hop. I’m pinning and sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I could not agree more. I blog from time-to-time on the same concept. You save so much money and resources if you just don’t buy stuff! Some people get a rush from buying. I get a rush from putting something back and saying “I really don’t need that.” Visiting from Reduce Footprints. Congrats on being featured!

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    • Thank you! I agree with you about the rush. It feels great to say no to spending. And when I eventually buy something I appreciate it even more and often keep it forever. This way I only pruchase my real favorites. Everything else I can live without. I am glad you stopped by. I hope we keep in touch.

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  3. Great advice here. My kids are a little older and no longer require baby things but it got me thinking about all the things they “NEED” and we really need to think before we purchase. I hate wasting money, material things and over Christmas that is what we seemed to do.

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    • Thank you! It is easy to get carried away by the Christmas spirit and purchase too much. I think we all have done it at some occassion. But it is never too late to change and I think it all starts in the mind. So now you have taken the first step 🙂

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  4. Very informative, Charlotte! Great tips for new parents. I get so confused about the whole plastic debate. It makes my head spin. I have decided to just use glass as much as possible too. I really think that is the safest route.
    I also agree on the topic of second hand stuff. You can get so many things that are barely used, and it’s great on our wallet and environment :).

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    • Thank you 🙂 It sure is a lot of information to take in when trying to be conscious. And new chemicals get on the banned list all the time. I agree with you that it is best to take the safest route. And it is fun to shop second-hand. It is like a treasure hunt 🙂
      Thank you for stopping by – I hope you will visit soon again.

      /Charlotte

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    • Thank you for stopping by, Tammy. Now you can say that you buy used for sustainability reasons and that is smart 🙂 I think we all could do better in some areas, including me, but the main point is to start thinking differently. See you at the Ultimate Party on G+ and Pinterest!

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  5. Although I don’t usually think about sustainability when it comes to purchases, I am pretty conscious of the waste associated with buying, especially new products. I try to reuse all that I can. And when we were pregnant with Baby Boy we knew the type of lifestyle we wanted to live, so we were particular about what types of items we wanted/needed.

    And I’m really glad we did because everything fit just the way we needed it to. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • To me it sounds like you are quite aware and have chosen a sustainable living for you and your family. It is not all about being green. It is very much a matter of consciousness on all levels. That you have set a direction and walk your own path is a meaningful and huge decision, which takes curage. Many people just let life pass by not reflecting any deeper. So I think you should be proud 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I certainly like, no really love, our lifestyle. I love that we are trying our best to be careful about what we buy or not and how we use things. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. This can definitely be a hard choice to make. I’m so happy that you mentioned glass baby bottles, they are my favorite and I bought them for each of my babies even though I ended up breast feeding and none of them would drink from a bottle. It’s always to reuse whatever we can to try and reduce the amount of items that are being sent to landfills.

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    • Thank you! Awesome that you intended to use glass bottles. I haven’t bought one yet but will. My intension is to breast feed my baby too. But you never know if and how well it will work. Isn’t it kind of fun to reuse!? You make me glad speaking of recycling and reusing. Many people think it is only a burden. I hope I hear from you soon again.
      /Charlotte

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