Living and Giving

Before You Buy It, “Will You Keep It For Ten Years?”

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A Purposeful Purchase: What it Took to Get Here

It’s amazing to me how our society, and perhaps I should say American society, encourages us at all points to buy.  I’ve never been one much to shop, so I’m not swayed by the spring sale signs, the back to school sales, or the holiday sales.  But if I were an avid shopper, I can’t imagine how tantalizing these frequent messages might seem.

And yet we are beginning to ask ourselves: Do We Need It?

I really take this one step further.  If you are going to buy it, I’d think for the long term.  Clothes can last a very, very long time.  Some of the clothes I have, I bought eight or ten years ago.  If you take care of them, they last.

So the next time you think that sweater is really cute, I’d look again.  Is it that attractive that you’ll want to wear it in two years?  Four?  Seven?

Realize all the inputs that go into making those clothes.  Impact includes environmental cost of fuel for delivery, cultivation of cotton on perhaps arid land, and the precious water used to grow these crops.

Valuable natural resources are being committed to creating a piece of clothing…so will I then commit to this sweater for years to come?  Is the effect it’s had on our world to “get here” benevolent enough?

I understand this may be too much of a challenge for frequent shoppers.  So with anything daunting, you can always start by giving away one item when you buy a new one.  It is hard to enforce, as I strive to do it and am not always successful, and a laudable practice.

Yet if we can remember…we’re taxing our world to produce.  So let’s realize how precious each item we buy is, and what it took to get here.  Then you should enjoy a Purposeful Purchase and continue forward in gratitude for what we have.