Sunday, March 04, 2007

Why Buy the First....

Now this blog is about reducing the impact of cars and in a broader sense, reducing our carbon footprint. The next few posts as I've outlined in my eNotebook are going to explore why we buy, especially when we potentially have so much more than we need (chocolate, wine and coffee excluded of course). The gist behind these next posts is that the act of consumption necessarily increases our carbon footprint, not just in the goods we buy, but also in the energy to obtain those goods. I often drink coffee with a guilty conscience, but don't most addicts feel guilty about something.

The most obvious reason we buy, is need. I'm going to say that food, clothing and shelter are standard. We get hungry, we buy. We need a place to live, we rent or buy. We get clothes. I'm not going to parse it out further but the word need is a catch all, and highly negotiable. Do I really need that iPod, hmmmm. Yes. But before I go to far off the edge, let's talk about real and perceived need.

A real need is something that allows you to be here tomorrow, insulin to a diabetic is a real need, food is a real need, shelter from the storm is a real need. but we really go beyond that quite quickly in the U.S. at least, but define real need according to your conscience. But real need is a real buy, what about the rest?


At 11:18 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 11:21 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh there you are. Now I know the reason why it took me so long to find you, it's car(bon) free, not carbon free. Although Google did prevail. Since I've forgotten your email address and since this is about recycling it might as well be on your blog. My friend, Cobin, says that he'll put your unneeded fax machine to (re)use while he searches for a house. I recommended that he pass it on to the next person when he's done. This entire transaction took only a few electrons, although more energy will be used when he arrives to claim it and we go out for Indian food--but he'll probably arrive on a motorcycle and we HAVE to eat. Now, the concept of carbon free begs the question, as an environmentally conscious landlord should I raise the laundry rates to "encourage" people to save energy and save water?


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