Monday, November 25, 2013

How to Spend (or not spend) Your Holiday Dollars

Most of you will be spending extra money on the holidays as spending has trumped the message. Be that as it may, where and on what you spend can be used as a social, environmental, political, and economic statement.

Here's my list on how to spend your hard earned money:

-Don't buy junk. If you know it will hit the landfills in a few short weeks, don't buy it.
-Buy quality and not quantity.
-Buy local. Avoid the chain stores if at all possible. If you must buy from the chains, buy only what you really need and what will last. Avoid trends and what's hot as they will be quickly tossed. Local may well be more expensive for the same item, so search for unique local items of high quality. Who wants to receive what every one else gets.
-Buy green. Yes, it's hard to tell these days what that means. Read labels carefully and pass on those that are a clear environmental threat. Beware of the "all natural" label. Mercury and lead are all natural. There are gifts that can be had from environmental organizations. Buy things of lasting value that won't soon hit the trash bins.

As a consumer, you have the power to determine what products will be offered in the future. Buy crap, and crap is what you'll continue to get. Use your dollars to help protect the environment; to tell businesses that you no longer buy all the hype of useless products; that you'll no longer support products built by child labor or workers subject to intolerable conditions; that quality, durable and useful items will attract your attention, not the junk.

You have the power, use it.