Our Disposable Culture

I encourage you to read the article on Scoutie Girl.

My business is all about reusing what others no longer want.  My life is about that, too, in as many ways as possible.  I talked about my dad's influence on my recycling ideals previously.  It has been ingrained in my to NOT make disposable choices.  Sometimes in our culture it is difficult to find things that aren't packaged for convenience or made to be disposable.  Sometimes we have to be uncomfortable or inconvenienced in order to live a less disposable life.

Some things that people buy without a second thought, I do truly think about before purchasing.  I try to use everything I buy to it's fullest extent.  More importantly, I try to buy as much as I can locally from farmers, artisans or local businesses before I resort to other stores.  There are some stores I have been boycotting for years.  Yes, it's less convenient, but it's important.

When I buy something, I do commit to it.  When I was younger and first started working and making money, I would buy whatever I thought was cute or I thought I wanted, and then I would have this large collection of things I didn't want or need.  (In my own defense, I didn't throw the stuff out - I either donated it or sold it at a yard sale.)  Now, though, every purchase I make is thought about.  If it's not something I will truly use, need or love, I don't buy it.  But, the things I do buy, I cherish and use to their full extent.

Even my jewelry supplies are purchased with more thought and commitment.  I used to buy anything I thought was pretty and then I would bring them home and figure out what to do with them.  Not that I thought they were disposable in a literal "throw away" sense, but I guess I didn't really think about them sitting around for years if I didn't use them.  Now I usually know why I am buying a certain supply.  Of course, there are times I just go for it, but only if I truly think I'll use the supply.  

Now most of my jewelry components come from people who ask me if I want something that they are getting rid of or from auctions or sales where people are clearing out their own disposable items.  I try to make them less disposable for the next person who gets them.

Here are a couple of awesome Lancaster, PA resources for finding things to reuse:

This is a nonprofit organization that is coming soon!!  yay!!  to Lancaster, PA.  They will connect business and individual scraps/leftovers/etc. to anyone who can use them at a low price.  I'm so glad to see an organization really trying to lessen the disposable nature of our culture.

This is a store that is not only helping out families who need it, but also are encouraging reuse while doing so!  B.B. Bellezza secret - I get supplies and displays here.  You can get all kinds of home improvement items from toilets to windows to doors to tile to hardware....


Hayley Lau said...

Great posts, both yours and Tara's.

I had the opposite upbringing to you. My childhood memories mostly consist of going to some shopping mall or other every weekend.

I'm glad that I've since learned the value of NOT succumbing to my every buying whim.

There are so many positives to buying less and making do and buying with ethics in mind. And they're not about helping others, but they also help you.

I have saved so much money by avoiding shopping malls and not using shopping as a feeling down cure. I've had more time to really consider what I want. And I can feel good about the fact that I'm making an effort (even though I'm not perfect, by any means).

I think it's great that you think about these things in all of your consumption, and kudos to you for reusing in your business.

B.B. Bellezza said...

Hayley -
it's so easy to fall into the shopping to feel better - I have definitely done that in the past! You usually end up feeling worse later, though.

Thanks for the kudos! It's certainly an important issue to me!

mkonieczki said...

Thank you for sharing! This is such an important message to spread!