Green tip for week #23 — Week of October 5, 2008

Buy Quality Goods and Products

Every know and again, our weekly green tip at is so simple it seems almost self-evident. Yet even the simplest and best ideas often don’t get implemented. This week’s green tip is simply to buy quality goods. What this means, is that whether you are shopping for electronics, furniture, cars, bikes, clothing, or household items, buy the best blend of quality and value you can.

Why is buying quality goods a “green living” idea, and what impact does it have on environmental responsibility and sustainability? Plenty. We are a society of consumers, and product manufacturers have developed increasingly efficient and cost-effective ways of making cheap and low cost products. Cheap and low cost products are sometimes (not always) made of inferior quality and more prone to obsolescence, product failure, and wearing out.

Whether it is a tv, a pair of shoes, a dishwasher, a briefcase, or a living room chair, you will invariably have several options as a consumer. Choices range from least expensive to most expensive. Although differences in price are sometimes based on different options, features, novelty, or brand, the differences also are typically evident in quality of workmanship, construction, and durability. Any time you purchase a product that is made well, made from high grade materials, and designed to be functional for years to come, you have invested in something that can be good for you and the environment.

Replacing low quality goods creates waste, not only from items going to a landfill, but from the cost of making, transporting, and selling those goods in the first place. Any time you have purchased two items in the span of time one might have been used had it been higher quality, the environmental impact of your purchase is often roughly double. Not to mention the fact that savings at the time of initial purchase can often be far outweighed by having to repurchase the same item again during the time the higher quality item may have remained effective.

So, next time you are confronted with the choice of whether to purchase the “cheap” item or the “quality” item, remember that the impact of your choice is greater than simply affecting your checkbook.

Remember that green living and environmental responsibility is not an “all or nothing approach”. Even small steps make a big impact if everyone takes them. Do your part to help keep our environment in good condition for future generations!

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