Low price. Discount. SALE. Clearance. Going out of business…
We can all afford cheap, but who is it really good for? What does it teach – or rather what do we learn by only wanting to pay the bottom price?
We can learn to be greedy, possessive and aggressive – wanting more than what we actually need – or we can learn to be thrifty, though frugality is best acquired in other ways.
When we opt for cheap it comes with the caveat of often receiving low quality. Materials and dyes may be just as questionable as the labor force in the manufacturing of disposable items.
Ethically speaking we should be willing to pay for quality products that last – better yet if they can be created locally and from sustainable materials. Material quality is an infant in this fast-paced technological industry that has yet to come of age. Look around your home, your office, your workspace, the mall and determine the most prevalent substance – plastic.
While the intention and invention of plastic was probably to provide goods for us all, things that everyone living anywhere could afford, it missed (and is still missing) the ever important regard to the environment.
Plastic floats, sinks, blows across empty lots and agricultural fields, it sails down roadsides and collects in city sewer drains. Its appearance is omnipresent and ever increasing. If we are prudent we can recycle much of it, but bits and shreds will always escape into our natural environment. We ought to remember though, that even when recycled, with each time of reprocessing plastics we are degrading the quality of these materials. Carelessness and disregard for cleanliness naturally produces garbage, a worldwide phenomena.
And litter brings us back to cheap.
When items are at a reduced enough price they become easily replaceable, they break and the limited emotional attachment is quickly boughten up by another one of the same – or one grade up with extra bonus features.
The problem with cheap is that people are forgetting more expensive materials, materials that can be worked by human hands, by people who enjoy fibers sliding through their fingertips, by hand tools that chisel and carve with creativity of the mind, not with preciseness of the machine.
When we adopt a minimalist approach to life, cheapness does not even enter the ecological mindset. How long a product or clothing item lasts becomes the focus and rather than how replaceable it is – how repairable it is.
With the major consumer shopping holiday approaching with a mere flip of a calendar page, waste will be at hand and under foot. Thousands of miles of shining lights and packaged candies galore – every choice we make has a reaction either to our direct or indirect environment or more personally, to ourselves.
Don’t wrap yourself in deals, find marvellous meaning in the life that surrounds you.