I’m a consumer, but …

1 May

I ate a big dose of guilt last night. It left me feeling empty.

How’s that? Well, I’m a consumer, and I consumed. And though part of my mind said that was an essential thing (I DID really need to get another microwave, and can’t figure out how humans got along without them for thousands of years), another part of my mind said this was really a shame. Here I was, replacing the replacement microwave I’d gotten through gorgefreecycle about a month ago, with a brand new microwave straight from China, and Saturday I’ll be hauling not just one, but two dead microwaves out to the high school for the monthly e-waste recycling collection (thank you high school students for creating this opportunity to detour e-junk from the landfill).

I don’t know what to do about this. There really isn’t much we can do, except go back to the caves. But I do want to put in a plug for the gorgefreecycle group on Yahoo. It is THE best way to delay replacement purchases, maybe even avoid them altogether, when you can find a new life for a perfectly functional piece of equipment. Thank you, by the way, to Martin and DeLona Campos-Davis for providing me a new-used push mower. My neighbors will appreciate the nicely mown thatch of lawn, and the world will appreciate that one person fewer had to haul new steel and rubber and paint from the hands of Chinese workers to whack back an American icon.

Now I feel guilty about NOT consuming, and the impact on the Chinese economy, because if I don’t buy what they make (because, after all, they make EVERYTHING these days), they won’t have the money to buy the bonds to finance all the government spending that is designed to help stimulate … our consumer lifestyle?

I’ve got a headache.

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