Today I feel like throwing my hands in the air and just giving up through sheer frustration. Our printer has broken down after only four years. We all know companies deliberately make products to become obsolete so that we need to buy again. What a disgrace! GREED!
We decided ages ago to buy from companies who made things to last, and we are prepared to pay more to find these lasting, quality goods. Four years ago (is it a universal decision to make things last four years?) we bought a (HA HA!) quality brush cutter from a well known company who make orange tools, for this very reason. Well six months ago it broke down. We were told it was our own fault for leaving petrol in the tank which corroded all the parts. What! We've always left petrol in our whipper snippers and this never used to happen. They use cheap plastic components now. My father's whipper snipper is over thirty years old.
So if my plan to pay more for only the best has backfired what do I do?! We thought we were buying the best, but this company have used obsolescence as part of their marketing strategy too.
There's only one reason that this goes on.... GREED! No, not just the company but the consumer also. They want everything to be cheap! They want to own bucket loads of stuff - more than they actually need. Though possibly I could give the consumer some slack and admit on their part it may be ignorance.
It happens with food, clothing etc. too. You hear people complaining about how overpriced the meat and veg are at farmer's markets, they say organic food is too expensive and you couldn't afford to live like that. And they buy from major supermarkets who are taking advantage of people to be able to offer lower prices. Hey! We are a family of five living on one income! Yes we weigh up prices but in general if it's ethical, we buy it. So... why don't they pay more and eat less, eat more simply. It won't kill them, in fact quite the opposite, it will improve their health. We might fix the obesity crisis while we're at it if we buy less greedily!
How often do you hear people bragging about the T-shirt they bought for the bargain price of three dollars! Really? Bragging?! They should be hanging their heads in shame. Great - their kid got a T-shirt, but it was probably made by a man who didn't get paid a fair wage and his kid is probably starving!
So do I want to work harder than those around me and make do with less and less? Do I find finances easy on our one income? Am I a stupid hippy who's on some organic health kick?
NO! Every time I buy organic, I know the patch of land my product came from is being looked after and the land is being improved (while others degrade land coz it's easier for them). Every time I buy second hand I know I am saving waste (while others shop for recreation). Every time jobs are left undone at home because I'm time poor from cooking so much, I know that I'm saving packaging (while others buy packaged so they can enjoy ease of life). Every time I pay more for a fairtrade product, I know that I am ensuring others aren't abused for my purposes (while other's encourage child slavery coz they like cheap chocolate).
Hard not to feel resentful sometimes, and today is one of those times! Why can't we work together to live in a thoughtful and less greedy way? Work together to protect people around us and look after the world for our children? Instead, I 'pay the price' while others have it easy.
Now I'm certainly not saying we're perfect. We're not getting everything right but we're trying and yes I'm on my high horse and proud of it! More people should own organic, fair trade high horses!!!
I know most of my readers are living a similar lifestyle to ours. Do you sometimes get frustrated with The Mob? Are you 'paying the price' too?!