I will be writing couple of posts about this topic; thinking green. My objective is to learn to be more considerate to the future generations who want to consume and make use of the earth’s resources as much as I do. I will explain why frugal living should be “in” or “cool” and abundance consumption and extravaganza spending are not.
Chapter I – Sharing and Reusing
I was lucky, though it is debatable, to be the eldest among my two younger brothers because when I grew up as a kid I was the first to wear any garment I had at that time. Also, I was the first owner of all the baby gears or toys that I received. My younger brothers on the other hand didn’t have the luxurious life of being the first to wear a garment or the first to own a toy, at least not for every article they wore or used.
If you are not the first child in your family most probably you reused something your older brother or sister used before. It could be a stroller, a crib, or clothes. Your parent didn’t buy you a new stroller or a new crib not because they don’t like you as much as your older brother or sister it is because there is no reason to throw away a good stroller, or discard a toy and buy a new one. It is the smart people business model.
During the 70s and 80s I used to live in an apartment with my family. It was normal for neighbors to borrow stuff; like extra dining chairs if a neighbor is inviting many guests, or kitchen utensils, or even one onion or a tomato to finish the day’s cooking. Neighbors were more than happy to help lending their stuff because they were sure they will get help when they needed one.
Selling used items is different from one place to another. In some countries in the Middle East it is usually done on Friday in a big flat place where people sell their used goods. In the US it is known as a garage or yard sale (see picture) where the family sells some of their used furniture, clothes, electronics, etc.
People should never discard anything unless it cannot be used any more. They should either sell it or donate it. I and millions of people around the world would have never dreamed of owning a car if it is not because of the first genius rich guy who decided to sell his car to buy a new one. Later, selling used cars became one of the best business models in the world. You never heard any one lowering down his/her voice, out of shy, when they announce to a family member or a friend that they bought a used car. The joy and excitement of buying a used car for millions of people is the same joy and excitement for those who can afford to buy a new one.
Buying used goods should not be for the poor or for the frugal people. The same reason why we never feel shy to tell someone that we bought a used car, we should never feel shy telling people that we bought a used item.
In general, newlywed couples in Jordan buy only new electronics and furniture. It is a matter of pride that the groom should only buy new electronics and furniture even if it meant a heavy debt to be paid for five or ten years. Imagine how much the newlywed couple could save if they buy used goods. It is ironic how people believe that debt is nothing to be shy from whereas buying used goods is full of shame.