Black Friday sales have started, so we thought we should share the ten questions we ask ourselves before making any purchase.
These sales promote overconsumption and spending money blindly on things we do not need and on items that will end up cluttering up our home or polluting our natural environment one day, which is why we need to stay mindful.
For many, today is Buy Nothing Day but we recognise that lots of have been waiting, or saving up for these sales because they are an opportunity to purchase an item that they need – which is different that purchasing something ‘just because.‘
Here are the ten questions we ask ourselves before we make a purchase:
1. Do I need this item or do I want it?
Do I only want it because it is on sale or is there a specific reason you need this item?
2. Will I still want it next/week/month/year?
Overconsumption is already a problem but the sense of opportunity and urgency that these sales trigger often lead to impulse buys.
3. Is it durable and high quality?
Will I be able to use it more than once? Why spend your limited resources on an item that has a short life? Make sure that the cost per use is worth it.
4. Is this something I can borrow, rent or buy second hand?
If you only need this item to use once, it makes more sense economically to borrow or rent.
5. Can I really afford this?
You don’t want to spend your money on an item which can later prevent you from buying something that you might truly need instead.
6. Will having this item improve my quality of life?
Will it serve a specific purpose or bring you joy? Or will it be something you purchase and forget about after a few days?
7. Is it in line with my values?
Is the company transparent about its’ practices and supply chain? Does it has a circular design?
Do some quick research and learn more about the company you are contemplating buying from. See whether they are transparent about their practices and supply chain and find out what their company values are.
8. Who made this?
Could their human rights being violated? Could they be forced to work? Are they being paid fair wages? Do they have a safe and healthy work environment? Are the number of working hours appropriate? Are children being forced to work? Is collective bargaining a practice they are allowed to engage in?
9. What could the environmental impacts of this product be?
10. How/where will I store this?
Depending on what it is, you may not even have room for it.