Monday, May 17, 2010

It's All In Our Head ...

Here's a question to ponder ...

If you were having a house built or remodeling your current home, would you feel you were getting your money's worth if the contractor used salvaged building materials to construct your project?

Unfortunately, many people would answer that question with "NO". In our society, we seem to believe that the only quality products are brand new and that something salvaged, used, pre-owned or repurposed isn't the "best". I suspect that we can thank advertisers for that thinking ... after all, they are in the business of keeping companies afloat and that means making consumers believe that they need the newest items on the market.

In truth, "New" isn't always better. For example, salvaged construction materials, like lumber, are often sturdier and less expensive than new items purchased from a lumber yard. Pre-owned vehicles are often a much better value than brand new cars (if the brakes give out on your new car, it isn't good).

And what about the environment? When one considers the impact of new items ... the natural resources required and energy used to fabricate them ... new isn't really better. When we see landfills being swamped with last year's "New" items ... well, that isn't better either.

Imagine what would happen if our collective thinking changed ... if we viewed "New" as bad and "Used" as best. Imagine a world where landfills weren't filled with usable items. It could happen ... after all ... it's all in our heads.

As always ... I would love to hear from you!