Loosen the purse strings; buy reusable items

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    Responsible consumerism, the act of buying items with the producer in mind, is on the rise among people between the ages of 13 and 25, according to a 2006 poll conducted by Cone Inc., a public relations and research company, and the AMP Agency, a youth-focused marketing agency.In today’s world of liquidation sales, buy-in-bulk, reduced prices and buy-one-get-one-free deals, sometimes it’s worth it to spend a bit more.

    Recyclable items are a start.

    Toilet paper, toothbrushes, light bulbs and tennis shoes can all be made from reusable materials. Sometimes, these items might cost more, but the end result benefits the environment.

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy created ENERGY STAR in order to develop a standard for environmentally conscious and money-saving household items, such as appliances, electronics and office equipment.

    For your dorm room or apartment, try an Energy Star-qualified light bulb instead of the cheaper, generic brands.

    In FrogBytes, a 16 oz. cup of Starbucks coffee costs $1.70. The same size cup of Fair Trade Certified coffee costs just 5 cents more and, though it may taste similar, probably makes a Guatemalan farmer a little bit happier.

    Instead of speeding around the parking lot behind Beasley for 30 minutes waiting for the closest spot, park down the street and walk to campus.

    Stock your refrigerator with organic foods and free-range meats instead of company-manufactured foods. Recycle your bad quizzes instead of crumpling them up and throwing them in the nearest trash can. When you’re done with the Sudoku and crossword puzzles, recycle the Skiff instead of throwing it in the corner of the hallway.

    The point is: little by little, we can all make a difference.

    If their wallets allow it, students should consider spending a little extra on certain daily items to help those in need and to conserve the world’s resources.

    Photo editor Jennifer Bickerstaff for the editorial board.