I’ve posted occasionally on green consumerism in the past, but it’s one of those points worth revisiting regularly.
If you don’t need it, it’s not green!
I don’t care where it came from.
I don’t care what it’s made of.
If it’s the accumulation of more stuff, it’s not green.
We all struggle with this, especially since “need” is such a personal definition. Just look at what we think we need to get by in the United States versus other countries. In many cases the difference just ain’t pretty.
Be realistic about why you buy what you buy. Reusable bags and bottles are green because they keep you from using disposable bags and bottles. But having a whole collection of which maybe only a few are used is far less green. You hit the limit when you buy more of these things than you need.
Buying new things because you want to replace what you have with organic, fair trade, etc. is green in some ways, but wasteful if what you had was still perfectly good. Hopefully it’s all at least going to the thrift stores, Craigslist, Freecycle or something similar so that it will be used by someone else.
Being green can be complex at times. The right decision is not always obvious. A moment’s thought can do a lot to limit your mistakes.