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Evelyn McCorristin Peters: Sustainable Quality Purchasing; A Matter of Perspective

Evelyn McCorristin Peters

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10.07.2010

Sustainable Quality Purchasing; A Matter of Perspective

Do you walk your talk?
Defining Quality Sustainable Purchasing From Differing Perspectives.
by Evelyn McCorristin Peters
October 7, 2010 
I've been thinking a lot lately about purchasing sustainable goods. What exactly does this mean and how does an individual define "sustainable." No matter how you want to look at it, people come at sustainability from different perspectives which provide unique definitions.
 picture courtesy of Moorestown Postcards
I am a firm believer in following up my words with my actions. I have not stepped into a WalMart for over seven years. They have put the Mom and Pop stores in small towns right out of business. And no matter what anyone wants to tell me on this point I am going to disagree with you. This is because I can say with total honesty that I have been to many more small towns across this country than the average person. We have a travelling show and that's what we do...go to small towns, so I speak from experience. I also don't believe they treat their part time workers well at all...I can go on and on, but railing against WalMart is not why I'm here. Oh and on another company; when Bank of America did something I didn't like I pulled all twelve of our different accounts out of that bank by the end of the week! We are now with a credit union!
Yesterday I went shopping for a new couch. Specifics were definitely needed, had to be washable; two dogs, one husband and twelve acres of land make for a very dirty house! My husband wanted to go to Ikea. Now I know people LOVE Ikea, but to me it's always just been throw away furniture. It's not bad quality, but it's also not meant to last a heck of a long time. To me that's not sustainable purchasing. Fortunately for me we didn't really fall in love with anything there. 
I talked my husband in heading over to Crate and Barrel, now I know you're thinking are they sustainable? Well it turns out it's a matter of perspective, but I think we have done pretty well...
Sustainable wood is used and the filling is plant and soy based, plus the extra bonus that the bench is made in the USA (that's an entirely different topic!). But to me the feature that made it a sustainable purchase is the fact that it's well built, we probably won't have to buy another couch for a good long time, reupholster maybe!
It's not easy to do the right thing in purchasing these days. The goods that are good for the planet can cost an awful lot of money. So I've decided I have to pick my battles, and yesterday I think by my own definition I won!
What does sustainable buying mean for you? Get the conversation going and let's discuss it! Write a post on your blog or leave a comment here. If you write a post, link back to here and leave a comment letting us know where we can find you! Let's inspire each other to try and make a difference, because in the end it really is up to each individual!








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4 Comments:

Blogger Bill said...

How long would you guess your new couch will last?

October 7, 2010 at 2:35 PM  
Blogger Evelyn McCorristin Peters said...

Hi Bill,
To me a piece of furniture is sustainable if it lasts at least ten years, but that is a minimum. Right now I have several pieces that are in excellent condition and are over 22 yrs old. To last a life time is what I would really want, and define as sustainable, but that is out of my current price range!
At this point I consider every day over nine months a positive thing considering that's how long my cheapo couch lasted!
Thanks for reading and leaving a comment!

October 7, 2010 at 5:07 PM  
Blogger Angela (Posy Moe) said...

My approach to sustainable buying has been what I've been calling living a handmade life. I only buy handmade, local, thrift or vintage. I know that sustainability can go a step further in considering the sources of the things you purchase and making sure they come from renewable resources, but for now I'm focusing on making and re-using as much as I possibly can. It's been a very satisfying journey thus far.

October 7, 2010 at 5:57 PM  
Blogger Evelyn McCorristin Peters said...

Thanks for your insightful comments Angela...I would love to have you do a guest post on your "handmade life!" Would you be interested, I'm sure others would be interested! Let me know.

October 8, 2010 at 7:41 PM  

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