Why I write about “stuff” you can buy and Lessons from WALL E

So we went to watch WALL E the other day. I’m not sure I knew what to expect. The previews looked cute, and that little robot looked so darn funny. Never knew the flick would have this whole “message” to it about big box stores taking over world. I won’t ruin the movie, but let’s just say WALL E was created to clean up the waste humans made of buying and leaving too much stuff everywhere, and there was a simplistic overlying cautionary theme to watch the amount of unnecessary stuff we buy and consume.

So what I am I doing writing about this when in addition to telling you about great artists and events, I basically write about a lot of “STUFF”. I must admit, at times I have to think hard about some of the the things I post about. I do not want this blog to simply be one more in a long stream of internet blog commercials. We’re more bombarded on the internet today to look at stuff and buy stuff then we ever were before. And yet, here I am still writing about STUFF, when even in my own life I’ve been taking a long hard look at trying to buy less, to buy only what my family needs and to make more educated and responsible buying decisions. Sounds hypocritical perhaps??

But ACTUALLY, not so much. When I write about STUFF, I’m writing about goods and services offered by individuals and small businesses. Granted you could argue that there is no difference from buying lots of stuff you don’t need from say a Target or a Wal-Mart and still buying lots of stuff from independent business owners. However if you look at past posts about Shopping Locally you”ll see that my discussions on this blog about stuff are meant to make you think more critically about the items you purchase. Visit the site Buy Handmade, and you may learn that there is indeed an actual difference between a product purchased at a big store, and a purchase you make from an individual.

When I showcase products on this blog I do not want you to grab your credit card and immediately buy the featured item. I’ll actually admit I don’t even want you to buy my own products on a whim….seriously! That is not unless you’ve thought about your purchase and have decided that it is something you REALLY need or want. Products are showcased on this blog to introduce you to and give you alternative sources of places to buy the things you have decided you need in your life. These sources are all small business owners, most of whom daily make decisions to run their businesses with the least amount of waste possible, and in turn also try to spend their profits wisely and buy responsibly themselves. When you support these independent businesses you are often buying items in which little resources were wasted in the production and shipment of the items. They were not made in sweat shops. The profits (however meager sometimes) go to the individuals who make the item who in turn spend the money in their local communities. The money does not go to a corporate executive who is already making far more than some of us may ever see in our lifetime. Believe it or not it actually cuts down waste, pollution and urban sprawl to make your purchases from small businesses while also providing an opportunity to support individuals instead of corporations and give new life to the shrinking middle class.

So what does this mean? It means next time I’ve got the urge to run up to the nearest Target and possibly get sucked into buying a bunch of crap from the $1 bins I hadn’t planned on buying, a cute top cause’ hey it’s only $9.99, a new bedding set since it looked so darling on the end cap, and the 1.99 tube of toothpaste that was all I really ran up there for, after wasting half a tank of gas to get there…..well I might sit back and do a little more reflection. Will you?