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This might be the last thing on your mind when it comes to your carbon footprint, but what you purchase is important too. Non-Bottled

Years ago, when people purchased dress shoes for example, they took care of them because they were expensive items. They would be polished to protect them, and repaired when the soles or heels were wearing out. But today, our world has changed significantly. We can now purchase dress shoes for a fraction of the cost of our previous generations because they are made in foreign countries where wages are much lower. As a result, we generally don't care to spend the money to repair the shoes, but instead throw them away to purchase a new pair. This example illustrates that we are consuming more resources for raw materials, producing more waste, consuming more energy (from manufacturing and shipping) than ever before. Therefore our large carbon footprint is related to the products we purchase.

This may sound odd at first, but it makes sense to go back to the old way of doing things. For example, you can purchase an inexpensive drill for $19.99 (who knows how they make money on it) and use it for several years before it breaks. Fixing that broken drill is likely not possible due to how it was constructed, so you are forced to send it to the land fill, and purchase a new one. On the other hand, you could purchase a quality drill for $69.99 which is much more durable, it is repairable, and with care, could be handed down to the next generation in your family... just like the old days.

Convenience is another subject area where we often expand our carbon footprint. For example, idling a car in a fast food drive-thru line may be convenient for a parent with a sleeping infant in the car, or a disabled person, but do the rest of us need such a convenience? If we look at the food from the fast food restaurant, which can be shipped from foreign countries in frozen containers, it can consume a lot of energy as well. Add in the packaging and disposable containers, the convenience starts looking like a bad idea. Instead, look at some place to eat where you park your car, and eat from plates with utensils and mugs/glasses instead of disposable products... sound impossible? ...how about Tim Horton's, or your local restaurant (and support your local economy too)?

Not all convenience services are bad for the environment, but in most cases they are. An example of a positive convenience service is electronic banking. You don't need to leave your workplace or home (saving emissions from transportation), and you can save on the paper receipts you would otherwise obtain from the teller or automated banking machine.

Consumption and convenience have an impact on your carbon footprint, and making changes to these will take a conscious effort to change. The use of products and services is an example of how changing our way of thinking is important in going green.

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