I have 3 basic rules and 4 "consumption questions," i.e. questions I need to answer to myself before bying something:
# Basic rules
1. Buy everything 2nd-hand.
2. Don't by things (in part or entirely) made of plastic or animal products.
3. check the "consumption questions." (see below)
# Consumption questions
1. Do I need it?
2. What do I need it for?
3. Do I need to own it, or can I borrow it?
4. Can I also get it 2nd-hand? (see above)
This gets me quite far, especially question #2. Often, it turnes out that I don't really have a specific purpose in mind for something beyond "may prove useful" or "I could do something nice with it." Obviously, it does create some extra effort, but things that I really need (or really want to have) are worth it, and everything else just stays away.
As with every good set of rules, there's exceptions to every one:
1. Shoes, underwear, and certain tech stuff (computer cables) I buy new, just as products that can be expected to lose a lot of quality when in use.
2. I recently got a thermos mug that has a plastic lid (it's new, too).
With animal products, I stick to the primary materials and don't "care" about glue or the like.
3. With the questions, I don't have fixed exceptions, I just try to be honest with myself, but not too strict. 5/x
One special case are books:
I love libraries, but often they're not accessible very well, or I don't have time. Online libraries require a Adobe ID which I don't have.
So I do buy books, and I have learned that I can't "work" with ebooks very well. I buy novels as ebooks and political/scientific books as paperback editions if I suspect I may consult them more than once or twice. When buying ebooks, I only buy DRM-free one, obviously - which automatically rules out amazon as a reseller.
@LouInABox thanks for sharing your strategies!
I have a question... no animal products and no plastic seems hard to do for me, are fabrics and shoes made of polyester ok?
(I just got myself vegan shoes but they're made of.. rubber and polyester, most likely.)
The social network of the future: No ads, no corporate surveillance, ethical design, and decentralization! Own your data with Mastodon!