For the Optical Professional:
The Story of Stuff please listen to this 20 minute Video The Story of Stuff.
If you google ‘buy less stuff’ you will come up with thousands of hits. Listed here are the Top 32 Reasons to buy less stuff. On a personal note, I stopped buying years ago, partly because I live in a small 1920 house with no storage and then it just became easier! No more aerobic, therapetic shopping, no more buyer’s remorse, less to take care of, less to clean, more time and more money. An interesting thing happens when you stop buying. you stop looking. Once you stop looking, your priorties will change and you will buy what you need. (Hopefully) But if you do a Nancy Reagan “Just Say No’, you will find it easier and easier to adjust your office and your life to saying no.
Why Should You Buy Less Stuff?
- Because it lands up in landfills
- It will make you rich, the less you buy the more money you will have. Check out Five Cent Nickel
- It will simplify your life
In a medical or a business office, you definitely have to buy stuff to operate today. You have to have a certain amount of machines, electronics, equipment and supplies to stay in business, especially to remain competitive. But what can you do without?
Top 8 Things you Can Do Without
2.) File cabinets, folders, labels
3.) 1/2 of your frame inventory
4.) 1/4 of your contact lens inventory
5.) Plastic Plants
6.) Most of the Available Posters and literature from your Vendors
7.) Fax Machine
8.) All that free stuff picked up at trade shows, that you just picked up ‘cuz it’s free. (Hint, it’s not free, you are paying for it in product.)
What you Can do
1.) When you buy: buy in bulk You will pay less and significantly reduce the amount of energy needed to transport all that extra packaging waste to landfills.
- If by buying in bulk every US household would generate 10% less packaging.
2.) Stop Returning Products. Everytime you do an exchange you are doubling the amount of money and energy expanded, plus the packaging
3.) Save all Packing Materials and Reuse and or recyle.
- Disposal of rigid foam blocks (such as those protecting new equipment) is problematic. The materials are very lightweight, they’re made from natural gas: it is easy to end up with a net environmental loss just transporting the stuff. For most individuals recycling this material is not worth it, though future research into local small-scale reprocessing may change this. If you have large quantities of material, a list of collection sites is available from The Alliance of Foam Packaging Recyclers.
- Most Packing Stores will take back those peanuts and extra packing material
4.) Think 5 times, not twice before you buy. Consider the following
- Will this save me energy and thus money?
- Will this enhance increase my business?
- Can I sell this?
- Why am I buying this?
#5.) Make a List of the Top 10 Things You Can Live Without. Use this list as a guideline of Buying Less Stuff. Make it an office Goal.
As hard as it may be, it can be important to know why and when you buy. Personally, I love therapeutic shopping until I get home (or get the bill) Nothing makes you feel better than new products or new toys, but the reality is, will it make a difference to your patients? Will they notice? I have heard over and over again, ‘I have to have something new’ (frames) for my boards (thus the exchanges). If the average patient only comes in 1x every 2.3 years, the board is going to change. Most buyers return product, because they are bored, not that the boards are boring. To add excitement to the boards a little merchandising goes a long way.