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-   -   How sustainable a consumer are you? (http://www.bikeforums.net/general-cycling-discussion/914856-how-sustainable-consumer-you.html)

Sixracer 09-25-13 02:49 PM

How sustainable a consumer are you?
 
Do you think about where your goods came from? Are they made from recycled materials, does the plant recycle waste, are they shipped half way around the world? If you learned Trek (for example) invested in solar power at their facility, would you purchase from them over Specialized?

Would you know where to access this type of sustainability information about a brand if you were interested?

jerseyJim 09-25-13 03:00 PM

I try to make sustainable choices but I don't go crazy with it. I feel like I do my part and that if everyone made a few small changes in their lives the world would be a lot better place.

There is a lot of low hanging fruit.

WonderMonkey 09-25-13 03:48 PM

I try to make good choices but I also know that what is shoved down our throats often times isn't true, or is just a version of the truth. Agenda machines are all over and it's a guess at best. Everybody is trying to go way overboard to counter-act the "other sides" overboard so it's difficult to know "truth".

So.... I do my best guess and move on.

memebag 09-25-13 03:59 PM

What do you mean by "sustainable"?

Mobile 155 09-25-13 04:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by memebag (Post 16103762)
What do you mean by "sustainable"?

+1 :lol: So true, am I more sustainable as a consumer because I have a lower carbon foot print than 90 percent of my fellow consumers? Or do I lose sustainable credits because I like summer fruit shipped to me in the winter, or because I eat bananas? Am I more sustainable if I buy fair trade goods from under developed countries so more money goes to the family or do I lose credits if those craftsmen are not local? Don't know but at least I have taken several carbon footprint surveys and they say I am sustainable.

IthaDan 09-25-13 05:18 PM

I buy used things almost exclusively. I figure by the time I'm buying, the thing already existed, so my conscience is clear.

Machka 09-25-13 06:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sixracer (Post 16103528)
are they shipped half way around the world?

Not only were our newest bicycles shipped halfway around the world to us when we ordered them, they've been all the way around the world twice.

They were manufactured in Taiwan (I think), and shipped to SJS Cycles in the UK. We ordered them from SJS Cycles who shipped them back to this side of the world ... Australia. Rowan built them up with parts from various places (Australia, UK, maybe even New Zealand). Then we did a Round-the-World trip with them. :)


What is "sustainability" anyway?

Dudelsack 09-25-13 07:42 PM

I tend to avoid firms that brag about "sustainability" yet have a CEO that jets across the country to meet with his board of directors.

If they walked everywhere, I might respect them.

Roody 09-25-13 11:03 PM

Sustainable means there will still be a livable world for your grandkids. And yes, that is very important to me. It's one of the reasons I ride a bike or walk whenever possible.

Drew Eckhardt 09-26-13 12:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sixracer (Post 16103528)
Do you think about where your goods came from? Are they made from recycled materials, does the plant recycle waste, are they shipped half way around the world? If you learned Trek (for example) invested in solar power at their facility, would you purchase from them over Specialized?

Nope. I buy what I want but don't buy crap I don't need. Reduce beats reuse and reuse beats recycle.

I'm riding the same frame, fork, headset, stem, bars, brakes, hubs, spokes, and nipples I was 17 years ago.

I drive a 16 year old car I bought 13 years ago.

Two people, one cat, and occasional house guests don't need more than 1200 square feet.

Etc.

If you want to take another "liberal" tangent most of my bicycle was made by first-world artisans earning living wages not a Taiwanese factory like the big brands.

Frame - Tennessee, USA; fork Nevers, France; gruppo apart from crankset and bottom bracket Vincenza, Italy; and so on.

Machka 09-26-13 01:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt (Post 16105040)
If you want to take another "liberal" tangent most of my bicycle was made by first-world artisan earning living wages not a Taiwanese factory like the big brands.

We opted to support the Taiwanese economy by purchasing a pair of titanium Hasa bicycles. :)

Taiwan is a beautiful place ... a place we'd like to visit again.

Juha 09-26-13 03:20 AM

If you really want "sustainability" (however you want to define that), highest priority question is "do I really need to buy this". Any choices you make after that decision have far less impact.

Our locally produced veggies have huge carbon footprint in winter because of all the heating and lights required in greenhouses. Alternative: buy products imported from Spain. Spanish vegetable farmers are notorious for a) spraying a lot of pesticides and other chemicals on their products and b) employing illegal immigrants so at least indirectly supporting human trafficking. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. And we're not even talking about the price yet.

If you look it up, literally shipping stuff "half way round the Earth" actually isn't a high priority consideration in environmental terms. For many products the impact of shipping (again literally transporting by ship) is nearly negligible, if you look at the entire life span of the product. But where I live, having something delivered to you from far away may also mean buying from a country that has sub-par or poorly enforced regulations regarding work safety issues, minimum wage, child labor, pollution etc. etc. - the list goes on.

So yes, I consider these things after I decide to buy something (and I'm not fooling anyone, I still buy way more than I'd really need). But you won't get far with focusing on a select few aspects of the product IMO. You have to consider the whole package. And even so, in the end, it may boil down to just choosing the lesser evil.

--J

wahoonc 09-26-13 04:21 AM

Define sustainability....

We buy as little as necessary, re-use and re-purpose a lot of things. I buy durable goods that can be repaired if at all possible. For food stuff, I prefer items in glass or steel cans, much more likely to be recycled than plastics. However that can be a real challenge.

Aaron :)

lenA 09-26-13 05:14 AM

I'm in the process of re-siding my house with natural cedar shingles.

mrodgers 09-26-13 05:34 AM

I just don't buy stuff. Can't afford to buy stuff anyways. I only buy new stuff because there isn't much out there in my area to buy used. I just finally replaced my 1996 TV as it was finally going out. Most of the people I know has gone through about 3 TV's in the time I had that 1996 TV. I do buy my cars a few years old and I drive them until they are falling apart.

My clothes are new and worn outside of work and when they are getting worn out, they move to work clothes while the old work clothes that are falling apart move to garage rags.

My father-in-law is a farmer so we have a lot of our own home grown food. What we do buy in food we buy organic. Haven't gotten into the make-your-own soap thing yet, so we still buy stuff like that.

I play around with woodworking a bit on a 1956 Montgomery Wards table saw. If it wasn't given to me 15 years ago, I probably wouldn't have a table saw. My lawn tractor that I used to mow the yard was a 1962 Sears tractor until a spark ignited a small leak in the gas tank and it burned up. I was too far away from the house in the yard to save it. I bought a "throw away" tractor back in 2002. Lawn tractors these days last only a few years, it's still going. I fix everything such as washing machines and kitchen appliances unlike most I know who run out and buy a new one when the old one has the smallest of problems. I only buy new when it is cheaper to buy than to fix (such as my last washing machine, $450 to replace the drum and I bought a new machine on clearance for $400.)

That's pretty much all I do as a consumer, buy groceries since I have no money for anything else. Living out where I live though, I spend a lot of money on gas. It would be pretty difficult to quadruple the house payment to save money in gas though.

memebag 09-26-13 08:57 AM

I use a lot of energy, buy a lot of stuff, just basically pollute my ass off. The universe will die from heat death eventually. Earth will be consumed by the sun. All life on this planet will die. Humans will most likely become pets for The Singularity, or just be exterminated. A solar powered bicycle factory isn't going to change any of that. Ultimately, sustainability is an illusion.

lenA 09-26-13 03:09 PM

so are the self-absorbed


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