When we help clients edit, declutter and organise, it’s not uncommon to hear “I don’t want it to do to landfill”.

This is a legitimate concern. Caring for our environment and being careful what goes to landfill is important.

But I wonder if we should be asking the question at the point of purchase.

When we purchase an item online or at a retail outlet, we could ask ourselves “Am I happy to put this into landfill when I’m finished with it?”

Do we want to bring an item into our home, to dispose of later? The life cycle of items and belongings is also known as the birth to grave cycle.

This life cycle (birth to grave cycle) captures all the steps our items go through until they reach the end destination. The life cycle can be complicated and have many steps. Or it can be simple and have few steps. But the life cycle of a belonging includes our purchase and the point in time when it is discarded from our homes. 

Are there other questions we can ask ourselves at a point of purchase that prevent landfill?

“Is there something similar at home I can use instead?”

“Can I live without it?”

“Could I borrow this from a friend or family member and return after use?”

“Will I regret this purchase?”

“Am I happy to put this into landfill when I’m finished with it?”

By asking these questions at point of purchase, you may save yourself the concern of landfill when it’s time to dispose of your item. Please visit A Hand to Help’s resource page for our free ethical waste disposal list.