The lesson of the week at my house is: someone is paying for everything we use.
It’s easy to recognize this when we teach children to turn off unneeded lights or to turn off the water when their hands are nowhere near the sink.
In addition to the obvious, I like to remind my kids that even the “cheap” items from discount stores have hidden costs to the environment and, likely, to the workers manufacturing the junk. The cheaper stuff is, the more we want to buy. So we buy more cheap stuff that is more likely to break or wear out than its quality alternative, then we do it again. This is a cycle we consumers have become too comfortable with.
We can all be a part of the solution. Vote with your dollars. Know that you directly support the continued manufacture and distribution of every new thing you buy. Ask yourself about the integrity of the products you want to buy, how long they will last, where they are made and shipped from, what they are made of, and where they will end up when their life is over.
Remember, cheap is not always cheap, and nothing is free.