The other day I saw something at a local grocery store that made me roll my eyes and sigh, which believe it or not I try not to do in public too often. I was making a beeline for a sale on blueberries and taking a short cut through the baby aisle when this caught my eye: a teething ring made entirely of cornstarch resin. Surrounded by chlorine-free diapers, jars of organic baby food and onesies dyed with plant-based colors.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with trying to keep toxins away from your kiddo.
But when your child’s nursery starts looking like part of the Portlandia set, maybe it’s time to reassess if the best way to achieve that laudable goal is by buying something just because it’s marketed as “green.” The same goes for green household products, which can go for two times as much as their standard counterparts. And don’t even get me started on how furniture and housewares companies have gotten in on the homesteading trend. If you want a chicken coop, chances are you can find one in your neighborhood for sale or even make one yourself. Your chickens aren’t going to lay better eggs because you put them in a $1,400 chicken coop painted Heritage Green. And while yes, your chickens do have to drink water, they probably won’t appreciate the difference between the steel waterer you picked up at the feed store and the mail order $70 stoneware waterer.
The point is – do the research. Whether you’re shopping for household products or you’re a business owner looking to do business with another company, dig down and really get to know what you’re thinking of spending money on. Are you investing in a business tool – or a new wheelbarrow – because it’s what everyone else in your industry or neighborhood uses? Or are you really assessing what will best fit your needs?
Sometimes that means making a big investment, and that’s OK if it’s going to help you achieve great things in the future. But it’s important to look past hype and ask yourself if this is a good fit.