Thursday, January 17, 2008

To buy new tires?

In which The Professor joins us for a guest post as his penance for breaking our Compact agreement on Day 2.

The Compact: an agreement that we will do everything possible to avoid contributing to rampant consumerism in the year 2008. We will buy nothing new except essentials (like food), we will do everything possible to buy used or local, to make it ourselves, or to do without.

Day two of the Compact (January 2nd): I bought tires for my car. The tires are brand, spanking new, and almost certainly not locally-made. Oops. This makes for a good discussion point, though. At first the answer to the question “should I buy new tires for my car?” seems obvious. The car already had used tires, they were no longer safe to drive on, yes, buy the new ones. But I put no research or discussion to the question. Could I have had them resurfaced? Could I have purchased a set of slightly used tires, and then reduced my use of the car by taking public transportation or biking? It would have been more inconvenient, but I most likely would have saved quite a bit of money, and the hypothetical used tires would have gotten a year or two of additional use before being recycled. Or perhaps I would have concluded that brand new tires were my only option, so suck it up and buy them.

Anyway, the new tires are now slightly used, with about a hundred miles on them. I’ll have to do a better job keeping in mind The Compact philosophy. It’s impressive how ingrained I am in the “buy new and don’t worry about it” philosophy.

1 comment:

  1. Obviously the solution to this dilemma (for others considering following The Compact) would have been to buy the new tires at the end of December!

    Or is that fudging too much?

    Do you guys keep a copy of George Carlin's "stuff" routine on hand to listen when you have to decide if you really do need to buy something new? Seems like it would be a hilarious reminder.



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