Day 214 Supply and Demand

There is an election going on at the moment here in Australia. The politicians often jump on the environmental bandwagon to win votes. The issues they promise they are going to address when they win are just a drop in the bucket to what really needs doing.

In fact they aren’t prepared to do much at all when it comes to the manufacturing of pointless garbage like…

  • the free toys in kids meals and other promotional products
  • wasteful single use gadgets
  • shoddy appliances that don’t last and can’t be repaired
  • Disposable cutlery & plates
  • Cheap souvenirs
  • The sheer quantity of seasonal decorations
  • Gas guzzling cars
  • And the over-packaging of most of the above

just to name a few.

Generating manufacturing creates economic wealth and employment regardless of how unnecessary the end resulting items are.  So no politician is going to put a stop to any of that. So we will just keep on causing massive pollution until the supply and demand of these products are eliminated. The only thing that is going to have an effect on this is you the consumer.

Supply and demand is just that. If we stop demanding (buying) it they will stop supplying it. It is really that simple. No manufacturer is going to make something that no one is buying. Supply will always be limited to demand and even if that just reduces the quantities supplied it would be a great improvement for the environment.

Think twice about what you are doing with your money and your actions.

  • Don’t accept free useless stuff just because it is free
  • Avoid using plastic utensils when you are eating out.
  • Take a carry bag with you when you go shopping so you don’t have to accept plastic bags
  • When buying a new car buy what you need not some gas guzzling monstrosity just because it looks cool
  • Use the same decorations year in year out. It is possible to celebrate an occasion without polluting the planet.
  • You can julienne vegetables, crush garlic, chop an onion, dice an apple, slice potatoes… with just one gadget, a knife. Sure it might take longer but unless you are running a restaurant kitchen will the time saved really make that much difference.

See what you can do this week to reduce supply and demand. I will keep a track of my efforts and let you know next Sunday how I went.


You can sell just about anything on ebay. This item made a nice $14.00.
HMAS Gawler Port $14

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About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.


  1. Hey Colleen good list you have. Personally, I really like the suggestion of carrying a bag to the grocery store because it’s so easy to implement and anyone can do it immediately.

    Please keep us updated on how the supply & demand reduction week goes.

    • Hi Reggie,
      the list was only the tip of the iceberg really but they are the sort of thing anyone can do. I know this post isn’t really about decluttering but I suppose if you aren’t bringing the rubbish home you are avoiding clutter so that works. I will certainly pay attention to my own behavour this week and try to keep notes on what I have achieved and let you all now. You give it a try to and let me know how you go, I would love to know.

  2. I agree with voting with our wallets by not purchasing or using certain items. I still use plastic bags at the store but they are brought home and used again to carry things, insulate things and make things, or just as trash bags.

    I no longer purchase paper towels or bathroom tissue, and have reduced the amount of cleaning supplies I purchase an extreme amount, using simpler products like vinegar and baking soda.

    I no longer own a printer, and any “scans” are now made with my camera. Paper is reused to line the bird and guinea pig cages, but eventually if my paper supply runs out I will probably go to cloth for those as well.

    I don’t buy magazine subscriptions or take the free offers. Instead of paper books I buy digital or just check them out from the library.

    I don’t know if all of this helps but it is part of my contribution. Good post!

    • Hi Annie,
      all of that really does help. I also only borrow books from the library, don’t take magazine subscritions, I have a no junk mail sign on my letter box so I don’t get junk mail or catalogues, I take carry bags to the grocery store, I barely do any other shopping so no problem there, I have a very small car and don’t drive a long distance in it anyway, I have cut back on cleaners and use microfibre clothes and water for a lot of my cleaning… I am sure there are more but that is what just pops into my head.
      It never ceases to amaze me how many people I run into that have no clue about living this way day to day. They either mustn’t watch or ready anything about saving the environment or just don’t care. I am not even an activist by any stretch of the imagination it just makes sense to do your bit. Oh well comment sense just itn’t that common is it.

  3. Colleen and Annie, Great lists from both of you. I do most of these things, but I have a couple of questions to clarify:
    Colleen, if you don’t use plastic utensils when you eat out at a restaurant, then do you carry your own with you?
    Annie, if you don’t buy bathroom paper, what do you use? –And please don’t tell me you recycle a phone book! 🙂 —

    • Hi Di,
      usually I try to either eat at places that provide reusable utensils or buy food that doesn’t require utensils at all. It isn’t always possible but most of the time I seem to be able to manage it. I never buy plastic utensils or plates for home use even when we have guests because it just isn’t necessary to create that kind of pollution just to save on doing the dishes. Don’t get me wrong I am no saint and I know I contribute my fair share of pollution but I am continually trying to find ways to cut back. If it were possible to bring my own containers to pick up take-out I would but the health laws that the cafes have to adhere to make this impossible. All I can say is I am learning and improving all the time.

  4. Good list, Colleen. I read somewhere that 1 gallon of gas used in your car equals something like 216 plastic bags. (Numbers may vary) ONE trip to the grocery store could use up a year’s supply of plastic bags.

  5. Like you I *always* can find something else to get rid of! Just today I walked about 5 kms (yes, it was freezing, but am trying to drive less too). I suffered blisters on my heel due to my funky flat shoes. I’ve been wearing them a few times a month for 2 years and putting up with the discomfort but today they have been put into my box for the op shop. Sometimes I just shake my head at my own blindness 🙂

    • Hi Loretta,
      sometimes we so want to will an item to be as useful as we wished but in the end we have to let it go. Sometimes we just need to be glad we can finally admit defete, cut ourselves some lack and move on.

  6. Hi Di!
    Sorry it took me a few days to get back to you! I use family cloths and menstrual cloths made from inexpensive wash cloths, washing them once a week or as needed. It may not be much but at least I am using the same thing over and over instead of buying something to throw away. My water bill didn’t even go up so the difference is negligible, especially since I hang them out to dry. The best part is I feel better knowing that I’m doing at least a little bit and it isn’t even that hard.


  1. […] Monday, Day 214, my post was about supply and demand. I promised to keep track of my efforts to avoid being wasteful […]

  2. […] Annie on Day 214:- I agree with voting with our wallets by not purchasing or using certain items. I still use plastic bags at the store but they are brought home and used again to carry things, insulate things and make things, or just as trash bags. I no longer purchase paper towels or bathroom tissue… Read More […]