From a friend/colleague posting in one of the permie groups: “Looking for comments by those whose household income is less than $20,000 per year US: Eyeglasses, dental floss and shoes are not likely to be produced from our 1 acre anytime soon … so… Realising the importance of divesting from anti-permaculture structures, if purchasing xxxx costs $50 from Satan Industries and $100 from Good-Earth Corp, how does one get there? How have you transitioned?”
I mostly buy shoes used. And I only like to have 2-3 pairs. (My two latest acquisitions were 1) an upscale (sturdy leather w sturdy cloth-braided thong) pair of flipflops. Yard sale, $2. And 2) rubber work boots; free via a house downsizing job where we workers got to keep certain stuff we wanted).
Dental floss I buy at store that is within walking distance. When the place within walking distance offers eco options, I buy those. I consider shipping and packaging from mail-order as part of my “eco and corporate goodness equation”.
I only need to buy a roll of dental floss every couple of months. Therefore I don’t mind paying quite a bit extra for “kinder” option if it is available.
Eyeglasses I buy a pair about every 3-5 years (actually one pair may have lasted me 8 years, can’t recall), from the shop at my eye doctor’s office. They may be $300 but since I only need one pair every few years, it’s do-able.
Income FYI: I generally make about 12-13k before taxes.
Re shoes again, I may someday spend a big chunk of money (even $600 or more) to get custom-made moccasins. It is do-able even on my income, budgeting wisely. I like the idea of supporting handcrafting micro-industries; building a relationship. But for now, both ecologically and budget-wise, I prefer to buy used. The quality is often far superior to what I can get new.
Additional note: Possibly my best-ever pair of boots, a pair of black Skechers which I used for both work and travel, and even some indoor-type occasions, were purchased for $4 from a thrift shop in Austin. I had the boots for about 7 years before passing them on. And they were still totally wearable when I passed them on to the next recipient.