I figured I'd start out slow and take a look at one of our newer items. A Sony analog TV purchased in 2000. We don't plan to buy a new TV anytime soon, especially when we consider the fact that the oldest television we have in our house is almost 20 years old.
This Univega bike was purchased when my son Jimmy was a year old. We put a baby carrier on the back of it and carted him all over the place. Jimmy just turned 21 in December and is an avid cyclist. I wonder if all his early years spent on this bike has something to do with that. My son Ryan now uses this bike to get around the neighborhood all summer long.
Our Toyota 4-Runner was bought by us new in 1999 when we were living in the Colorado mountains and discovered the only way we could get to our house was by using a 4 wheel drive vehicle. Now, 10 years later, with only 125,000 miles on it- it is still going strong. Granted, it is not politically correct to own an SUV anymore, especially when I care about what my personal actions are doing to the earth, but I keep the miles down and consider the resources saved by not buying a new car. This is such a great mulch hauling, flea market shopping, dog to the vet, family going camping, and traversing Chicago in the winter car and I figure I will still have it when my son Ryan, who is 12 turns 20.
We bought this Toro lawnmower when we moved into our first house in Lexington, Kentucky back in 1989. Here we are almost 20 years later and believe it or not the mower still works. It is not because of regular oil changes or tuneups either. Nope, it has had only one tune up over the years and that happened only because we hit a big rock in our backyard and bent the blade. Another minor problem we encountered was when the self-propeller part broke, I took off that feature and we now have to push it, which as I understand it, has the benefit of saving gas. Hopefully by the time the mower breaks for good we will no longer have a yard to mow because we will have converted all of our lawn to garden beds.
Mike and I acquired this stereo just after we got married in 1985. We were living in Portland, Oregon at the time and Mike was awarded points toward this purchase for work well done through his job. The stereo was considered fancy for its time, but according to our kids, it is hopelessly outdated now. While the receiver portion of the stereo still works, the tape player doesn't. Of course, who listens to music on tape anymore? Mike and I are fearful that the stereo may be nearing the end of its life. Occasionally, when we turn it off, it stays on. Something is wrong with the power switch which is easily remedied by simply unplugging it.
As I see it, the only problem with buying quality is that things eventually go out of style which drives my kids crazy. They don't like being the only ones on the block with an analog TV. They kid us about Mike's alarm clock which he has owned since he was in high school or the patio set we have had for 15 years. Mike and I on the other hand don't care about being in style and simply laugh when our kids raise these concerns. The good thing about buying quality is that it keeps us from having to buy new again every few years and it helps to keep our flow to the landfill slower. It also feels good to look around our house and see all of the things that we have had for a long, long time. To remember when we purchased them and to think about the part they have played in our lives over the years. To have history with the things I surround myself with.