The Buyerarchy of Needs


I first found the Buyerarchy when perusing the Creative Reuse: Art From Trash face book page (CRAFT). The chart (which is a nod to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs) delineates all the options one has before one makes a purchase, working from the bottom up so that buying is the last option.

I was three-quarters of the way through my most recent “rethink waste” project when I realized I had been following the Buyerarchy of needs without even realizing it! The project was reviving an old dresser from 3 coats of gnarly paint to no coats, all wood. Turns out, I avoided 3 purchases as a result of the Buyerarchy…

First, because I chose to ‘use what I have‘, I didn’t have to buy a new dresser. Refurbishments with furniture tends to be less expensive than buying new. Refurbishment in this degree might also qualify as ‘make‘, as the dresser was “S and S BAR’ed” in the process (Sanded and Stripped Beyond All Recognition). Second, I ‘borrowed‘ a sander to smooth the wood after I stripped the paint. It is unlikely that I would ever use an electric sander often enough to warrant private ownership. And finally, I used ‘thrift‘ store rags to catch the falling paint and floor clean up.

During the restoration process, I realized use of this chart is ever present in my decision making, often unconsciously. Has anyone else surprised themselves with use of the Buyerarchy?

{Thanks to guest blogger/photographer Krystal Collins: CollinsRocksMedia}



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  1. […] collinsrocks media’s latest contribution on the Rethink Wast Project site (The Environmental […]

  2. Seth Yon on July 14, 2014 at 4:37 pm


    Have you ever thought about all of the waste in a “one time use” graduation gown? The U.S. uses 5mm+ each graduation year. This material is worn for 90 minutes and then fills our landfills each summer. Greener Grads has come up with a national recover/reuse program for this material. I’ve included a very short (2 minute) video that gives an overview of our program.

    Have a great day.

    • Enviro on July 31, 2014 at 4:04 pm

      Hi Seth – The Rethink Waste Project is a project of The Environmental Center here in Bend, and we are already working with Greener Grads! It’s a great program, thanks for getting in touch to help our graduating students reduce their waste!

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