I have been a long time fan of Annie Leonard and The Story of STUFF Project.
Annie has spent nearly two decades investigating and organizing on environmental health and justice issues. She has traveled to 40 countries, visiting literally hundreds of factories where our stuff is made and dumps where our stuff is dumped. Witnessing first hand the horrendous impacts of both over- and under- consumption around the world, Annie is fiercely dedicated to reclaiming and transforming our industrial and economic systems so they serve, rather than undermine, ecological sustainability and social equity.
Watch this video and give some thought to her claims facts and data. It really made me think about all the stuff (most of it crap - I call it) that I purchase each year. Where is it a year later? Annie is right, most of it is in the trash. From this point forward I have made a new policy (first of many I hope) that if I do need to purchase hard goods like a stapler or a shovel - I will purchase the best quality I can find. Yes, it will cost more, BUT it will last many many years, I hope, instead of choosing the cheap "toss away" version.
At Costless we sell staplers for $5.00 and ones for $40.00, and I can tell you the $5.00 staplers are made to throw away. Investing is the word to think of when spending $40.00 on a stapler. Investing in quality, useability and the environment.
Have a look at the video and make your own judgements.