DIY Rain Barrels and Profit Motives

rain-barrel.jpgIf there is one big problem with capitalism it has to be the profit motive. I’ve heard it over and over again: “Well, sure, it’s not “criminal” to charge an exorbitant profit (unless you are a regulated industry).” If it’s not criminal, we’ve certainly learned it is not sustainable. Profit motives are the reason people in starving countries like Argentina in 2002 couldn’t buy the food they produced in their own country. Instead, it was shipped out to other countries where they make a higher profit. Profit motive is why real estate became a speculator’s sport that ended up costing millions of people their homes in the end. Profit motive is the reason gas will never go down and always up, no matter what anyone says about supply and demand. Profit motive is why the pharmaceutical industry will never fund a study on any natural healing products that will undercut their profits in their own drugs, even if they find out they are effective. Profit motive is why people don’t have time to help other people in need, because there’s nothing in it for them. And profit motive is why in a drought a rain barrel would be priced at $150, as if this was not something you could make on your own for cheap. In short, profit motive is just another name for good, old-fashioned, greed when it becomes unsustainable.

Global Warming and Green Products

In one of those astounding synchronicities, I had to pay my water bill and ended up at the Raleigh website. There, to my surprise, I found they were selling rain barrels for only $80 to $90 approximately. Yesterday, I had been wondering how NC State could be doing a civic duty selling rain barrels for $150, and now I think I know they’re not. It’s one of those, “oh look we’re in a drought and people need water. Let’s sell over-priced rain barrels!” deals. And, imagine this! The Raleigh site even showed you how to make your own rain barrel out of an old trash can. There were also links for kits listed with the pre-made rain barrels too. So, now I have a good idea of what a rain barrel costs to do-it-yourself: approximately $16, if you already have an old trash can (like I do). Otherwise, it will cost you more like $45, which is close to the $30 I estimated yesterday.

Go Green Frugally

There are a lot of experts suggesting that green products and those that deal with environmental or global warming concerns, such as drought, will end up being a large industry as the years move ahead. You can expect people getting into these markets to have profit as their primary motive more than social conscience. If you want to uphold the standards and ethics of green industries, don’t patronize these people. Green isn’t just about taking care of the ecology and environment, it’s also about a sustainable way of life. Sustainability is not about price gouging. So, keep a sharp eye out and remember to pass along free information so others can also help to build a sustainable culture in their back yards for less.

*Image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons by gilintx

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