Welcome to my post about "stuff". This post is about the junk that piles up in your house, things you use once and throw away, and the treasures you buy and have the rest of your life. Weather you like it or not, you have at least some STUFF and chances are- weather or not you'd like to admit it- at some point you're going to want something else! (Ahem, I am currently in the market for a new bike, a new pair of jeans, and a DVD player among other thingamigigs...)
Why do we always want more stuff?There are a number of answers, the most likely culprits are the marketing machine of the 20th Century and the Consumerist Democracy in which we live.
Check out this short animation called, Second Hand. The short film shows two extremes: life in the "fast lane" and the "simple life". The term "second hand" refers to the ticking hand on a clock; it also describes re-used items. Would you rather save time? Or save stuff? This film examines the imbalance and waste created by these modern obsessions.
I think the only real way to battle overconsumption is simply by not wanting and not buying. But it is unrealistic to expect everyone in society to do this all the time.
So are there any ways to even out these imbalances but still obtain the stuff you like and enjoy?
Personally, I don't think it's neccesary to feel guilty to want "things" but important to have a consciousness about waste, material needs verses wants, and of course about the toll waste takes on the environment in which we live.
Now lets look at Some Ways to Have more by Owning less A bunch of new online communities which provides people alternative ways to get the stuff they "need" and will liberate you a bit from the shackles of consumerism. I hope you find it useful.
1. NeighborGoods is a new platform that allows you to do just that, allowing you to borrow and lend from and to your neighbors rather than buying new stuff. From lawnmowers to bikes to DVD’s, NeighborGoods dubs itself “the Craigslist for borrowing,” allowing you to both save and earn money.
2. The next site is Landshare which is only available in the UK. I hope it comes to the states! This platform allows people who've got land to connect with people dying to start a garden because the cherry tomato plant on their balcony just doesn't cut it!
3. For DVDs and media related stuff check out Swaptree. In three years, the site has facilitated some 1.6 million swaps, saving its users an estimated $10.3 million while reducing their collective carbon footprint by 9.3 million tons.
5. The most promising solution to reducing both traffic congestion and pollution in cities without reducing the actual number of drivers is Zipcar, a 24/7, on-demand carsharing service that gives its members flexible access to thousands of cars across the U.S., U.K. and Canada. Zipcar has been around for quite some time years and most people are already familiar with it.
It turns out there is a name for this! It's called Collaborative Consumption. For more info about this phenomenon check out Rachel Botsman’s book, What’s Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption and her TEDtalks! For anyone who likes these ideas or anyone who isn't quite convinced, should be interested in the following info and videos:
“The “Resource-Based Economic Model” is about taking a direct technical approach to social management as opposed to a Monetary or even Political one. It is about updating the workings of society to the most advanced and proven methods Science has to offer, leaving behind the damaging consequences and limiting inhibitions which are generated by our current system of monetary exchange, profits, corporations and other structural and motivational components.”
If you want to see how it works, have a look at this:
If you want more in depth information behind what I mean when I say "Consumerist Democracy" please check out The Century of the Self by Adam Curtis tells the untold and controversial story of the growth of the mass-consumer society. How is the all-consuming self created, by whom, and in whose interest?
[bPlease check it out! It's available online for[/b] FREE.