CHOICES AND THE CONSUMER CULTURE

The home and belongings of a nomadic Nigerian family.

Let’s think for a minute about how much “stuff” we own.  Have you ever taken a walk in your neighborhood and looked through an open garage door?   In a lot of garages, in America, we no longer have room for the cars.  We have become a collector society for a number of reasons, to include financial stability.  Instead of sharing a seldom used item we each went out and purchased one.  Think about camping gear, gardening tools, inflatable beds.  In our family, a few years ago, there were two rototillers and one at the neighbor’s, next door – consumer culture.   Independence also breeds this type of behavior, but times are changing.  We need to depend upon one another more these days, to save money, but also to make a lighter footprint upon the earth.

Last summer I came across an article in the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper that discussed the topic of borrowing items instead of buying everything we need.  The article stated that, “Social networking and smart phones have paved the way for people to share their stuff…….people who share information about themselves online are more likely to share their belongings.”

To read the full article in the San Francisco Chronicle, go to:
Buy it?  No, Borrow it!   The newspaper listed the following sources for access to borrowing, individually, or creating a group in your community:   Rentalic,   Neighborrow,        NeighborGoods,         Share Some Sugar,        Snap Goods   (This one has a guarantee).   Think about this lifestyle choice, the world won’t change until we do.

After years of maintaining all the “stuff” we own,  the simplicity in the image above, does have my attention.

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7 responses to “CHOICES AND THE CONSUMER CULTURE

  1. It is unfortunate that today our society is so consumeristic and thinks that new things are constantly needed for fulfilling one’s necessities and even happiness in life.

    • I agree, Frances. Obviously, consumerism is powered to a large degree by advertising, and so much of our behavior in western culture stems from existing on auto pilot. But, on a positive note, I believe that we are witnessing more independent thought in the masses, and I credit this to social media. Ideas are moving around the earth at the speed of light.

  2. I agree completely – we are too bombarded by messages to buy stuff we don’t need. I’ve found living in a village has opened new ways to share – we have part shares in a garage, a trailer, a barbecue, we cultivate a garden someone doesn’t use, swap ‘waste’ materials like wood with a neighbour – there’s a whole history of mutual dependence in a village that we’re lucky to tap into. Maybe one way to develop what you say is to try to create ‘villages’ for ourselves in towns and cities.

    • How fortunate you are to live in a village where borrowing and sharing seem to be staples of your society. I completely agree with the concept of creating villages within our towns and cities. I believe this way of life will grow in the U.S. as we become more and more disillusioned with our government’s ability to do anything.

  3. Great post and great blog. I also had the same reaction to the image above. In the world we live in today…it is hard to imagine.

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