Consumption ironically during the industrial revolution was the name used for the disease we now call TB. Wealthy people to trips to the sea - for the healing properties of the warmth. Consumption consumes a persons air.
Fast forward to today and we view consumption as our ability to buy things. We consume natural resources and we consume large quantities of food and we consume whatever we can get our hands on.
I am not a huge fan of conspicuous consumption. Sure H and I have a lovely house in a lovely neighborhood and we each have a car and I have a closet full of clothing. The children are well dressed, although I am choosy about what I purchase for them and I will admit I could do less laundry if they had more outfits - but why? They grow out of their clothes so fast.
I am somewhat brand conscious - but frankly I would be hard pressed to spot Prada at 50 paces. The clothing I have currently is is not brands ones sees regularly in a fashion magazine. A friend was talking about Burberry and I had to google it... and btw a tan and black plaid bikini is so not sexy it is all manner of scary. I caught a whiff of some show on Bravo called "The Real Housewives of New York." and I was nauseated...
L & E do not have an X-box nor a Wii or any of that nonsense. Nor will they be getting it at all - if H and I have our way! They do not have iPods nor do they Leapsters or the like... they do have plenty of books. They have toys. Toys which stimulate their imagination. We have a chore chart and as they earn stars they can redeem them for books or special events. Like a trip for ice cream with Mommy.
For me life is about experiences and not stuff. I could care about stuff. There are a few material items which I care about and the rest - I could walk away from tomorrow. It is stuff.
So when I read this article in Marie Clarie about freegans... I was a touch shocked and one part - WOW - that works for me on one level (well not so much cuz - I have a limited menu already...) but I was impressed. It is a radical approach to life - but clearly it is working for people. I can see how it works mostly in urban centers.
I have no plans to go try it. But it did solidify my notion that I want to make this year much more about shopping locally and buying things which people make. I did this in NYC and I am aiming to do it here - for the balance of the year - as much as I can. I can impact my local economy. I am tired of all the stuff made in China and all the cheap bits of junk we buy and think are important to us - when what should be important to us - is our family and loved ones.
Our economy and culture are so wrapped up in consumption and I for one think it is changing the landscape in a profound way and eventually it will consume us.
My friend J always said she could see me in overalls growing organic veggies - and on one hand she is correct. I for one think it is a damn shame that most communes are inhabited by religious nut jobs - because I for one think the commune concept has merits!