Tag Archives: use up

Day 450: The Death of the Consumer Culture

I have lately been moving myself away from the constant news coverage around the Corona virus and instead I have been focusing on practical work. Today I repaired my washing machine and my shoe shelf – and I planted seeds for the coming vegetable season. Practical work is extremely supportive when it comes to grounding the mind. When you work with the earth, you cannot move faster than what your body is moving. You have to do one thing at a time and you have to be HERE while doing it. And even though there is such a mess in the world right now, nature, earth, and the environment is still here, it is still supporting, still providing oxygen. And how easy is it not to take that for granted? Yet without natures support, we would not be here at all.

Tending to the environment, to things, to plants, it replenishes me and makes me proud. And that care for my environment is something that carries on to my relationship with myself. I wonder how much of the things we have created throughout time, the machines, the tools, clothes, that we could still use if we would have cared for them properly. However, the current way of using things is to wear them out and throw them away. And many times that makes more sense money wise because it takes more money to repair and tend to old things than to buy new things. And the economy is built around consumption – literally consuming things – instead of using them with care and respect.

The economy has not always been based on consumption. It is a pretty new behavior that was programmed into human beings after the Second World War. Before the age of consumption we bought less, the things were of better quality, and we tended to repair them and use them until they had been used up. Compared to today, we use things for a while, until there is a new model, and then we buy that, not because we really need the new things, but because want to own a new thing, because we have allowed ourselves to be manipulated by marketing and PR that promotes the idea that we need to consume, buy, own more, to be satisfied.

And reflecting this state of useless consumption is the level of personal debt, that has sky rocketed. Today personal debt is common place and accepted as normal. However, should we really be indebted? We have pushed the industrial revolution so far, we can manufacture products with only small portion of human involvement and on gigantic levels, yet still most of us are indebted. And maybe this is because we have created a debt to earth – we have consumed too much without care and respect for the resources that went into creating that particular thing. It reflects our reckless use of what has been given to us freely.

Thus, with the Corona virus, demand has been plummeting. That is not a bad thing. Most of our demand is manufactured and does not spring from a real need. Thus – let us embrace this new economy where demand equals what is needed and not what is created through manipulation of the human mind to desire all kinds of unnecessary shit.