What have you done today to lower your impact?

We are washing away the foundations of our existence on every front. It is high time we move from crashing about on the planet like a bull in china shop and find a way to go forward with intent. We must find systems of living based on sustainability. The systems and tools exist, it is up to each of us to adopt them.

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Saturday, 20 June 2009

Does your TV watching drive needless consumerism?

I've noticed that many folks will economize on many things, used cars, used computers, clothes lines instead of dryers, but when it comes to television only the latest and greatest will do. Why is this?

Perhaps folks are using home entertainment to supplant going out, perhaps it is simply a more effective and efficient means of escape when the screen is 50" across and accompanied by surround sound. In any case this insatiable need to have an incredible television is consumerism at it's most pernicious. The TV after all is the most direct conduit into the home and into your brain for endless marketing and propaganda designed to keep us consuming and complacent. This doesn't have to be the case. Check out this excerpt from a story at The Thrifty Chicks, read the rest of the story there;

"We don’t have the money or the desire to race out to some superstore and purchase the latest generation of television. To my family, television is television. It’s not an experience. We don’t have cable. We’re very predictable; PBS, CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood, 60 Minutes and maybe an evening show if we’re too dog-tired to read to the kids. 60 Minutes comes from my childhood with my grandfather and we would watch Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom beforehand. Now my girls and I watch PBS’s Nature after 60 Minutes. Good to know that some things stay roughly the same they just might get shuffled about.

My husband, Mr. Golightly, quickly solved our problem. He took a television he’d bought at a thrift store for $20 a few years back from his garage workshop and replaced the toasted telly. He likes to watch football games while he does manly things that involve power tools which occasionally result in stitches in this workshop.... My grandparents just replaced their clothes washer of over thirty years. In the last ten years, I’ve gone through three. Things are wickedly wrong. How can we feel so at ease tossing huge things like clothes washer/dryers, televisions, PC monitors over our shoulder and buying more just to add that to the waste stream in a few short years?

I’m not so certain that the super stores that worked on making items “more affordable” to the public did us much a favor. Based upon my personal experience, I have the firm impression that a cheap price on the new goods market translates to poor quality. Add to that the constant turnover of product and I must wonder if we are we actually paying a higher economic and environmental cost in the long haul. I think we are and that makes me think that cheap is ultimately steep." - Shopping GoLightly

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