Grappling with consumerism
May 18, 2010 12:04 PM Subscribe
What are specific and attainable things I can do to lessen my participation in the consumerist aspect of our world? Related, how can I justify the degree of 'necessary' participation?
posted by anonymous to Religion & Philosophy (25 answers total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
An oft cited phrase regarding capitalism is "vote with your wallet". I find that people idly say "well you can vote with your wallet" and then repeatedly, consistently vote "yes, I would like to buy what you are selling!"
I want to vote "no, no thank you" more than I currently do. I'm not looking to leave society, move to the woods and live off the grid -- I am looking to buy less crap, and support fewer crap companies promoting crap mindsets in the interest of selling crap. What are specific things I can do to lessen my participation in consumerism, given that I still need to function as a 'normal' person in 'normal' society? An example of the type of suggestion I'm looking for is: "not buy a fancy, shiny, smart-phone and instead use a basic, cheap cellphone".
Building on that example, I'm not sure that I am comfortable living without a cellphone due to it's value in emergencies -- on the other hand, I'm not really ethically okay supporting the telecom industry -- how can I reconcile my desire to opt-out, with my practical needs? I understand I need to reach a compromise between my ideology and the convenience/practicality -- how do you find this balance point in your lives?
Apologies if this is a bit vague, it's not a straightforward subject and not necessarily easy to grapple with. :) I'd be appreciative just to hear others' views on the subject.