Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Cultural Consumerism

This article on 'cultural consumerism' from the AP presents a pretty strong perspective on how ingrained consumption is in our culture. It points out how our leaders tell us, "The point of an economic stimulus plan is to get money into people’s pockets so that they spend that money," and that this consumption culture "ran so deep that it permeated not only our wallets and our attitudes but our financial institutions." I think the columnist gets it right on many counts.

Maybe, though, we will see a change at the top. I read today that Obama thinks we may not return to our role as a "voracious consumer market."

How deep is our consumption culture? I guess we'll have to wait and see...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Tennis anyone

P is getting into tennis lately, and she made me buy a racket. So...
IN: Prince tennis racket, purchased at Dick's Sporting Goods.
OUT: Miscellaneous athletic-type clothing. Given away to Goodwill.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Consume Reconnection

Yesterday evening at Sprout Creek Farm P and I went to see a talk that was part of their "Rusty Bucket Series". On the schedule for the evening was Scott Ballum of Sheepless Co, a graphic designer out of Brooklyn, NY. He spoke a lot about his current project, Consume Reconnection, which he describes as "A year-long effort to meet the laborers and craftsmen who make anything and everything I buy."
From my perspective, this is a really creative, intriguing idea... one that sounds like it would be quite a challenge to sustain. The spirit of the project is not unlike what I'm doing here, at least in the respect that both are an attempt to reflect on what is consumed. If you have more interest in Scott's project, I'd suggest having a listen to his interview on NPR.

Monday, March 9, 2009


I often find Thomas Friedman to be quite insightful. A great quote from this article, that echoes the principles of my resolution: "We must have growth, but we must grow in a different way. For starters, economies need to transition to the concept of net-zero..."

Monday, March 2, 2009

More on limits

A nice perspective from the Editor's blog at Chemical and Engineering News. I'm not sure I agree with everything there, particularly his thoughts on 'endless growth' as a physical impossibility, but the post does resonate with me.

More bonus material

OUT: Bonus! Four white t-shirts I never wear. Given to Goodwill.OUT: Bonus! Laptop bag to accompany the computer I'm donating.

Laptop sleeves

IN: New laptop sleeve from Incase. Purchased at
OUT: ACS logo laptop sleeve, too small for my new laptop. Given to my Chemistry Department for 'Molecule of the Week' prize.