Consumerism Essay

Taking the green to the extreme A lot of consumer groups are starting to show up against capitalism and consumerism. They strive to come out with the message that “less is more”, meaning that buying less is better for the environment. They are taking recycling to another level. The question is, is it possible to make a huge impact? Do we really need to stop consuming to make a difference? And how bad do we need a change? One of these groups are called freegans. Freegans are people living an anti-consumer lifestyle, they choose to re-use food that is being tossed to the curbside but the food being tossed is edible.

A lot of people think that it is obscene to eat food out of a dumpster or curbside and that it is impossible to know how long the food has been out there. They are not necessarily being freegans out of economical issues they are doing it out of principle because they do not wish to fund those big corporations that are spoiling the environment and they also think about the homeless people and give them some of the food they find since they get so much that they cannot take it all home. Their message is being well received, since some stores put the food in way that makes it easy for them to pick and choose and they even wink at them.

Another group is the Compact that are against consumerism. It originated in 2005 at dinner party in San Francisco, where the guests decided to take recycling to another level by going a whole year without making a new purchase but they are allowed to buy used items and are encouraged to borrow and reuse whatever possible. They too think that consumerism is destroying the world and that most of us own more than we need. Their concept is being taken rather seriously and has quickly been spread all across the United States of America. Almost 3. 00 people from all over the world has taken part of the concept on Yahoo and the participants think that it has been a rewarding experience. Quote from John Perry the co-founder of the Compact group – “We’ve enjoyed the camaraderie and competitive spirit with friends,“ Perry said. “And it’s been really good for us to think about what we need, as opposed to what we want” When Colin Beavan got the news about global warming and he did not feel that the government was doing something about it, so he decided to do something about it, therfore he did something that nobody has done in thousands of years.

Colin Beavan decided to live without electricity through a whole year with his daughter and wife. Other initiatives are to use low-energy transportation, eliminating trash, eating locally and seasonal and so on He wrote a book called “No Impact Man: A Year Off the Grid” based on his experiences throughout the year he was living without electricity. Colin Beavan says that whenever they were bored they went to the park and hung out with their neighbors and in this way they were both being social and sparing the environment. Colin Beavan has encouraged people to do the same by starting the No Impact Experiment.

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There is a webpage were you can register yourself to join the No Impact Experiment, you can schedule how you are going to live a week and upload videos of how well you are doing, so that everyone can see your results. Personally I think that these are some amazing initiatives and it is very inspiring but I do not think I would be able to live by eating food from the dumpsters or without electricity, I am too accustom to the way I am living like right now and I believe a lot people would have difficulties because they are to accustom to the way they are, I know a lot of people who cannot live without their cell phones or being on Facebook.

A lot of the things that a couple years ago we almost did not use have become a necessity for us, e. g. internet, or at least for my generation. I do think that even the smallest thing you do, can help the environment and the small steps are the ones that are going to help the environment. ?

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