Category: Consumerism

Plastic Bags Fact Sheet

Worldwide, a trillion single-use plastic bags are used each year, nearly 2 million each minute. The amount of energy required to make 12 plastic shopping bags could drive a car for a mile. City, state, and national governments around the world are trying to limit plastic bag litter and waste with bans and fees. The oldest existing plastic bag tax is in Denmark, passed in 1993. Danes use very few […]

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Falling Apart

Competition and individualism are forcing us into a devastating Age of Loneliness. What do we call this time? It’s not the information age: the collapse of popular education movements left a void now filled by marketing and conspiracy theories(1). Like the stone age, iron age and space age, the digital age says plenty about our artefacts but little about society. The anthropocene, in which humans exert a major impact on […]

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The Conservative Lorax

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6uJkI9DE14 The Lorax, published in video form on our site here, is a much-loved children’s tale by Dr. Seuss — one with a strong environmental message (the original book version was banned in some schools and libraries in the US due to pressure by the forestry lobbies). Now, above, you can watch an updated version, where, I’m very sorry to say, you’ll discover that the Lorax, who formerly spoke for […]

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Join the Global Frackdown this Weekend! (October 11, 2014)

This Saturday we’re joining concerned citizens all over the world who are coming together to take a stand against fracking. Will you join us? As you know, fracking is an ongoing disaster for communities around the U.S.A. and increasingly around the world. But that hasn’t stopped the fossil fuel industry — they’re on the march, working tirelessly to buy off politicians and dig up every last bit of oil and […]

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Deciphering the Labels – Egg Cartons

We have all heard the terms ‘farm fresh’, ‘farm raised’, ‘cage free’, ‘free range’, ‘organic’, ‘pastured’, and, well, I am sure the list goes on and on, but what do they really mean and what are we getting? Small farmers are not only farming nowadays but they have now also taken on the task of being educators and marketers (not by choice might I add). Here is a look into […]

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The Kink in the Human Brain

Pointless, joyless consumption is destroying our world of wonders. This is a moment at which anyone with the capacity for reflection should stop and wonder what we are doing. If the news that in the past 40 years the world has lost over 50% its vertebrate wildlife (mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish) fails to tell us that there is something wrong with the way we live, it’s hard to […]

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Life in a ‘Degrowth’ Economy, and Why You Might Actually Enjoy It

by Samuel Alexander, originally published on The Conversation Time to get off the economic growth train? Sergey Nivens/Shutterstock What does genuine economic progress look like? The orthodox answer is that a bigger economy is always better, but this idea is increasingly strained by the knowledge that, on a finite planet, the economy can’t grow for ever. This week’s Addicted to Growth conference in Sydney is exploring how to move beyond […]

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Plastic Bag Bans or Fees Cover 49 Million Americans

With the signing of a plastic bag ban in California on September 30, 2014, the number of Americans who will be affected by anti-bag legislation by 2015 climbed to 49 million. California is the first state to ban the bag. Nationwide more than 150 cities and counties are implementing bans or fees in attempts to reduce the estimated 100 billion plastic bags used in the United States each year.

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The High Price of Materialism (video)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGab38pKscw Further Reading: The Values of Everything The Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement, and the Ten Basic Needs Sucking Out Our Brains Through Our Eyes Commons Way of Life vs. Market Way of Life One Rolex Short of Contentment Growth is Obsolete

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Foreword to the Book, Simple Living in History: Pioneers of the Deep Future

Below is the foreword to Simple Living in History: Pioneers of the Deep Future, edited by Samuel Alexander and Amanda McLeod. This book collects together 26 chapters discussing individuals, cultures, and movements that have embraced forms of ‘simple living’ throughout history. The ‘preface by the editors’ and table of contents are available here, and the book is available here. Foreword, by David Shi The simple life is almost as hard […]

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How To Keep From Losing Our Heads

It’s possible to drive a herd of buffalo right off a cliff. First Nations people did just that in a place in Alberta called, appropriately enough, “Heads-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump”. Whereas a single buffalo, when chased, will dodge about and quickly change direction, a herd instead runs together and acts as if a slower more primitive organism is in charge. Individuals take their cues from the individuals around them. If everyone […]

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Meet Mr. Glyphosate – a Case Study in Excess

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyKk8WrDORc Thanks to a reader for sending this along to us. I don’t normally like to publish posts that reflect negatively about a particular person (I can think of only one other instance when I have, and that was about the results of a man’s work, as is largely the case here), but I feel that the video above is such an example of sickening excess that it shouldn’t go […]

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