Reading Prosperity Without Growth this morning, I am reminded of a blog I wrote a while back. It was about something I’d realized: spending money on stuff may lead to a more stable economy but it wreaks havoc on the earth. There are those who say, “Screw it! People need jobs now.” Right. But what about future generations? Or this generation? Our ecosystems are already in trouble due to the elimination of elements in the cycle of life. It gets to feeling pretty grim.
I am one who has decided to watch closely my consumption patterns. I avoid buying things I don’t actually need. I don’t like to buy knicky-knacky things as gifts, for example. I don’t much appreciate such gifts, either. I prefer a gift certificate to eating out, a funny card (on recycled paper) or a sincere congratulations. Being remembered or celebrated is enough.
I think long and hard before I will replace something I have that works even if something better comes along. A good example is my clothes dryer which someone pointed out to me is far inferior to what is being produced now. I am aware that a newer one would be more efficient and save energy, but mine would just go to someone else’s laundry room or to the city dump. No cash for clunkers in the appliance arena has been proposed. My answer to the energy consumption is to hang my clothes out during the warm weather.
I am not much help to the economy. My lifestyle doesn’t do much to put people to work. I am so sorry about that. But, well, maybe the earth is appreciative and those who have clean air to breath and clean water to drink. Meanwhile, as I become more informed about the issue of economics, I hope to become part of a solution rather than part of the problem.