Archive for the 'Consumerism' Category

A Portrait of American Consumerism

Back to the subject of Americans and our overabundance of Stuff, I ran across an article about Chris Jordan’s photography on EcoGeek.com. I think I’d seen some of his photography before, but Chris takes statistics about our consumer-istic lifestyle and turns them into giant, visual works of art that convey the scale of our overabundant consumeristic nature. It’s another well-done, impactful view of the Story of Stuff.

As Shea on Ecogeek says:

 Chris thinks that the green movement is happening, but is stalling out. He used the analogy of the finish of a bike race – everyone is waiting for the other person to make the first move toward the finish line. He also believes that the green movement is hampered by the lack of cool. Michael Jordan changed the face of basketball fashion overnight when he showed up to the game wearing baggy shorts. Although people like Al Gore and Paul Hawkin are necessary to the environmental movement, they lack the cool factor of a green Michael Jordan.

I’ve experienced this first-hand when I go to the store and use my reusable shopping bags. Everyone looks at me like I’m a little crazy. A few comment on how cool my bags are, but for them it’s all in the design of the bag, not the concept of reducing our consumerism and saving the environment. When I use my flourescent “Live Green” bags with the cool design, everyone thinks I’m cool. When I pull out the bunched up, plain-jane eco-sack from my purse, they look at me like I’ve grown a third head or something (but it’s so much more convenient for a forgetful, busy mom!)

I guess I’ll try to use the “cool” bags more often, to get the message across to other shoppers to consider reducing their use. I wish we weren’t so shallow, though.