24 December 2019

Go Ahead, Be Materialistic. You Might Just Save the Planet.” (New York Times)

Rekindling our love of things may be the key to saving the planet. When we purchase things we value from both an ethical and sentimental standpoint, we are more likely to preserve them even when they are defunct or no longer in vogue. Building a culture of sustainability requires a level of collective satisfaction — to love what we have without the insatiable desire for more and to repair what we own without the convenience of casual abandonment.

A good point here (although the article is a bit more bombastic than is perhaps helpful): we cannot pretend that we will not keep having things, and indeed, it is good to have things, especially when they support others and can be used for the good of yourself, your family, and the community, but we must find a way of obtaining things that is better. False asceticism and rampant consumerism are both extremes to be avoided.

A related thought that I’ve been considering is our relationship with money. Being a spendthrift is not always a good thing. Spending is a necessary part of developing relationships with others and the world around us. There is good spending and bad spending — not all spending is bad, as if it were a necessary evil. We just have to find good ways of spending and purchasing.

Links Ecology Materialism Consumerism Culture Environmentalism

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