Sunday, December 16, 2007

Informed Consumerism

As a family, our social studies experiment for the next year is on consumerism. For a long time, it has really bothered me that we spend loads of money on items that then clutter up my house. I have been curtailing my own spending, but I admit I still can't resist a good sale. Especially if I can justify it as something we need. But really, how many T shirts can a 6-year old need at once? Especially the 6-year old that insists on wearing the same shirt every day?

So, I don't buy a lot of non-useful items- certainly not much in the way of furniture, decorations, matching dishes, or DVD's. Mostly everything we buy is books, clothes, toys. And, the volume of paper that comes in the mail and home from the school is beyond my capabilities to deal with.

However, even with all of this internal conflict, I haven't really been able to put into words why I feel the way I do or why I want to change things, aside from getting clutter under control. So, this movie came through on a mailing list I'm on and it helped put a few things into words for me. And the kids agreed it is something we can work on.

Please know, the video is 20 minutes long. The part of it that we needed to hear was under the tab labeled consumption, and you could just watch that part if you wanted to. Also, the video is quite liberal, with a healthy dose of politics thrown in. We had to ignore that. We also had to discuss-as a family- how some issues have been over simplified, some have been exaggerated and at least one fact was wrong. But, the message remains the same. We need to be more intelligent and purposeful about our consumption. Let me know what you think, and in the meantime we will keep you posted on how the battle goes to get our lives under control here.

1 comment:

Roberta said...

Hey Melissa...I (eagerly) watched the video and, like you, it helped to explain some of my feelings. Making better consumer choices does not have to be a tree-hugging, Al Gore loving, trendy thing to do. It just makes sense to be wise stewards of the things the Lord has blessed us with. I think making small changes can go a long way and you've inspired me to do better. Thank you!