Monday, November 12, 2007

Putting Two and Two Together

This morning on NPR, Marketplace launched a new series that places a critical lens on American consumerism. I love this program with their often hip and humorous approach to reporting the news of business. This morning’s story was no different. It focused on fashion's impact on our consumerism society. Here are some quick facts:

• Consumerism has doubled in America over the last twenty years
• Because of the low cost of clothing, Americans are buying nearly double the amount than 15 years ago
• The ripple effect of growing consumerism is wide spread. From working more to feed the "frenzy" to the severe toll on the natural resources of the planet.

When you coast on over to the Marketplace site, you can listen to all the stories in the feature. It's great, thought-provoking material. They also have some "games" you can play, like calculating how many earths you need to support your lifestyle. While I haven't done that yet, it is widely published that if all humans consumed in the same manner as Americans we would need anywhere from 4-6 earths (depending on the report you read). I have three words for you: China and India.

It all boils down to decisions. Next to your intelligence and will, your wallet may be the next best weapon in helping to change the course here in the good ol’ U.S. of A – and the world. And as we make the turn and head into Holiday Homestretch, what you want verses what you need is something we should all be mindful of. Here's to a simpler, more sustainable way.

Any other fellow NPR listeners out there? Feel free to share your comments.


EJO said...

I agree and liked the series that Marketplace did this week. A quick Saturday drive to the closest big-box retailer shows a tiny slice of what the U.S. consumer buys per week, especially as we head into the holidays. Another interesting aspect to consider is how much of what we buy gets exported as e-waste to developing countries...

- E

Anonymous said...

Thanks for passing on info about this series. Will check it out!