Our Obsession with Stuff
I've written on this topic before, and recently at that. But in attempting to sort through my piles of "Aha, this looks interesting!" papers I found a review for Empire of Things by Frank Trentmann.
The reviewer, Sarah Begley, tells us that we have a "stuff" problem. yes. Empire of Things argues that one of the difficulties of reversing course – owning less – is that we are emotionally attached to our stuff. People used to own utilitarian things. Now, because of modern manufacturing and artificially deflated privcing, we buy stuff, and more stuff.
Trentmann's suggestion is that we appreciate the "pleasures that come from a deeper and monger lasting connection to fewer things." This is not earth shattering news, but given my current interest in the textile arts and mending circles, and the conversations growing in those fields about fixing what we have and choosing quality objects that last, I thought it might be worth repeating. Check out his book if this topic interests you.
I was at a conference last week – whichI'll write up here soon – where I was taught the 4th R. Before reduce, reuse, recycle comes Refuse. I'm sorry I am coming so late to the party on that one. Here begins the practice.