From the bean of Green Bean.
I intended to post today about Buy Nothing Day, an annual event which occurs on "Black Friday". Participants protest the consumerism of Christmas by buying nothing on Buy Nothing Day.
I planned to urge you to participate by "not participating" on November 28. But that kind of a post is so last year.
We are a different society than we were in 2007. The era of conspicuous consumption has slammed to a close. Gone are the days of shop 'til you drop. Frugality is the new bling.
In part, we have the flailing economy to thank for our turn around. But there is more. The election proved that we are a society awakening - gradually, yes, but awakening none the less. We are just beginning to understand the impact of our actions - on our deteriorating environment, on our over-indulged children, on our strained bank account. As a comment on No Impact Man's blog brought home: "People are consuming less and eating local. Conspicuous consumption is suddenly passe. Gardens and home canning are back. SUVs are done for. Oversized homes in the hinterlands were the first ones that stopped selling. People are changing, perhaps not with the sort of 'Mea culpa, you were right and I was wrong!' sentiment that some would like to hear, but people are surely changing."
As changed people, we now longer covet the newest fashion accessory. No longer shiver with anticipation at a Christmas tree surrounded with gifts. We are no longer hooked on shopping.
Now, the craving to economize is front and center.
How many of you get a secret thrill from turning nearly sour milk into yogurt and getting another couple meals out of it? From cooking almost rotten strawberries into a syrup for yogurt pancakes?
From darning a sock for the fifth time or ignoring holes sprouting in your child's shoes for just one more month?
From scoring a really nice pair of jeans at the local thrift store for $3 or borrowing garden tools from a neighbor?
From doling out holiday sweets a bit at a time so that they are truly enjoyed and not just devoured?
From unraveling an old sweater and using the yarn to knit for holiday gifts?
From finding happiness in the people with whom we spend our holidays and not what we spend?
Embrace this new era and celebrate it on November 28th by consuming less and living more.
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