In mainstream society in the wealthy industrialized nations, it can be extremely challenging and sometimes exhausting to choose a lifestyle that goes against the consumerist current. This is my short list of my go-to groups for tips, emotional support, and camaraderie. I hope you find some or all of these groups helpful along with my book and this blog.
As I write this, my local paper is relentlessly publishing articles promoting irresponsible consumerism “to bring back the economy.” Fly fly fly, buy buy buy! If you want an antidote, check out the following groups. Even if some of the discussion can be grim, I find there’s a refreshing quality to facing what’s going on, with similarly minded folks.
Each group has a slightly different focus. Some are more nuts and bolts tips (what to do with so many glass jars you don’t want to throw away) whereas others (like Deep Adaptation) get into deep existential questions and often bring up parallels between facing societal collapse and biospheric collapse and facing our own deaths. And the Transformative Adventures one has a focus on creativity and finding one’s right livelihood amid the dysfunctional mainstream society. Hope you find these as lifesaving as I do! Most of us can’t go it alone. There is power in numbers; these groups link tens of thousands of people around the world. Together we boost our creativity and make a difference.
• Zero Waste, Zero Judgement Facebook group
• The Non-Consumer Advocate Facebook group
• Degrowth – join the revolution Facebook group
• Deep Adaptation Facebook group
• Permaculture in Action: Transformative Adventures! Facebook group
(I wrote the above post this morning after seeing yet another rah-rah consumerist article in my local paper. They run nationwide stuff from the wire services, so the trend might be reaching your local paper too. Here is the rant I wrote in the wee hours this morn when I couldn’t sleep after reading today’s paper on my phone):
(Warning, rant ahead). I can’t believe the consumerist nonsense Daytona Beach News-Journal keeps churning out. Spend, spend, spend! Fly, fly, fly! I guess on some people’s imaginary planet there is no climate crisis. Sorry, I have generally been supportive of our local paper but they are promoting a lot of heavy consumerism these days. We need a new basis for the economy other than people buying mountains of consumer goods and flying all over the place to escape their humdrum and/or rat-race lives. What if the press were to start running articles on how people could build lives they don’t have to escape from.
Oh, and also (general note, not related to anything I’ve seen today or this week, but just a lot in general) — the gardening section of the paper needs to stop promoting ecologically damaging practices like loading our yards with fancy exotics, and instead start running more articles from Florida-based experts. Now more than ever, we need to be promoting native landscaping, food gardening, heat mitigation, and restoration of the water cycle.
Oh, on that note I do always really appreciate “The Darwinian Gardener” column by Mark Lane; one of the most ecologically sound things we can do as everyday people is ease up on the fussbudget landscaping. Mark’s column always makes a good case for common sense, while being very entertaining.
Rant over (for now).
And, for further reading, this absolute gem of a post by David at Raptitude — one of my longtime favorite writers on the various daily aspects of human mind, human existence. As David astutely observes in this latest post on his blog, “Everything Must Be Paid For Twice.”