October 19, 2012


- an idea, a set of behaviors, a way of thinking about consumption itself from a new perspective

Global consumption has exploded in recent decades, and passed the point of sustainability long ago. Enlightened individuals know that something must change. Solutions such as simple living go a long way toward restoring rationality because they deliver a higher quality of life while consuming less.

What we need, if we are going to save ourselves, is a mass deconsumption, consumption-light, or unconsumption. But how will this happen if we are addicted to high-consumption lifestyles? We need help, and soon.

Repurposing old books spines into bookmarks, from Unconsumption

The Unconsumption blog is one of the voices amid the madness of marketing and mass consumption that is trying to help people think about consuming differently. They bill themselves as a "source of inspiration for creative reuse and mindful consumption," and their site is full of links to ideas for using resources more efficiently, and creatively.

I like the concept of mindful consumption, because what it means is turning on the thinking cap before engaging in the purchase of the things we think we want and need. It can also help us enjoy the things we already have, and use them more efficiently.

It can also be a lot more fun, not to mention a whole lot less expensive.

Turn an old dresser into a bench by cutting off the legs, and adding cushions
from Unconsumption
The following is from the Unconsumption website:

Consumption is a word used to describe acts of acquisition – generally, the acquisition of things, in exchange for money. 

Unconsumption is a word used to describe everything that happens after an act of acquisition.

  • is an invisible badge.
  • means the accomplishment of properly recycling your old cellphone, rather than the guilt of letting it sit in a drawer. 
  • means the thrill of finding a new use for something that you were about to throw away.
  • means the pleasure of using a service like Freecycle (or Craigslist, Goodwill, or Salvation Army) to find a new home for the functioning DVD player you just replaced, rather than throwing it in the garbage. 
  • means enjoying the things you own to the fullest – not just at the moment of acquisition. 
  • means the pleasure of using a pair of sneakers until they are truly worn out – as opposed to the nagging feeling of defeat when they simply go out of style. 
  • means feeling good about the simple act of turning off the lights when you leave the room. 
  • is not about the rejection of things, or the demonization of things. It’s not a bunch of rules.
  • is an idea, a set of behaviors, a way of thinking about consumption itself from a new perspective.
  • is free.
Free clothing repair guy in San Fransisco - he has been offering this community service for more than a decade
 from Unconsumption
If you are looking for ideas and inspiration for mindful consumption (or is it mindful unconsumption?), the Unconsumption blog is a great place to go.

See more here.


  1. Thanks for the tip on that blog. I started following on Tumblr. I really like their logo with the upside down shopping cart! : )

    1. I thought of you folks when I saw some of the stuff on the Unconsumption site, and figured you would like it.

  2. I just saw this post! As a part of the Unconsumption team, thanks for spreading the word!

    1. Our pleasure - we share a common goal, and enjoy the work you are doing. I will be adding your blog to our sidebar so our readers can more easily link and learn.

      It is all about the learning.


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