- 7:20 pm - Wed, Mar 26, 2014
- 131 notes
An old boat used as a sandbox? Gotta say I like this reuse idea.
(Stating the obvious, but still: Be mindful of old things that may have lead-based paint on ‘em. If you do a little research, you probably can find a low-VOC, plant- or water-based product to apply as a finish on wood items.)
Photo: via Desire Empire
- 7:38 am - Mon, Mar 24, 2014
- 393 notes
Plastic debris washed up on beaches gets turned into beachfront art:
"Plastic World" — made by Portuguese artists Carole Purnelle and Nuno Maya — pictured in Australia, on the Bondi to Tamarama coastal walk, during the 2013 Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi exhibition.
The spherical sculpture is 79” (200 cm) in diameter, in case you’re wondering.
(photo credit: Halans on Flickr)
- 8:24 am
- 191 notes
Spending More Won’t Make You Happy …
Over on TIME.com, Martha C. White writes:
Our piles of crap don’t just contribute to reality-TV shows like Storage Wars and Hoarders — they also make us miserable, and not just when we can’t find the right remote or trip over a plastic robot our kid left on the floor.
Getting things like a new car or 60-inch flat-screen are goals many of us work toward. Unfortunately, these pursuits have the opposite effect we intend: Instead of making us happier, getting more stuff drags us down. In a new paper published in the journal Motivation and Emotion, Knox College psychology professor Tim Kasser shows, through a series of experiments spanning from six months to 12 years, that when people become more materialistic, their emotional well-being takes a dive.
“My sense is that over the course of human history there have been many ways to demonstrate that one is a successful person… our social economic system channelizes that so the way to demonstrate it is to show you’re wealthy,” he says. “The scorecard for success is about money.” In our consumer-driven culture, the system itself depends on people telling themselves they need those truck tires or that pair of shoes or whatever else Madison Avenue convinces us we need.
The connection between our stuff and our self-esteem is a two-way street: If we become less materialistic, our well-being will improve. If our well-being improves, we tend to be less materialistic.
Kasser’s work indicates it’s possible to change our outlook and boost well-being by reducing the importance of material goods and materialistic goals in our lives.
More: Spending More Won’t Make You Happy - TIME
- 7:48 am - Sat, Mar 22, 2014
- 808 notes
We here at Unconsumption are big fans of the idea of repairing / mending things you already own; so, naturally we love this New York Times post on “Making Our Smartphones Last Longer”:
Despite their small size, smartphones are expensive, resource-hungry goods, and they deserve a better life cycle than two years of use followed by an eternity in a forgotten desk drawer. It is possible to buy smartphones with an eye to longevity — a strategy that will save money and global resources and give you the snooty self-satisfaction of knowing you’re shunning gadget consumerism.
The main points are: Use your phone for more than two years, ideally three; when you run into trouble, try to repair, not replace it; and when you’re done with it, trade it in. When you’re looking for a new phone, don’t just consider the latest high-end devices; many people will find last year’s best phone just as useful as the newest one. You might even consider buying a used phone instead of a new one.
Sound complicated? It’s not.
Read the rest: A Wild Idea: Making Our Smartphones Last Longer - NYTimes.com
- 4:41 pm - Fri, Mar 21, 2014
- 106 notes
At last, it’s wine o’clock again, which means it time to share an adult beverage-related repurposing find!
Today’s find, via Randy & Meg’s Garden Paradise, is bottle trees. (Or would you say they’re flowers?)
Earlier posts in Unconsumption/s wine o’clock series can be found here; the bottle tree subset: here.
- 7:39 am - Thu, Mar 20, 2014
- 805 notes
Spring project idea: Make your own outdoor seating …
Every so often, I not only look at Pinterest, but I actually find a pin showcasing a project I’d like to learn more about.
One such example was this DIY outdoor seating project that uses pre-owned cushions, a dozen concrete block units, and four fence posts. Intrigued, I clicked through the pin and found a simple tutorial.
If you’d like to make something like this but don’t already have all the materials, have a look at Freecycle to see if someone in your area has some thing(s) you could use. A home-improvement reuse store — such as a Habitat for Humanity ReStore — in your community may have useful items. (For Habitat ReStore locations, look here.)
Photo via Lena Sekine, who made the sofa that’s pictured using a tutorial via the Kayla’s Basement blog here.
I’ve long since closed Pinterest, and don’t recall whose Pinterest “outdoor seating” pin I originally saw, but, well, thanks, Internet!
BTW, Unconsumption’s on Pinterest: here.
- 8:19 pm - Tue, Mar 18, 2014
- 455 notes
On the subject of food waste, there’s this to chew on:
A new film, Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story, may be worth adding to your to-watch list. (See recently released trailer above.)
The film’s Web site says:
We all love food. As a society, we devour countless cooking shows, culinary magazines and foodie blogs. So how could we possibly be throwing nearly 50% of it in the trash?
Filmmakers and food lovers Jen and Grant dive into the issue of waste from farm, through retail, all the way to the back of their own fridge. After catching a glimpse of the billions of dollars of good food that is tossed each year in North America, they pledge to quit grocery shopping cold turkey and survive only on foods that would otherwise be thrown away. In a nation where one in 10 people is food insecure, the images they capture of squandered groceries are both shocking and strangely compelling. But as Grant’s addictive personality turns full tilt towards food rescue, the ‘thrill of the find’ has unexpected consequences.
Featuring interviews with TED lecturer Tristram Stewart and acclaimed author Jonathan Bloom, Just Eat It looks at our systemic obsession with expiry dates, perfect produce and portion sizes, and reveals the core of this seemingly insignificant issue that is having devastating consequences around the globe. Just Eat It brings farmers, retailers, inspiring organizations, and consumers to the table in a cinematic story that is equal parts education and delicious entertainment.
Just Eat It will premiere in Toronto in April 2014.
(trailer by Grant Baldwin Videography)