Unconsumption means the accomplishment of properly recycling your old cellphone, rather than the guilt of letting it sit in a drawer.
Unconsumption means the thrill of finding a new use for something that you were about to throw away.
Unconsumption 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.
Unconsumption means enjoying the things you own to the fullest – not just at the moment of acquisition.
Unconsumption 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.
Unconsumption means feeling good about the simple act of turning off the lights when you leave the room.
Unconsumption is not about the rejection of things, or the demonization of things. It’s not a bunch of rules.
Unconsumption is an idea, a set of behaviors, a way of thinking about consumption itself from a new perspective.
Unconsumption is free.
Founder & Editor:Rob Walker, journalist, Savannah, GA
Editorial & Community Manager: Molly Block, marketing and business development geek, Houston, TX
Bolivian Ingrid Vaca Diez is on a mission to improve the housing situation for the poor in her country by using plastic bottles—the only material she can find in abundance—to build surprisingly sturdy houses.
The self-taught designer of these “garbage homes” fills recycled plastic bottles with dirt and uses them as bricks to construct her innovative houses.
To date, she has built ten such homes for poverty-stricken families.
A show that turns artists’ “scraps and discards” into fresh works of art:
For What is Yours is Mine, Doug Weathersby — a/k/a Environmental Services — [visited other artists] and learned about … their practice, photographically documented their spaces and collected scraps and discards from the studio….
Regardless of what he was given, Weathersby abided by one rule: he must use everything that he recovered from each studio in What is Yours is Mine.
Using this unwanted detritus, including components of failed art works, Weathersby composed bizarre sculptures, keeping in mind the nature of each artist’s practice as he worked.
A large dumpster, ES Art Storage, was fabricated on site. It is both constructed from and contains remaining materials and works that “didn’t make the cut.”
Consider the stuff of our everyday lives — the clothes, the sheets, the toys and games. It’s essential for a time, but inevitably, eventually, it all gets trashed — or donated.
And that donation process can seem a bit like magic. We drop off our used stuff, and the items disappear — or so we think.
But what truly becomes of it? Where does it go? And what does it look like?
Freelance photographer Wesley Law wanted to know. So when a friend told him about St. Louis’ Goodwill Outlet store — one of several throughout the country that serve as liquidation centers for Goodwill retail stores — Law was intent on finding a way inside.
It took him nine months. And when he finally got access, he found an awesome panorama — thousands of items leftover from Goodwill stores around the country, crammed together in bales as large as 5 feet tall by 7 feet wide, awaiting transport to new destinations.
Stools incorporating “rejected leather,” among the projects from Pepe Heykoop (earlier mention here):
Leather Loops is another reaction to waste leather. Fully rejected skins, faded by sunlight or with too many damages are used in this project. Like an l.p. the leather tops can easily be swapped within the family of frames.
Levi’s Waste<Less jeans are the result of our latest design innovation. Each piece features a minimum of 20% post consumer recycled content, from an average of 8 plastic bottles. During the Spring of 2013, we’ll repurpose over 3.5 million recycled pet plastic bottles…and this is just the beginning. We’re committed to making more Waste<Less products in seasons to come to help minimize impact on our planet.
Earlier Unconsumption noted another jeans brand seeking to use recycled plastic content in its products, here.
From the unconventional and repurposed hotel rooms file.
This time, it’s a “pop-up hotel” that makes use of shipping containers. Currently docked in Antwerp, these lodgings are anything but basic.
The hotel, aptly named, Sleeping Around, claims to employ only ecologically responsible materials.
From their website:
Our pop-up hotel offers […] a compact yet luxurious hotel room, equipped with all the mod cons: a box-spring bed, rain shower, iPod docking station and air conditioning – all contained in a 20ft recycled sea container.
More over at Contained, the “all things container” Tumblr of our own Molly Block, here.
As you burrow back into your cold-weather clothes, you’re probably taking stock of your sweater supply. Here’s an option for the ones that are too shrunken or moth-eaten to donate: Turn them into fingerless mittens.