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
In an effort to prepare for a world after peak oil, design student Mark Colliass has invented a bike accessory that can only be described as Peak Hipster. His clever contraption transforms a fixie into a rolling factory capable of cranking out arty, limited-edition lampshades that would make killer Etsy listings.
The project makes manufacturing as easy as, well, riding a bike. A bespoke rotational casting machine attaches to a bicycle’s handlebars. A small shot of liquid resin is poured into a rubber mold and it is inserted into the rig. As the rider pedals, the front wheel rotates the mold, sloshing the plastic around the cavity. A chemical transformation begins, and 40 minutes later the rider can remove a fully formed lampshade.
The concept for the Paper Pulp Helmet was designed by a group of artists to potentially be a safety side dish to London’s bike share program. It could be sold in vending machines or stores near the docking stations for just £1, the designers say.
A group of students in France crafted wooden, energy-producing stationary bicycles from trash. These novel bikes were recently used to power a film festival screening in St. Étienne.
[The students] formed a collective called Open Sources and developed several plastic bike prototypes in collaboration with a local design firm.
The team constructed new prototypes based on the original bikes, only with upcycled trash for the parts. Slats from old beds were used for the curved seat. The frame came from discarded wooden grocery crates and old church benches, according to the project description. Table legs became the base.
Self-power is an interesting form of unconsumption that seems to be the focus of more and more projects these days. Here’s an example:
The Siva Cycle Atom is the first bicycle-mounted generator that lets you power more than just the lights on your bike.
While riding, the device is attached to the rear axle of your bike and can be used to charge your devices while on the move. It’s usefulness doesn’t stop when you do, however. There is a removable battery pack which you can take with you when not using your bike. Provided your device uses a USB connection, the list of what you can charge is only limited by your imagination.
The morning hours at Maya Pedal were filled with the sounds of grinding metal for the bicicuchilladora, a bicycle-powered cutting machine. The simple appliance, powered by a bicycle drivetrain, has at its heart a concrete cylinder, with columns of two-inch-long blades spinning within a plastic tube. Once used to move people, its bicycle parts now mince plastic in preparation for recycling or turning compost.
Bicycles are already a cost-effective, environmentally friendly way to travel around the city. But creative agency Lola Madrid wanted to make the perfect bike, so they developed a prototype made from components of old junkyard cars.
Cars go to the junkyard and we recycle them to create the most efficient, ecological and healthy mean of transportation.