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
The basic idea is to ‘upcycle’ the book into a photo album by cutting out windows in select pages, taping those pages to the next page on three sides using double-sided tape, and then sliding your prints of choice into the newly-created slots.
I always have little pieces of paper and post-it’s laying around my desk. Filled with messages, to do lists and reminders. It’s messy and a waste of paper…
This little block can collect these things on one central place. Write it on with a whiteboard marker and wipe it of when it’s done.
It’s designed in a way that you can make one yourself, using materials around your house. Old cardboard is used for building the shape. Old plastic bags, sheet protectors or foil is used as whiteboard surface and some tape/glue to connect everything.
I made 3 different models, they can be downloaded with the instructions, for free!
Here’s a project to find give new life for those old, ignored, or doomed volumes by turning them into a pleasant source of illumination.
Open the Hardback Reading Light and it will provide a soft glow, perfect for reading your favorite volume. The Hardback Reading Light is a straight forward project that will take a few hours and about $25 in materials.
The pages of the book are replaced with a light box lined with LEDs. They’re powered through a plug in the spine and a switch in the corner turns it off when the cover is closed. It can be dimmed mechanically by simply closing or opening the cover different amounts.
An inventive Russian YouTuber has figured out how to turn plastic bottles into string, using purely mechanical means. After “unraveling” a single bottle he’s left with what appear to be several yards’ worth of filament, which he then uses to bind things together.
Hitting the resultant plastic twine with a heat gun causes it to partially melt and shrink, more or less fusing it into place.
Perhaps with a lighting scheme such as this, the colanders/strainers could be removed from the wall and still used to, you know, strain things. :)
The idea makes me think of metal graters repurposed as light shades; we posted an example of that previously on Unconsumption here. (Other things repurposed as lighting can be seen in our lighting archive here. )
In a lighting installation like the one pictured above, do you suppose that battery-operated candles (or something else that’s non-flammable?!) are placed inside each colander/strainer to provide the lighting?
In what is one of the coolest photography hacks I’ve seen in a while, Steve Ramsey from Woodworking for Mere Mortals shows you how to easily create a print-transfer to wood using nothing more than your standard inkjet printer.
There are many difficult ways to go about putting your photos on wood, but if you’re looking for something quick and cheap, this method will probably turn into your go-to.
All you need is an inkjet printer, a non-porous surface (such as the left-over glossy piece of paper left behind from an address label sheet) a piece of wood (preferably light in color), and some lacquer to protect the image once transferred. It’s also worth noting that the wood used needs to be coating-free initially.
The books is focused on teaching girls lifelong skills — like computer programming, musicality, and how to use basic hand tools — as well as how to be creative problem solvers. The book’s twenty-four projects include:
• Drawbot, a lively contraption that draws abstract patterns all by itself • Ice Cream Sandwich Necklace • Longboard • Antigravity Jar • Silkscreened T-Shirt • Retro Arcade Video Game • Host a Podcast • Lunchbox Guitar • Kite Video Camera
Mark kindly had a copy sent my way, and the book is full of good DIY projects that could definitely be approached with an Unconsumption mindset.
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.)