Posts tagged unconsumption
9:01 am - Tue, Jan 1, 2013
29 notes

Happy 2013 to all (40k+ !!) of you!

Thanks to everyone who reads Unconsumption for a great 2012 — we passed 40,000 followers the other day, which is pretty astounding.

Happy New Year to all!!

3:07 pm - Thu, Nov 8, 2012
14 notes
Have you heard that Instagram’s no longer just an app? 
Now on the Web, Instagram users can follow other IG-ers, and “like” and comment on photos. 
Unconsumption’s Web profile’s here.
What do you think of the new profiles?  

Have you heard that Instagram’s no longer just an app?

Now on the Web, Instagram users can follow other IG-ers, and “like” and comment on photos. 

Unconsumption’s Web profile’s here.

What do you think of the new profiles?  

11:42 am - Sat, Oct 20, 2012
42 notes

Facing the demise or diminishing capacities of a parent is difficult enough. Disposing of items you’ve known all your life can drive the sharp blade of loss deeper. Ten years after my father’s death from prostate cancer, I had to move my mom into a care home and deal with everything left behind. I’ve walked out of estate sales because it’s just too painful to see strangers tramping through a deceased old lady’s house, pawing through her closets and drawers, and I didn’t want that for my mom and dad.

I was determined to handle my parents’ things with tenderness. As hard as it was, I found that letting go of my parents’ possessions in a way that gave them another purpose made the process less daunting.

The bedroom furniture turned out to be the only thing I sold on Craigslist. I found new homes for everything else by donating, recycling, or giving things to family and friends. …

Giving my parents’ 20th century detritus a green send-off felt good, like sunlight breaking through a situation fraught with clouds. To those going through a similar situation: Find the best possible places for their possessions, and you’ll be amazed at how good it feels. Here are some tips from my experience.

Read the rest here.

Via The Billfold

2:39 pm - Sat, Jul 7, 2012
133 notes

The New York Times interviews Anthony P. Graesch, co-author of a new book called Life at Home in the 21st Century, based on a detailed social-science study of 32 middle-class families in L.A., meant to “understand how people handled what anthropologists call material culture — what we call stuff.”

One excerpt:

Why do you think families are unable to manage the influx of material culture?

We can see how families are trying to cut down on the sheer number of trips to the store by buying bulk goods. How they can come to purchase more, and then not remember, and end up double purchasing.

We can see how an increasingly nucleated family structure contributes to this.

Can you explain?

It means we don’t have extended family households. We don’t live next to grandparents. And we are further away from our relatives. We go to work, we come home, and there is only four hours of time we spend together.

We feel guilty about this, and oftentimes buy gifts as a result. Grandparents contribute to possessions in no small way. Here comes Christmas, here come the birthdays. The inflow of objects is relentless. The outflow is not. We don’t have rituals, mechanisms, for getting rid of stuff.

Love that last bit (so much that I bolded it). I think that’s related to our project here at Unconsumption, and maybe particularly with our Uncollection experiment: trying to create some rituals and mechanisms around that “outflow.”

The rest of the interview here.

8:55 am - Fri, Jun 8, 2012
144 notes

I was quite interested to read — via the link to Atlantic Cities above as well as on Science Daily — about research suggesting that “Freecycle generates feelings of group unity and cohesion [PDF] among the people who participate in it.”

Freecycle is the “hey I have this thing if you want it let me know” service that I wrote about some years ago, calling the underlying practice “unconsumption.” My interest then was: “It’s worth pondering whether getting rid of stuff can ever feel as good as getting it.” I more or less concluded the answer was Yes, and eventually that led to this very site you are reading right now.

Obviously we’ve gotten more expansive about what unconsumption means, but our advocacy of “creative reuse and mindful consumer behavior” still ties back to the very notions that these researchers have examined. Here’s a little more on their study:

Sociologists have long been intrigued by these kinds of benevolent “generalized exchange communities.” … What motivates people to participate in them?

"This old idea that gift-giving communities generate lots of solidarity, is it true and does it hold up outside of the lab?" asks Robb Willer, a sociologist at the University of California. "We found that it does."

Freecycle generates feelings of group unity and cohesion [PDF] among the people who participate in it. “First, you sort of build this feeling of group identification,” Willer says. “Then you build this feeling of solidarity. Then after that you’re more motivated to give to the system.”

Interestingly, you don’t get the same benefits from participating on Craigslist, which is a more traditional type of “direct exchange system” based on the quid pro quo that you’ll give me something – probably cash – in return for my old love seat. The researchers drew their conclusions by conducting extensive surveys of hundreds of users of both of these networks.

10:44 am - Tue, May 29, 2012
23 notes
"This Brand Is Your Brand" : Unconsumption in OnEarth Magazine
I’m really pleased to pass along this essay I did for OnEarth magazine, all about our Uncollection efforts. It was an honor to speak to the publication’s audience, and a lot of fun to think through our “brand without products.” (— Rob Walker.) 
The piece is here: This Brand Is Your Brand | OnEarth Magazine
Here’s an excerpt:

Around the same time that I was mulling over these ideas, some like-minded collaborators and I co-founded a group blog that we called Unconsumption. Our initial idea was to highlight inspiring examples of creative reuse and maybe, in the process, help slow the arrival of prematurely disposed-of objects into landfills. We’ve built up a nice audience — we have more than 20,000 followers at the moment — but at some point we decided that, like any growth-minded enterprise, we needed a logo. One of our colleagues created a symbol we began referring to as “Mr. Cart”: an upside-down shopping cart, flashing a smile. It was the perfect image, we all thought, to represent the Unconsumption project.
So now we had a brand! Given the nature of our endeavor, though, producing branded merchandise was out of the question. As much as I loved our adorable new logo, we had no products to emblazon. But there was an obvious, not to mention philosophically consistent, alternative: brand things that already exist.

More: This Brand Is Your Brand | OnEarth Magazine
Above illustration by Matthew Daley

"This Brand Is Your Brand" : Unconsumption in OnEarth Magazine

I’m really pleased to pass along this essay I did for OnEarth magazine, all about our Uncollection efforts. It was an honor to speak to the publication’s audience, and a lot of fun to think through our “brand without products.” (— Rob Walker.) 

The piece is here: This Brand Is Your Brand | OnEarth Magazine

Here’s an excerpt:

Around the same time that I was mulling over these ideas, some like-minded collaborators and I co-founded a group blog that we called Unconsumption. Our initial idea was to highlight inspiring examples of creative reuse and maybe, in the process, help slow the arrival of prematurely disposed-of objects into landfills. We’ve built up a nice audience — we have more than 20,000 followers at the moment — but at some point we decided that, like any growth-minded enterprise, we needed a logo. One of our colleagues created a symbol we began referring to as “Mr. Cart”: an upside-down shopping cart, flashing a smile. It was the perfect image, we all thought, to represent the Unconsumption project.

So now we had a brand! Given the nature of our endeavor, though, producing branded merchandise was out of the question. As much as I loved our adorable new logo, we had no products to emblazon. But there was an obvious, not to mention philosophically consistent, alternative: brand things that already exist.

More: This Brand Is Your Brand | OnEarth Magazine

8:16 pm - Thu, Apr 12, 2012
15 notes

It can be tough to part with old electronics that once cost big bucks, but a host of new trade-in services will help you guiltlessly de-clutter. Online services allow customers to sell used smartphones, laptops, cameras and even GPS systems, for cash. The services typically buy items still in demand.

We tested three online services and a walk-in service offered at most Best Buy stores. They were simple and quick to use, even after a shipping glitch on our part. The online services let consumers search for the product they’d like to sell on their websites and get a trade-in estimate, which may vary from week to week.

10:53 pm - Thu, Mar 29, 2012
243 notes

THANK YOU! — Unconsumption remains in top 5 for Knight News Challenge $

We’re thrilled to say that our proposal seeking Knight News Challenge funding to expand the Unconsumption project is among those with the most “notes” on Tumblr.

And we’re in good company, with highly ranked proposals from tech entrepreneurs Anil Dash and Gina Trapani, and UNICEF.

There’s still one more hour (until midnight Eastern) for our proposals to get additional “notes,” so if you’ve been waiting to add your support, simply “like” and/or reblog this post now. 

Also, we encourage everyone to open our News Challenge proposal post here, scroll down to the area where Disqus comments start, and add a comment and “like” there. What would you like us to do more (or less) of — leave a comment and tell us!

Again, thank you for all your support.  

—Molly

(Source: newschallenge1, via unconsumption)

3:40 pm - Sat, Mar 24, 2012
243 notes

Help Expand the Unconsumption Project

newschallenge:

1. What do you propose to do? [20 words]

Expand Unconsumption’s capacity to serve as a resource for sharing stories and ideas about creative reuse and mindful consumption.

Read the rest here

Remember my post last Monday about Unconsumption being in the running for funds from the Knight Foundation?

Well, thanks to many of you, Unconsumption is among the five most well-liked projects.

Now, to maintain our lead, we need your help — and helping is easy!

  • Simply open the Knight News Challenge post here, scroll down to the Disqus comments area, and hit the “like”/thumbs up button, and add a comment. (To do either one on mobile devices, you may need to switch from Tumblr’s mobile view to standard.)
  • Also, on Tumblr: You can “like”/”heart” the post and reblog it, to help spread the word.

This is a great opportunity for Unconsumption to qualify for funding to expand our (still all-volunteer!) work in encouraging mindful consumption and reuse. With your support, and that of other friends, we can help make it happen.

8:38 pm - Mon, Mar 19, 2012
243 notes

Expand the Unconsumption Project

newschallenge:

1. What do you propose to do? [20 words]

Expand Unconsumption’s capacity to serve as a resource for sharing stories and ideas about creative reuse and mindful consumption.

2. Is anyone doing something like this now and how is your project different? [30 words]

Not that we’re aware of. The Unconsumption project is unique: it’s an all-volunteer enterprise advancing an idea; it’s not a commercial entity; it’s ad-free, by choice.

Read the rest here.

GOOD NEWS — ALSO, YOUR HELP IS NEEDED NOW!

First, the good news. Unconsumption is a contender for funding from Knight Foundation, a major grant maker that supports media innovation, community engagement initiatives, and arts programs. 

A proposal (a portion of which is shown above) to expand the Unconsumption project — which would help make this Tumblr even better than it is now — is among 1,078 applications vying for a portion of $5 million in Knight funding. Five million dollars! 

How can you help? Knight is looking favorably at groups like us who turn to our communities — that means you — for support. The five proposals that receive the most support (hearts/likes/reblogs/comments) by March 29 will advance as finalists for funding, in addition to proposals recommended by Knight staff. 

So, if you’re inclined to help — do these things: 

  1. Give this Unconsumption post a “heart/like” on Tumblr. 
  2. Reblog this post on Tumblr — encouraging others to “heart/like” and reblog it. 
  3. Open the News Challenge Tumblr post here, scroll down to the bottom, and add a supportive comment. (Note: To comment from a mobile device, you may need to switch from Tumblr’s mobile view to standard.) 
  4. While you’re at the bottom of the News Challenge page, hit the “like” button above the comments section.
  5. Encourage non-Tumblr-ing friends, family members, co-workers, to add comments (see #3 above) and “like” the post (#4). 

As many of you know, Unconsumption is an all-volunteer initiative. We aren’t a commercial entity and aren’t backed by one, like some eco-blogs. We’re ad-free — by choice — so, unlike many blogs, you don’t see us promoting advertisers’ products/services.  

My Unconsumption collaborators and I post things here (and on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and elsewhere online) in our free time because we enjoy it. And because we feel like it’s a good thing to do. Feedback from friends like you encourages us to keep going. And, so we are. 

Funding from Knight Foundation would enable us to spend more time each day on the project — sharing ideas, news, and information with you — which would benefit us all. 

We are grateful for your support, and look forward to continuing to grow with you. 

10:23 am - Sun, Mar 18, 2012
57 notes

Cotton fibres actually last much longer than we normally tend to use, or wear them. In 2007, Nudie Jeans started the Recycle Denim Maniacs programme, in which a number of textile students were chosen to create new designs out of old, worn-out jeans.

As an extension of this idea, together with ISKO(tm) we recycle old worn-out jeans in order to manufacture new denim. The garments are cut into pieces, and then milled down to a cotton-like pulp, which in turn becomes new yarn, used for new fabrics.

Nudie Jeans Co.

9:48 am - Sun, Mar 4, 2012
79 notes

simplifyyourlife:

A great resource for those simplifying. -Danny

The Unconsumption Wiki aims to be your one-stop-shop for information about the best, most practical, most responsible, maybe even the most satisfying way to get rid of stuff you don’t want anymore.

A reminder from Danny (thx, Danny!):

A wiki exists. It’s a community resource that we hope you’ll use — and help build. If you come across items to add to the wiki, we’ve love for you to request access to the site (here), and add them!

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