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
Studiomobile unveiled a futuristic-looking installation as part of the Venice Architecture Biennale 2012. “Networking Nature” is a living ecosystem that feeds off seawater and turns it into fresh drinking water via solar-powered stills.
The mechanics behind Networking Nature involves placing ocean water in glass tanks. As the tanks heat up by small lamps, this causes the seawater to evaporate, where the steam is then condensed into fresh water. The drinking water is finally collected in tanks, ready to be distributed.
The designers explain that the contraption is created to be part of a larger local water infrastructure called “Smart Water Network.”
Do It Yourself: Use a Bottle to Reduce the Water Your Toilet Wastes #30DaysofGOOD
A half-gallon container can save you hundreds of gallons of water per year.
Every day, the average person flushes a toilet 4.5 times. For many of those toilets, each twist of the handle dumps four or more gallons of water down the drain. That’s 18 gallons of toilet water per day, per person. That means in a town of just 60,000 inhabitants, a million gallons of toilet water gets carried into sewers and septic tanks each day.
One of the most innovative products found on the Greenbuild Expo floor was the Reveeco EcoVéa recycling shower. This might be a hard sell for some but the concept is brilliant, allowing you to enjoy long showers without guilt. Possibly the world’s most intelligent shower, EcoVéa recycles water within your shower to push the limits of water conservation. For a ten minute shower, the EcoVéa can save up to 66% above your fixture efficiency savings.
EcoVéa consists of a 36″ x 36″ shower base which comes in a variety of finishes …. While showering, the EcoVéa cell analyzes whether water is dirty and should be discarded or water is clean and can be reused. If reused, it is treated through a filter and antibacterial treatment, mixed with a small quantity of new hot water to maintain a consistent temperature, and sent back to the shower head.
“What many take for granted, millions of others have no or limited access to. The Life Sack is an innovative idea that could give clean drinking water to people in underdeveloped regions of the world.
Life Sack is an idea for a new water purifier kit by Korean industrial designers Jung Uk Park, Myeong Hoon Lee and Dae Youl Lee.
The Life Sack repurposes grain sacks as water purifier kits. Contaminated water is filtered using SODIS (Solar Water Disinfection Process), which involves a combination of UV-A radiation and thermal treatment to kill the harmful micro-organisms and bacteria found in the water.”
PepsiCo is taking a major lead in sustainability through its ownership of the potato chip company Walkers. They are developing a process that would capture water released from potatoes. Not only would the excess water be used in the process for peeling and slicing, but it will eventually add to local drinking water supplies.
Hot on the heels of this bottled water ban, these glass water bottles from LifeFactory provide another option if stainless steel isn’t your cup of tea, and issues with BPA in older reusables leave you seeking an alternative. Fusing modern sensibility, eco-friendly composition, and exceptional utility, these bottles are made from plain-old glass (imagine..!), with a non-toxic silicone sleeve to protect them from breakage and allow for a better grip.
"The glass make-up of the reusable bottle means what you see is what you get. Glass is a nonporous material containing zero harmful chemicals and does not scratch, significantly reducing bacterial growth. With Lifefactory bottles you will never experience any type of leaching into your liquid nor will you ever be left with a metallic taste. Best of all, glass is a low impact raw material that is readily abundant, easy to process and 100% recyclable, which is minimally taxing on our environment.”
The University of Portland has recently banned the sale of bottled water on its campus stating both ethical and environmental reasons for the action. They’ve replaced disposable plastic bottles with multi-use stainless-steel bottles which they hope will encourage a campus-wide use of the local water system.
Speaking on Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Think Out Loud this morning, a UP representative explained:
"We’ve banned the sale of disposable plastic water bottles on campus for several reasons. One reason is that we consider water to be a human right and not a commodity…that water is so important and so crucial that it shouldn’t be allowed to become a commodity that just is bought and sold to the highest bidder. So we wanted to move away from that."
Bottling water also has really significant environmental impacts both locally where you remove the water from but also in terms of the petro-chemicals needed to produce the plastic water bottles, the transportation of the water by truck…there’s a large environmental footprint to doing this. And really the water coming out of the tap, the water coming out of our drinking fountains is tested to a higher quality than bottled water is. We have, here in Portland, some of the best water in the world.”
We sold tens of thousands of bottled water in an academic year. We’re now providing…stainless steel water bottles for not a whole lot more money than a couple of bottles of disposable water in plastic bottles. And so, students are buying stainless steel bottles and filling them up.”
TapIt has created a service for residents/visitors in NYC to find free locations to refill your water bottle. Just check out their online service or their iPhone app to find a participating café or partner, and fill ‘er up. Café owners benefit from increased traffic, and possibly sales of muffins, and the user doesn’t buy a plastic bottle of water.