I have a lot of stuff. Being someone that cares a bit about the environment, I tend to hesitate before I throw things away. So my files and furniture and clothing and especially books pile up.

Rationally the best way to deal with this is to get less stuff. I try that, I really, really do. Stuff = bad. I get that. But a love of the physical rears its not-unattractive head and bats those lashes at me and I find myself with yet another object that it completely cool, absolutely worthwhile, and utterly useless.

Enter the concept of unconsumption: getting rid of what you’ve already got, in a responsible manner. My typical cycle of materialism is like this: Get stuff. Get some more. Sort out stuff to get rid of. Get more stuff. Organize stuff that can be recycled. Birthday comes, more stuff! Panic; much stuff goes into the trash. Repeat. Shameful, and unpretty. Unconsumption is work, yes, but I’m hopeful that attaching a cool new word to the idea will give me the impetus to make something more of it this time.


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