We're a generation of consumers. We live to buy and buy to live. And
every year the situation is becoming more daunting and gloomy like a vicious
circle - you have to work harder to earn more money-for what?-to spend more
and more and end up working harder again. Rat race, isn't it?
We are educated enough to understand that it takes the nature centuries
to terminate the waste we produce daily. We are perfectly aware that this is a
nowhere way for humanity but still it’s very convenient to act like
light-minded Scarlet O’Hara who avoided thinking about urgent issues and tended
to put them off until tomorrow. The thing is that tomorrow might never come...
The statistics are that we buy a new thing and use it no longer than 90 days,
then we substitute this "old” item with a more up-to-date and trendy product.
Why? Why do we do that?! Actually, you can say that there are plenty of factors
that push us to shop more and more often - we are just victims of
"aggressive” commercials that hypnotize and manipulate us or ,say, a
widespread Feng Shui belief that if you don’t use a thing for longer than a year,it’s
clutter, so you’d better throw it away or the aura of your home will be
destroyed. The last but not least, it’s ongoing stress - you try to cope with
it and cheer yourself up by buying something brand new every weekend. The
worst thing about this is that we purchase things not to meet our basic
needs but to make an impression that you are successful and happy... but in
fact you are NOT.
The consequences are unpitying, the Earth is turning into a big dump and very
serious measures must be taken to reverse the situation.
Firstly, it’s high time to finally realise that we live on a planet with
limited resources and make a new attempt to re-discover the pleasure of
swapping, mending, giving a new life to something old, turning trash to
treasure. By the way, vintage style has been successfully exploited by high
street fashion designers for many decades. Some designers use plastic bottles and
bags and other waste stuff to create unique things which might decorate any
interior and make it sustainable!
Aren’t you amazed looking at works of Michelle Brand, a British
eco-designer?They are gorgeous! She really inspired me to make a curtain like
this for our country house. To make one you need on average 300 flowers
cut out of bottle bottoms. Undoubtedly, it’s time-consuming, as for me, I’ve
been collecting those ‘bottoms” for half a year already. But the point is, that
you care and crave to do something relevant, to make your own contribution to
the global issue solution. And I spread the idea asking my folks and neighbours
not to throw away plastic bottles, which creates a so-called "wave effect” -
people around you also stop being indifferent.
Secondly, we need to be active and promote the concept of creative recycling, which
means consuming less and being able to see the next life of a thing that seems
obsolete. For instance, what could you make out of vinyl records,
old Cds or plastic bottles? Have a look!
And finally, I think that the main focus should be made on children, they need
to understand all consequences of I-couldn’t-care-less attitude to the
world around them. So, it would be a great idea to arrange a regular craft
workshops with kids and show how useful and enjoyable creative recycling might
Sky is the limit! Birthdays, Christmas and other holidays are perfect occasions
to switch on your imagination and give a new life to an old thing, and the
person who will be lucky to receive this gift is bound to appreciate your
time and effort spent. To be honest, I am quite fed up with all that
"duty” presents - food for dust. And I was really thrilled when last year
I got 2 handmade cards from my dear colleagues for New year and Christmas
and even now ,a year after, I remember this feeling of joy.
PS. I’m also concerned about consumerism and creative recycling and making my
first steps, I am learning how to use a decoupage technique to renew old
things. Here’re some photos from my daughter’s room and kitchen. If you’re addicted to shopping, maybe reading some statistics will
help you to stop and ask yourself "Do I really need this new item of something
or I can do without it?”
Half the world
lives on less than two dollars a day
annual consumption of plastic materials has increased from around 5
million tonnes in the 1950s to nearly 100 million tonnes today.
The amount of
wood and paper we throw away is enough to heat 50 million homes for 20
If just 25% of
U.S. families used 10 fewer plastic bags a month, we would save over 2.5
BILLION bags a year.
I think almost all people understand that this issue is really serious but not all of them want to do anything to solve it. In many cases it's so because we depend on society very much. I mean you need to have very strong character to go against the stereotypes imposed by the mass media. But, fortunately, in recent years people "who make fashion" began to think about global problems and make efforts to solve them.
Well, First of all, I don't buy commercials or ads. Second of all, I remember having different items of clothes for at least 10 years and they looked like brand new.That's because I'm neat and tidy I guess. I'd say I never buy what I don't need.. Am I going GREEN?!
Actually I think of the prоblem every time my family moves from one place to another and we have to pack and unpack a lot of stuff))) Every time it comes to my mind: "What on earth do all those things do here? Why did I buy this and that?" And the issue is really urgent!
Brilliant and very inspiring article! I think we'll pick up some ideas to decorate our school for Christmas:)
I just can't agree with calling Scarlet light-minded. She was a very strong woman! And this tactic of hers not to make decisions when you are hot under the collar or taken aback by some twist in your life only proves that she had her head screwed on right:)