The Brighter Side of Living with Less
Renee Lafair Start Living Green Expert
We need to redesign the ideal of success and redefine the American dream, so that unrestrained consumption of resources and materials, overbuilding and super sizing of everything can be brought back to a human scale and excess looked upon as gauche and hideously extravagant. -Daryl Hanna
These days, less is more. You see it in the economy. You see it in green. We all have to make choices - harder economic choices, considering doing things in a more restrained fashion.
Products and companies that were the definition of "cool" a few years ago are feeling the pinch. Some examples include Hummers, 15,000 square foot mansions for small families, over-the-top work parties and weddings. These things are not as "in" right now. Hummer sales dropped 50% in 2008, even before the big drop in the auto market. Families spent less on weddings in 2008 than in 2007, which reversed a decades-long trend of steadily increasing costs on weddings.
The economy has helped spur these changes in attitude - and the environment will ultimately benefit. I do not want economic pain for anyone. However, there is an esprit de corps about the economy; a sense that we are all in this together, that we are all going to have to hunker down. Everyone is or knows someone who is suffering major financial pain. The result? Inexpensive, less extravagant weddings and smaller homes and cars are "in." The economic troubles are making us all reassess what is really important.
The environment will be a side benefit of this reevaluation. Every green tip I see online is a money saving one - using fewer resources costs less money whether it be light bulbs or water bottles. Even the government's stimulus package sees investment in green technologies as key.
When we emerge from this economic downturn, we will all value a simpler, greener way of life much more. And that's a good thing.
rockchic84 at Mon, May 18 09:55 PM:
What a interesting article about having less is more! More and more New Zealanders are losing jobs or unable to work. I love saving money and finding ways to spend less and gain more money for my future, I didn't have a flash wedding me and my family worked together to create a cheap wedding around $2,000 and that's pretty good. In fact my wedding gown cost me under $200, veil $20 so you create a perfect wedding without spending money like crazy!