shutterstock sale shoppersHere are some resources to help us think about the stuff we buy- anything from cars and furniture to clothes and consumer goods.

  1. A great website full of idea’s and stories is Joshua Becker’s ‘Becoming minimalist“. In his own word’s: ‘Becoming Minimalist is designed to inspire others to pursue their greatest passions by owning fewer possessions.’
  2. We’ve greatly enjoyed Mark Powley’s book ‘Consumer Detox-less stuff more life‘. A witty, inspiring and thoughtful critique of consumerism and how we can break free from its excesses. Written from a Christian perspective but accessible to all.
  3. Rachel Botsman’s TED talk ‘The Case for Collaborative Consumption‘ is a good introduction to the ‘sharing economy’. where, increasingly, society is learning to share goods rather than own them (Zipcar and Airbnb being well known examples) using network technologies.
  4. Angela Buttolph’s article in The Telegraph on January 1st 2016 is a helpful introduction to tidying/decluttering. It’s entitled “How a year of tidying up changed my life and my family”  and describes how Angela followed Marie Kondo’s book, ‘The Life changing magic of tidying” for a year.
  5. James Wallman’s book “Stuffocation -Living more with less‘ is a readable critique of our obsession with ‘stuff’.  Wallman argue’s that we in the West are now so ‘stuffocated’ that we need to shift our emphasis to what he calls ‘experimentalism’ i.e. spending our money on experiences rather than on material goods. It’s packed with some great stories and some helpful analysis of the issues involved. I wasn’t convinced with his proposed solution though. I doubt that hedonism is much better than materialism, either for the soul or the planet.
  6. “The Story of Stuff” , is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world.