Reducing Consumption

Discussion in 'Shop Till You Drop' started by banana, May 28, 2004.

  1. banana

    banana New Member

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    So lately there have been some heated discussions on TFS regarding globalization, the exploitation of natural resources, exploitation of labour, and the war on Iraq. Although you can argue that these are all separate issues they do have one thing in common: they are partly driven by our consumption. It is basic supply and demand theory. Our demand for products and a more comfortable and convenient lifestyle influences the actions of governments and corporations.

    Since this has been depressing me for quite some time now, I want to start a constructive and positive discussion on ways we can reduce our own consumption even if it is only by a small amount (while still being stylish of course ;) ). This can include buying from local companies, buying second hand, or even buying products on clearance to reduce the amount of profits larger corporations receive. If you like you can also discuss lifestyle changes that reduce energy consumption.

    Think of it as a support group for the socially conscious. :flower:
     
  2. softgrey

    softgrey flaunt the imperfection

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    the only problem with those ideas is that if the companies make fewer profits...they have fewer employees...which means many people will be put out of work...causing even more problems with the economy...it starts to get complicated because everything is so intertwined and connected... :wacko: ...i definitely don't know the answer... :ninja:
     
  3. banana

    banana New Member

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    Not exactly because a lot of these companies contract their labour to sweatshops and spend the majority of their earnings on marketing and endorsements. Cheap labour is actually worse for the economy because it reduces the amount of unskilled jobs available in a particular country. An example are former industrial cities such as Detroit where closed factories have left a lot of people out of work. While one can argue that it provides jobs in Asia, workers are not often paid a decent enough wage to improve their lives or the lives of their families.
     
  4. softgrey

    softgrey flaunt the imperfection

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    but if they pay workers more...then they will have to raise the price of the merchandise...if the merchandise isn;t even selling very well at the current price...then don't you think it will be even worse if prices go up...?...
     
  5. banana

    banana New Member

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    I guess it depends on which companies you are referring to. I'm not sure about the big designer houses but I know that companies like the gap spend millions on marketing. They mark up the prices of items that probably only cost them $3 to make. You can tell by how they mark down the prices near the end of the season. They still cover all their production costs and then some by selling the same shirt that was originally $40 fro $10. All that extra money goes to paying people like Madonna to wear their jeans in a commercial. :wacko:

    There is a book called "No Logo" by Naomi Klein (former journalist for the Globe and Mail newspaper in Canada). It's kind of one of those trendy leftist movement bibles but it's really informative. Kind of give you a new perspective on cheap labour and brand imaging. Definately and interesting read if you get the chance to pick it up. :flower:
     
  6. softgrey

    softgrey flaunt the imperfection

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    this is sounding a lot like the thread above...fashion in 5 years...


    my response is basically on there...
     
  7. banana

    banana New Member

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    Yes it's going off topic. It was intended to be about how we can reduce the amount we buy and throw away. It's not so much the fact that everything is massed produced but the amount of items that are produced that is damaging and wasteful. I think that as a society we over-indulge ourselves. I really only started this thread because I was feeling guilty about consuming habits and was wondering if anyone else felt the same. :unsure:
     
  8. strawberry daiquiri

    strawberry daiquiri seagreen serenades

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    Yes... guilt alright, but we're mostly led by self-interest not self's conscience.
     
  9. nycgirl84

    nycgirl84 New Member

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    I've been trying to work on helping the environment in tiny ways. I try never to waste water. I turn it off immediately (i.e. don't leave it on while brushing my teeth, try to take shorter showers, etc.) I try to recycle, turn off all electrical appliances that aren't being used (lamps, fans), and not pollute by littering or being careless. It doens't make a dent, but it's something, I guess. I curb any over-consumption by not having much money to consume.
     
  10. nycgirl84

    nycgirl84 New Member

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    Oh, and before I didn't really consider political candidate's views on environmental issues, but now I definitely pay attention because the abuse of the environment and the awful consequences of it have increasingly been brought to my attention.
     
  11. CelineChic

    CelineChic New Member

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    1. Do some research and find out where companies really manufacture their products.

    2. When buying everyday household items like cups, garbage cans, rubber-made items, house hold appliances, and all paper products you should try to make sure that they are made in your country. That way you're contributing to your Economy's GDP. There are certain items that you may need that aren’t made in your country. Buying these things once in a while isn't bad but try to buy as much of your stuff as possible from your country.

    Support companies with unionized labour! and Dont support companies without unionized labour (usually means they're selfish money hungry assholes who don’t care about the lives of their workers) :angry:

    Globalization is not always a bad thing. If a firm is globalizing it only means that they are producing and providing consumer goods and services in countries around the world. HOWEVER it becomes a bad thing when they are just using cheap labour in 3rd world countries while selling the outcome of that labour to rich old fat countries that pay 200% more than it cost to make.

    Most importantly! Only buy goods that are packaged in RECYCLABLE containers. This allows corporations to use less and less of the earths natural resources.

    Stay away from McDonalds, Coke, Pepsi, Drugs (legal and illegal). All that crap is bad for you anyway.

    RECYCLE!!! RECYCLE!!! RECYCLE!!! RECYCLE!!!
     
  12. Spacemiu

    Spacemiu New Member

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    it worries me to, wich si why I would like to sue rexycled material when i start my line.
     
  13. eloes

    eloes New Member

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    As far as recycling goes...There's a great place near my town that recycles just about everything (well, not quite, but...lots of types of things). You could probably find something like this if you lookedaround in your area and maybe save as much stuff as you can to bring over every once in a while.

    My mom's addicted. :p I guess that's a good thing.
     
  14. banana

    banana New Member

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    Be careful with recycling. Although it is better than throwing things in the garbage there is very little market for recycled goods other than aluminum. And remember, it takes energy to recycle stuff so it's best to reuse what you can and reduce the amount of waste you produce in the first place. I'm starting to sound like a school teacher. :ninja:
     
  15. CelineChic

    CelineChic New Member

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    From what I've read plastics are easier to recycle than aluminum. Take up less engergy.

    It is still a catch 22 though because when you recycle you reduse the amount of natural resources being used for that particular material but you're still using other natural resources for the energy it take to recycle.

    I have yet to read statistics that give ratios about the amount of resourcs used to recyle resources.

    If I see any with my research I'll let you guys know.
     
  16. Lena

    Lena etre soi-meme

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    thats a real good book, i'm looking forward reading this, i need to borrow from a friend :innocent:

    buy less? i absolutely agree, it makes a huge difference :flower:
    not much of a consuming animal myself, mainly for political reasons,
    so it doesnt come hard to apply B)

    as for globalisation, it's not as good or as simple as it sounds guys..
    it is really messing economies up while making the rich guys MUCH richer
    and depriving poor countries of their natural scourses.
    it really get on my nerves when i see people from oil rich (or diamond rich) countries being at the edge of poverty, it just makes no sense to me
    for the rice grower who's working all day in the fields and at the end of the day he cannot afford his daily rice portion.
    this is globalisation's real face without the thick layer of designer make-up

    still, i will not get started, it's a promise :p
     
  17. banana

    banana New Member

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    Yes but nobody wants to buy recycled plasitics. It is cheaper for companies to produce new plastic than to buy recycled plastic. Same for glass and paper (if you notice, paper made from %100 post-consumer recycled material is always more expensive than regular paper). Metal is different because it is expensive to get new since it has to be mined from the earth and everything so there is a market for recycled material. My boyfriend's dad was the director in charge of recycling for the city I live in and he says they just keep a lot of the recycled plastic and glass in warehouses because they can't find anyone to buy it from them.

    My parents are terrible for this because they keep buying cases of springwater in these little plastic bottles. Our house goes through several cases per week. :shock: I keep trying to tell them that we should just get one of those water filters or sign up for water cooler service but they don't listen. :ninja:
     
  18. banana

    banana New Member

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    My last post was in response to CelineChic by the way.

    But I understand what you mean Lena. Same thing with coffee and cocoa. People getting paid pennies a day while being sprayed by pesticides just so that others can have their starbucks. :cry:

    It's hard to know what the solution is because a lot of people in the western world are not presented with a lot of choice as consumers. Most people really have to go out of their way to buy things ethically.
     
  19. tott

    tott slightly dizzy

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    I agree with basically everything said here.

    One of the things that annoy me here in Italy are packages... There are so many of them! Like toothpaste, for example; it comes in a tube, right? A tube is a container, so why put it in a paper box before selling it? :wacko:
     
  20. Pixielaughs

    Pixielaughs New Member

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    I second that. Great book - I must read it again! I must say (as a NZer) that I've pretty much only bought New Zealand made clothing since reading that book. I felt sick thinking about the conditions in those sweat shops. It makes me really angry that a lot of big corporations make their products as cheaply as possible and then hike the retail price up to crazy levels. :angry:
     

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