Unplugging From Consumer Mentality

Unplugging_from_Consumer_Mentality_Nov_5_2013 pictureI bought a replacement computer recently to accommodate my overflow of photographs and stories. Since it was simply an updated version of the same model, I assumed it would have interchangeable cords. To my dismay and fury, I was wrong. The newer model has an entirely different connection. I am now feeling guilty for having bought the new one. It saved me time, but in the act of purchasing it, I used more energy than any cords I will ever need.

I take responsibility for my part in consuming resources, and I feel slightly vindicated in having already found a new owner for my old computer, along with the cords. But I have fallen sway to consumer mentality, that the convenience of more and bigger is better. Computer cords are just one small example of this disconnect.

The bigger question is, why do companies resist uniformity, and why don’t electronics of all kinds have uniform connections? I often share cords with my husband. This is a tiny gesture for all that I consume. Earth cannot sustain such wastefulness or greed. We should all be sharing much more with each other, not only little items like charging cords but bigger ones like bikes and cars.

The good news is that sharing is on the rise. “Citi Bikes” abound in New York City and other businesses like “Zipcar” and “Uber” are reducing the need to own cars. They are important cultural innovations. I don’t live in a city but at least I drive a 7-year-old Prius.

I grew up with the adage: “Use it up, wear it out, make it last, do without.” If we each do our part to consume less, reduce waste, and share more, we will help protect Mother Earth and nurture a healthy planet for future generations.

I’d like to offer a bit of a followup to the post from a couple of weeks ago that included the link to my friend Jessie Halliday’s song.  I’m pleased to report that the CD that includes the song is available at our local bookstore, The Flying Pig, right next to my book.  If you would like to have a signed copy of my book The Flying Pig can help make that happen.  If you purchase the book via their website www.flyingpigbooks.com or by calling 802-985-3999 they can have me sign it before shipping it to you.

This entry was posted in Conservation, Eileen's Armchair, Personal Growth and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Unplugging From Consumer Mentality

  1. Phyll Perry says:

    So true. I think you have a good idea for the start of another book—how to consume less and have more fun! Because by protecting our natural resources, we’ll ALL have more fun, more life, more cooperation. I like the idea of buying a signed copy of your book, too, but I’ll ask you to sign mine next week when you come to Ann Arbor! Looking forward to meeting you, then!

    • Eileen Rockefeller says:

      Dear Phyll,
      It was so nice to meet you at the book signing. And such fun to discover mutual passions, such as driving horses! Thanks for introducing yourself to me.


  2. jsholmes says:

    I too grew up with “use it up…” When did it change? Remember having one Barbie doll and buying clothes to change her scenario? Glad that Zipcars are becoming acceptable alternative,etc

    • Eileen Rockefeller says:

      Your description of Barbie dolls reminds me of the time I got my first watch, at age 6. I thought to myself that first night: “This is going to be my watch for my whole life.” I slept with it, just to make sure. Over time (pun intended!) I lost it, along with several others, or they ceased to work and couldn’t be fixed, but I still like the basic Timex version, with real numbers, a legible date, and a luminescent face so I can see the time at night. I thought I’d have one toothbrush too, but luckily I got over that!

  3. Louise Gilbert says:

    Eileen, I totally agree. I would like to recommend Annie Leonard’s book: “The Story of Stuff”–she is right on the button. Here’s a link to her website: http://www.storyofstuff.org.

    I love your blog! Lousie

    • Eileen Rockefeller says:

      Hi Louise,
      Thanks for the recommendation. I will look into it. It was so good to reconnect with you at Bioneers and at Book Passages. Thanks so much for coming. It’s great to have you in “my circle” again.


  4. Irma says:

    Eileen, I just discovered your website. What a wonderful surprise! Love it! … and love your stories. You have a genuine love for people. Thank you!

    • Eileen Rockefeller says:

      I’m so glad you have found my website, Irma. I really do have a genuine love of people. The harder part was loving myself, but writing my book has been a big help. I hope you are finding ways to love yourself too!

      Thanks for being in touch.

  5. Only recently discovered you and the Blog, bookmarked you, look forward to each next email and, as this reply follows Election Day 2013, I’d humbly suggest you run for office! Not that you have the time, but we have the need for new, quality candidates. In the meantime, keep writing!

    • Eileen Rockefeller says:

      Thank you for your high complement. I would never survive politics but I appreciate the need for people with good social and emotional skills. In fact, all of Congress could use some remedial training! Thanks for writing.

  6. Susan G Cobb says:

    Sharing is probably the most important to my success in life.The family with 11 children you share everything 🙂 from clothes to magazines. In my today life I continue to do this and shop at Salvation Army and give weekly. This will make you feel so good too.

    • Sandman Sand says:

      I couldn’t agree more with you. Sharing is caring. I am still learning to save and not waste so much, especially water. I was reminded the other day when I created a funny video of myself brushing my teeth and I let the water just run. Mistakes are made daily, but understanding those mistakes and not becoming upset because someone points them out allows me to grow up and become a better version of myself.

      I do enjoy going to the thrift stores to get my clothing. I don’t like wasting my hard earned money. 😛

      However, I do find that going to department stores for certain things is also good. Specifically I love Old Navy. I found the store to have good quality shits and shoes for my taste that also fit my budget.

      When I think of sharing, inside my head, the All Dogs Go To Heaven music pops up.


  7. Eileen Rockefeller says:

    Dear Susan,
    Thank you for sharing your wisdom of choices. I am right with you. I didn’t have as many siblings but growing up with 6 was enough to teach not only sharing but fairness. “I cut. You choose.” Ever hear that? But you are talking about something much more generous and pervasive, and I admire that. We share the Sunday newspaper with our neighbors and I both shop at the second hand store and give clothes there. It does feel good to share, and it’s good for the world too.

Comments are closed.