Consumer worldview not as entrenched as you think

consumer worldview

A worldview is a basic way of interpreting things and events that pervades a culture so thoroughly that it becomes that culture's concept of reality — what is good, what is important, what is sacred, and what is real.  It is so invasive that it is invisible. It is simply assumed to be true apart from any inquiry into its validity. If a worldview maintains that the emperor is clothed, then, even … [Read more...]

We need a map out of the nightmare of consumerism

nightmare of consumerism

One of the most harrowing challenges of modern American life is navigating through the massive desert of our mindless, materialistic consumerism. It is within this landscape that a soul can become lost and drenched in despair. From the endless stream of vacant-eyed wraiths who glide down catwalks, to the pervasive advertising that never ceases to demean the values of empathy and compassion and … [Read more...]

I’m going to tell better stories for the earth in 2014

Annie Leonard speaking

The big issue for me in 2014 is climate change. It's scary to hear that it's getting worse faster than anybody had predicted. It's frustrating that plenty of people still don't care. And it's confusing that even those who do care disagree on how bad it will get and what, if anything, we can do about it at this late date. It could be that humanity is doomed. Melting ice caps and glaciers, … [Read more...]

The answer to climate change

this is climate change screen

When I give these climate talks, by the end people are typically agitated and full of questions. “What technology is going to fix this?” “How are we ever get people to agree on a solution?” “I’m just one person, what could I possibly do that would make an impact?” My answers often catch people a little off guard: I try to instill that more important than any technical fix is a cultural change, … [Read more...]

Homemade Halloween


We're running this piece from 2010 again in celebration of the upcoming Halloween. One of my worst parenting memories happened when I took my daughters trick-or-treating on the vaunted Lawn of the University of Virginia campus one year. The girls were about six and four at the time, and the picturesque associations of the annual UVa. Halloween tradition conjured up by friends made it … [Read more...]

Is America the most materialistic society in the history of the world?

yacht waterslide

When it comes to materialism, has any nation ever surpassed what we are seeing in the United States right now? We define our lives by how much stuff we have, to a large degree our personal and business relationships are defined by how much money we make, and even most of the important dates on our calendar are all about materialism.  Just think about it.  We throw outrageous birthday parties … [Read more...]

Occupying science: technology for the 99 percent


Even to save the planet from climate change or to save the economy from the end of cheap oil, you can't stop the march of technological progress, we're often told. Whether it's the personal car, industrial farming or nuclear power, once the genie's out of the bottle, you just can't squeeze him back in. And anyway, we're also told, even the most dangerous technologies are morally neutral. They … [Read more...]

Presents or presence?

baby in a snowsuit on a sled

Does anyone else find Thanksgiving and Christmas a bit of a contradiction? We spend a couple of days focused on Thanksgiving; usually setting up the menu, grocery shopping, or juggling travel plans for a day spent with our families. What started as a day for family and gratitude, is often replaced with family watching football on TV, mapping Black Friday’s shopping spree, or eating turkey … [Read more...]

One more reason to go local

Consumerism Graphic

For Visual Loop's third exclusive infographic they picked up on an issue that really has a visible impact in our lives: Consumerism. Of course, we all enjoy shopping around, and getting access to worldwide items bought through a simple click of a button. Or driving around in our brand new cars feeling free, independent, and happy. Or going to some exotic restaurant, tasting the mysterious … [Read more...]

Meet the Percapitas: we’re greener than you are


Hi there! We're the Percapitas. We've cut per capita consumption and our per capita waste. We compost, we conserve, we re-use and we recycle. And we're going to teach our three carbon footprints -- Mark, David and Robert -- to do the same. Carbon-neutral cul de sac Yes, we know that each of us will require more than 38,000 pounds of mined resources each and every year to maintain our … [Read more...]