Interesting article: consumerism and want vs. need

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Marge_Simpson, Nov 25, 2011.

  1. jlai

    jlai Title-less

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    Yup, though inour society many will consider fresh food a necessity
    And yes it is always this "i am not as bad as my neighbor" mentality that justifies what we want and i do that too like eveyone else
  2. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

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    Why do think wrong had quotation marks?
  3. MacMadame

    MacMadame Internet Beyotch

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    Ding, ding, ding. We have a winner. ;)
  4. purple skates

    purple skates Shadow dancing

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    I buy what I can afford, whether I need it or just want it. :shrug:
    Although this discussion did make me take inventory of the rooms I am sitting in (I'm in the dining room wide open to the living room. Out of the main "stuff' in it I

    bought new:
    couch
    television (on sale last Christmas ;) )
    tv stand
    fish tank/stand
    china cabinet
    "dry sink"
    computer
    computer stand
    stereo

    bought used:
    two end tables
    computer chair

    was gifted:
    hanging lamp
    table lamp
    wine rack
    cedar chest

    inherited:
    grandfather clock
    recliner
    dining room table and chairs
    sewing machine (which I never use except to display pictures on :lol:)
    rocking chair

    So, eight things used (counting the dining table/chairs as one), four new gifts, and nine new bought by me. That's probably not too bad, considering three of the new things are electonics and therefore not sustainable.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2011
  5. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    I understood that, I was agreeing with you. :)
  6. jlai

    jlai Title-less

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    One thing that encourages consumerism is living in a house and losing track of whether you have something. How many people (including me and my family) have trouble finding something, go out and get one, just to discover you actually have the item in question in the first place? Then we find ourselves having ten staplers, 50 pencils, 40 pens....(Today I kept my family from going to the store twice because I actually could locate the item they thought we don't have in the house. Yes, we have glue sticks and we have razer knives, you just need to keep track of things where you can find them ) LOL
  7. purple skates

    purple skates Shadow dancing

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    :lol: I'm a big fan of saying to myself "I haven't used this in a year, throw it out!" and then as soon as I do, needing it. :p
  8. DickButtonFan

    DickButtonFan New Member

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    I definitely have too much stuff, I'm planning on donating a lot of it. There are a bunch of clothes in my closet that still have the tags, mostly fancy dresses and I have no where to wear them. I have a big miss-match of dishes and mugs, the oddest thing is one of them I don't even know where it came from, it is a mug that says I love Hawaii, and I've never even been there :lol:. I probably have a hundred pens and pencils and most of the pens don't even work 1/2 of the time.

    What bugs me most is the new technology that always breaks on me. I have probably bought 3 printers this year because I had to replace the ones that broke about 2 months after purchase. Even my macbook pro broke before the warranty was up. THings really aren't built like they used to, even when you buy the more expensive version.
  9. mkats

    mkats New Member

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    Reminds me of when my then-boyfriend used to visit me at my place and would stay just long enough to actually bring over stuff, but then would leave it and it would have long disappeared by the next time he came to visit. I solved this problem by rounding up an enormous cardboard box and scribbling his name on the side. Anything (and I do mean anything small and in danger of disappearing...) he left at my place went into that box, and voila, there it was next time he came to visit! :lol:
  10. DickButtonFan

    DickButtonFan New Member

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  11. manhn

    manhn Well-Known Member

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    I like that the author ignores her food/drink consumption. What's the difference between spending $50 on a dress and $50 on a bottle of wine? You're still outta $50.

    And this always *bugs* me:

    I don't know. If you're so hard up that you can't buy luggage, then maybe you shouldn't take an expensive vacation. What's wrong with staycations?
  12. Southpaw

    Southpaw Saint Smugpawski

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    The way I was looking at the luggage issue is that if you borrow someone's suitcase enough times and bring back chocolates in lieu of rent then eventually it will have been cheaper to have gone to Chinatown to buy your own dang suitcase.
  13. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    ^^ A little off topic, but, be careful with buying luggage in Chinatown. Not that you need to buy top of the line luggage, but often the stuff you get in Chinatown is really crap. The zippers break, the seams split. If you're traveling by car, not a problem, but by plane, could be a problem. I know people who have bought cheap "designer" luggage in Chinatown, only to have it fall apart when tossed about by baggage handlers. Sometimes it's worth it to spend a little more first, because you save in the long run.

    but, basically, I agree with Southpaw's point :)
  14. MacMadame

    MacMadame Internet Beyotch

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    It depends on how much you travel, I guess. If you only need a big suitcase every couple of years, why not borrow one? But if you travel a lot, then it's not cost effective.

    OTOH, I don't think the article was about saving money but about lowering the demand for new items. Chocolates are a consumable made from renewable resources. Most luggage is not made from renewable resources so it might make sense to spend on chocolate instead of luggage if your goal is to cut down on what ends up in landfills and uses up resources like coal and oil.
  15. jlai

    jlai Title-less

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    It has something to do with how we are raised too. I have nephews who will toss freshly barbecued meat with barely a bite on it just because it is too spicy. They do that because their parents let them do it. (WHile the parents do not throw away perfectly good meat they do throw away stuff just a litle used. ) By the time these nephews grow up and have their own kids, I'm sure they'll be tossing even more slightly used stuff to trash. There's the recycling bin but many things are still not recyclable.
  16. Southpaw

    Southpaw Saint Smugpawski

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    OK if that's the case then I still say she's better off getting a suitcase of her own but instead of going to those schysters on Canal Street she should go to a thrift store and look for it there like she already does with other stuff**. That suitcase in the thrift store is already made, the damage is already done. So if she buys it from the thrift store then the thrift store now has an open slot for a different already made used suitcase that someone else can come along and adopt. So the thrift store is the clearinghouse for the recycled suitcases of the world and she doesn't have to waste any more money on buying chocolates. Everybody wins! Well, except for the person who isn't getting the chocolates anymore. Oh well, they can take their own trip and buy their own damn chocolates. I guess the chocolatier is losing a little business, too. Oh well, it's just one customer. If everyone starts buying their own suitcases and doesn't buy their chocolates in exchange for suitcase privileges then maybe there will be a problem but for right now it's just one lost customer with her own private suitcase. The good news is she can use the money she saves on the chocolates to save towards a $20 loaf of bread because when that Euro goes kablooey, lordy we're all doomed! Except for the suitcases, they're not doomed at all and they'll do just fine and get along much as they always have. Oh crap, she's in England right? I'm not sure what the conversion is and how much a loaf of bread will cost in England when the Euro goes kablooey and the melted chocolate hits the steel-bladed antique fan. I'll tell you this, though. She'll sure be grateful for that thrift store suitcase when she has to live out of it!

    :scream:

    **Stuff (circa 1986)
  17. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

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    I agree. They were basically saying why do we need to keep consuming or generating demand for products when we could use something that already exists. And particularly when others may not mind you using them. I have borrowed suitcases from family members, particularly when my stuff was in storage.

    If I go to the cafe at work and buy hot food, I always take plastic container that I get the staff to put my food in rather than using their containers which would only be thrown out. And the other thing I did was buy a thermo cup with a lid which I take there to get hot chocolate in. I think I have saved generating quite a lot of rubbish that way.
  18. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

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    Except if she's hardly ever going to use a suitcase, borrowing makes more sense that buying second hand. Especially if you live in a small space and don't have much room to store a suitcase.

    Nothing wrong with allocating money to a gift rather than a suitcase you're hardly ever going to use.

    After Christmas the thrift stores are full of breadmakers people got but didn't want for Christmas. That would be a wiser spending choice than either a suitcase or a nice box of chocolates. You could make nice breads for gifts.

    But better hurry I guess, before the world goes all to hell and Europe's proles are begging for bread again!!,

    :lol::lol::lol:
  19. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    I don't see fault with your nephews, I see fault with their parents. If the kids can't eat something because it's too spicy, why are the parents making it so hot, that they can't eat it? I can't eat spicy food, and I've had one or two occasions where I've ordered something in a restaurant, been told it's not spicy, then couldn't eat it, because it was too spicy. Not caring for the taste of something is one thing, but spicy (for some) can be a problem. I don't see that in the same category as wasteful.
  20. jlai

    jlai Title-less

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    It was an extended family reunion
    Parenta did not make the food
    if it is spicy others can eat it
  21. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    Okay, so parents are off the hook :)

    But, I still don't think it's wasteful to not eat something because it's too spicy. Especially, kids or people with sensitive mouths or stomachs. It's not about like/dislike, it could be painful. Some people are more sensitive to spicy, than others. I am assuming you are meaning hot spicy, not just flavor.
  22. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

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    So the children should be forced to eat it? What do you think should be done?
  23. allezfred

    allezfred Prick Admin Staff Member

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    If somebody asked to borrow a suitcase to go on holiday, I'd tell them to f*ck off and buy their own suitcase.
  24. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

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    We already knew that, allezfred. :rofl:
  25. Southpaw

    Southpaw Saint Smugpawski

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    Well, I *did* say that if she travels often enough then eventually it would have been more cost-effective to have bought her own suitcase in Chinatown. If she never travels anywhere then she could happily live without one, I agree.

    I live in a glorified studio so I know all about how valuable domestic real estate is. The nice thing about having a suitcase in your tiny little patch of paradise is that it can be used to store stuff - like bedsheets, towels, out of season clothes, frying pans, that sort of thing.

    Yeah, bread makers! Now you're talking! That would be a great investment for her because then she can start a little side business and undercut the grocer. Even better than renting out a suitcase for a box of chocolate! If the grocer is selling a loaf of bread for $20 then she can sell her loaves for $18 and make a killing since a big chunk of her overhead (rent) is already taken care of. After the cost of materials are deducted she may even clear a 50-cent profit. Not bad for a business run right there on her countertop.
  26. jlai

    jlai Title-less

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    As i said the kids could easily let others eat it
    you really have to see the situation instead of going by a summary
    the meat was fresh (eta) off the pit
    kids took a bunch with spice visible on top and just threw it away eta: almost immediately
    The non spicy kind was in the other batch
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2011
  27. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

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    I do see your point, jlai, but I, for one, do not want some kids leftovers. My own kids maybe but they wouldn't take what they won't eat anyway.
  28. jlai

    jlai Title-less

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    But they were not leftovers
    they were meat off the pit like 10 secs ago that just went to trash
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2011
  29. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    :rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:

    I am high fiving you!

    I agree with Milanessa, if they were my kids, I'd take what they didn't eat, but after they took it they couldn't put it back. As far as taking the spicy, instead of the non-spicy - did they know there was another batch? Are these young kids? They may not have understood that the meat would be too spicy for them.

    It may be that these kids are wasteful in many situations, and you may have a very valid point, I just don't know that this example says wasteful.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2011
  30. jlai

    jlai Title-less

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    Let's start with me first. I am careless and I'm wasteful--that was what my parents told me as a kid, because I was clumsy and I could not peel my apples razor thin and I didn't always finish every lump of rice on my plate. According to my parents' generation (that went through war and hunger), that was very wasteful.

    My grandma considered my mom wasteful because mom didn't reuse her corn kernel and orange peel and lots of things we normally now toss without batting eyelash.

    My nephews' generation now throw away things we didn't consider waste in my generation and that's why I now call them wasteful--though I was perfectly wasteful by my parents' standard, and my parents were wasteful by their parents'.

    So you get my point-- as society gets wealthier there're lots of social conventions and systems and lifestyle changes that make people throw things away that were reused one generation ago. The problem is that when everyone around us sees reusing as not nice/unhygienic/other reasons then throwing away is socially acceptable--but then if everyone consumes like those kids do, we need four earths to sustain it, that is all.
  31. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    OMG I think we have the same parents. :rofl: I'm so brainwashed that I have to tell myself that if food smells bad, I HAVE to throw it out. If it doesn't smell bad, it's still on the table. :eek: It's definitely a cultural thing, because my former roommate loved to cook but he hated to eat leftovers, even food that was just 2 days old. I got free food from him a few times. :D

    I just finished some leftovers yesterday that were probably 2 weeks old. :shuffle:

    I haven't yet started to save chicken bones to make broth though. I don't eat nearly enough boned chicken and there's barely enough room in my fridge to keep it. Otherwise I totally would. :rofl:

    If I was given barbequed meat that was too spicy, I'd rub off as much of the sauce as I could, and/or wash it off a little with water. Or give it to my bf. :rofl:

    But besides the cultural nitpicking, jlai I think has a good point. But besides that, sometimes it just makes sense to buy new instead of trying to re-use or fix the old. Take my inkjet photo printer for example - $30 on Craigslist, but has only printed in color correctly a total of 3 times. (First it was too much magenta, now it won't print magenta at all.) It's probably better to just buy a new printer instead of spending hours trying to fix an old one (believe me, I've tried), which is sad because there's just something little inside that could be fixed or replaced, but fixing it would be more expensive than buying a new one! :mad: Not to mention the lost time.

    I'm letting go for that godforsaken printer as soon as I've used up the ink for it, printing solely in extremely green casts. :eek:
  32. Southpaw

    Southpaw Saint Smugpawski

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    Maybe you can make a soup out of the printer carcass to make up for the lack of chicken bones. :D
  33. purple skates

    purple skates Shadow dancing

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  34. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    I do get your point. My parents grew up during the depression, they had very little. Consequently, my parents always stocked up, so that they would never be without. The problem with that is eventually, when you buy too much, things get wasted, they go bad. I am not wasteful, but I will not keep left over meat/chicken more than 3 days. Vegetables, I keep until they begin to get soft. Breads, till I see mold. Dairy gets used too fast, in my house, to go bad. But, I have had food poisoning from bad meats, 3 days, it's in the trash!

    As for spicy, I would never serve something spicy to a large group of people, too many people can't eat spicy.
  35. MacMadame

    MacMadame Internet Beyotch

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    No, no, buy a used cake pop maker! :lol:
  36. my little pony

    my little pony snarking for AZE

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    i dont understand, they took a bite and didnt want it. you think others should eat it after it was in their mouths or touched by their mouths?


    and ita w fred, get your own damn suitcase cheapskate
  37. jlai

    jlai Title-less

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    I am 95% sure they never took a bite, but I won't swear to it in court. Now at home, even if a bite was taken (which I am 95% sure didn't happen), the other pieces that the kids took but didn't eat could go on their parents' plates (which is the norm at my house).
    Anyway, this has been discusssed to death already. What's acceptable trash is cultural and social norms is also partly why modern societies create so much garbage. By the time the kids get to old age they may end up with a landfill near them the way they are going. And it's really not just the meat. I see them on a regular basis and they simply need three times the stuff I used to need at their age. It's just that "wasteful" is an ugly word that no one wants to see applied to kids.

    But the last time I went to see my Chinese friends every one said I was wasteful. It's just that I'm not as bad as the relatives I have down here and so by comparison I don't know iI'm wasteful-- until my Chinese friends and Thai friends in Asia point that out to me. By any Asian standards I should be ashamed of myself but I can complain about all my relatives I have around me. But does that make me feel better? hmmm.

    ETA: ANyway as I said you have to see the incident instead of going by a one paragraph summary. Even the person doing the BBQ was appalled.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2011
  38. Matryeshka

    Matryeshka Well-Known Member

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    What I buy: A perfectly rational purchase based on need, time/money saved and enduring pleasure it gives me/others/the world. My purchases make the world a better place, and sunshine and daisies and Skittles pop out of my ass whenever the register dings for I am a Good Citizen. :saint:

    What others buy: Unnecessary items that are overpriced junk; a wasteful and greedy exercise that takes food from orphans in Uganda and contributes to the downfall of civilization, manners and the behavior of "kids today." If others would stop being so consummerist, the world would be a better place. :mitchell:

    GMAFB. Most of y'all in here need to get off your f-ing high horses. Seriously, you're talking about not being affected by consumerism, want or greed on the internet on a figure skating board, where I know most of the posters in this thread have spent serious $$$ for icenetwork, cable and/or going to events at the tune of hundreds of bucks to watch people gad about in sparkles to bad music.

    How well would those decisions stand up to public scrutiny? And why is it anyone else's business what one spends their money on? For every judgement you make about how someone else chooses to use their paycheck, that person could make the same judgement about your choices. :blah:
    Habs, Stormy, purple skates and 11 others like this.
  39. Tinami Amori

    Tinami Amori Well-Known Member

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    I find that most people can justify anything the DO…. :D.

    Were the end-tables “chippendale”? Was the computer chair by Breuer?
    Most of my artwork and decorative objects are also used… :)
  40. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    :lol: You nailed it! I would only add: there are also some here who have spent $$$ on skating themselves or their kid's skating - wonder if anyone thinks that's wasteful. :D