Consumeless for a year

A journal of a year of consuming less and consuming sustainably

Repair manifesto 21/01/2010

A while ago I came across the Repair Manifesto, part of Platform 21‘s project Platform 21 = Repairing. Platform 21 is a Dutch design platform. The idea behind their project is that repairing in stead of recycling is underestimated as a creative, cultural and economic force. The manifesto is written within this project “describing the benefits of fixing things and calling upon designers and consumers to break the chain of throwaway thinking”. I really like the idea of looking at the beautiful side of repairing. It reminds me of a strategy sometimes used by the Dutch State Service for Cultural Heritage (according to Eise’s father who told us this once). Their strategy in maintaining monuments is to do renovations in such a way that the original (broken) structure is still visible. By doing this, a building gets ‘scars’ showing its history. Beautiful! We plan to apply this principle in our own house as well. When we moved into this house, we replaced the stairs, which left a hole in the living room floor. It still is a hole, but we aim to fill this hole with wood in a way that won’t make it invisible, but that shows that there once was a hole.

But to get back to the Repair Manifesto. The eleven ‘rules’ fit very nicely into our own consumeless and sustainability rules, which is why I post the manifesto here.

 

The Story about Stuff – film 10/01/2010

Did you know that the food at the top of the food chain containing the highest level of toxic contaminants is human breast milk? That only 1 % of materials involved in product manufacturing and consumption is still in use after 6 months? That people today see more advertisements in one year than people 50 years ago did in a lifetime?

I didn’t.

In the book No Impact Man I read about a project called ‘The Story of Stuff‘. The Story of Stuff is a short film made by Annie Leonard. The film shows the real costs of “our consumer driven culture—from resource extraction to iPod incineration”. Although clearly aimed at a US public (referring to the happy presentation style here), this film quite closely explains our motives to consume less and to consume sustainably. We definitely like her way of thinking about consumerism and sustainability! See for yourself, some astounding facts make it worthwhile anyway:

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According to Annie Leopard, most people’s main leisure activities are watching tv and shopping. So in that respect we are definitely going to change our lives this year!

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