Consumed by Consumerism

After another work trip to Fiji I am faced with the thought that New Zealander’s appear to be consumed by consumerism…

Why do we need the biggest, best or latest [insert something here]. For example, the new iPhone, why do we need it when the phone we have works perfectly? Crafty marketing has something to do with it I’m sure but maybe it is because we have too much disposable income and we inherently want to spend it on our self? Or maybe we think that more “stuff” will give us status and security.

What can we do about this?

Well after attending a conference for social science teachers I think we have the education side of things covered. At least for the small number of students who actually do social sciences, specifically geography, at High School.

Maybe we need to turn the TV and the internet off one week a month to start with so we are not continually bombarded by commercials and the need to buy, buy, buy…

Maybe we should look in our wardrobes and say I have enough clothes and won’t buy any more for a set period of time, 6 months, a year, two years. Don’t be surprised if you take this route that your friends all think you are nuts!

Could there be a spiritual aspect to what I perceive to be rampant consumerism and what people really need is God and a new perspective on life, wealth and poverty?

Or maybe I am on a personal journey that has brought me face to face with my own consumerism and I am projecting my process of elimination on those around me? Along the lines of when in pain we lash out…

Or a different perspective…

Is it OK to be consumed by consumerism if you are an ethical consumer?

For Example, purchasing products:

  • accredited by Child Labor Free (CLF) –
  • created from sustainable resources
  • certified as free trade such as those products sold by
  • certified organic and therefore not polluting our environment with pesticides and other harmful chemicals.

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