I have written about consumerism some time ago:
I am still very much impressed with varying levels of consumerism among my friends, people I meet and strangers. Not that I am completely free of it, I must admit. But sometimes it is shocking to see what is being wasted in order to upgrade, renovate or just keep up with the Joneses.
One of the things that totally surprizes me each time is the popularity of Starbucks. How can a cup of coffee taste anything good when it is served in a plastic/paper cup? I know it is extremely convenient to take your cup and go but being a tea connoisseur I have a problem understanding this trend. Because you cannot have the same taste and aroma in a paper cup that you are getting from freshly brewed coffee/tea served in real china. And you can take it with you if you want to, just pour it into a stainless steel travel mug. I have done it many times. Tastes better and there is no waste.
I have viewed many houses as we are in the process of searching for a perfect one for us. Every time we visited one of the properties on the market we would hear that this or that could be renovated or redone. While sometimes I am not a fan of somebody’s else color choices I would probably not go into trouble and trash an entire kitchen cabinetry just because it offends my artistic taste. Instead I would get used to it. The whole idea that things can be disposed so easily is very distant to me. I grew up in a country where things were meant to serve us forever and were made that way. That’s why watching an HGTV show where homeowners-to-be nonchalantly remark that the whole bathroom needs updating makes me cringe. I often wonder what happens to the old pieces of furniture, cabinetry, sinks or tubs? Are they recycled, offered for free to someone or just sent to a landfill?
There are parents who don’t see the nonsense of spending a fortune on their kids toys. While I think it is cool to offer your child quality items, I wonder whose inner child is getting satisfaction from selecting hugely overpriced playthings.
The phenomenon of American Girl dolls is just amusing to me. They retail for about $100 or more. You can find used ones on Craigslist for $70 or so. These are plain dolls that are made by Mattel and only because the company heavily promoted them they are so expensive now. It also is farcical to hear 6 year old girls talking with an air of superiority that their doll is American Girl doll. Seems like it is the only brand of dolls that is officially regarded as the one to be owned by girls.
Having money is not a sin. Having less is not a sin either. I live on a small budget because we chose to live off one income so that I could stay at home and be with the girls. I am not poor but I find it smart to make conscious decisions regarding our spending habits. Luckily, our girls are not brand conscious and brand loyal. I try to show them that we can be savy without being scroogy and live a bountiful life. It is interesting to note that younger children are equally impressed with a toy from a dollar store as an expensive one. Unless you spend a lot of time convincing them that pricy is good.