We need less of more and more of less

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

I need less of more and more of less if I am to be free…at last. ~ K.B. Brown

lessThe prevailing attitude is, however, and that even in the green movement, it would appear, that more is still king and it is being suggested to us that we need more of this and more of that, but it has to be green and ethically produced.

We need, we are told, this green gadget and that in order to live a green life on this Earth. The truth is that we don't. This is just exchanging one kind of consumption for another, the latter which I have termed “greensumption”.

We do not need more. We need less and we need to learn to make do with what we have and with what we can make for ourselves, and here as much as possible out of the waste that is produced by us and by others.

There is a saying that says and which some have attributed to the old Romani philosophy and that goes: “Possessions possess the possessor” and this can be very true indeed. And envy and greed is another contributing factor. Because the neighbors have a new car or a new TV we must get an even better car or better TV. We have forgotten how to make do with what we have and how to make things for ourselves as and where possible. All the majority can think of, and that includes all too many greenies is going to the store and buying. We are swapping one form of consumption for another and the latter just is as unsustainable as the former, regardless of whether the products are made from recycled materials or ethically produced. Consumption remains consumption and leads to problems.

When I buy pickles in g lass jars, or jam or what-have-you, I get a ready storage jar with it. All it takes it to wash this jar out and retain it for future use. No need to go to the stores and buy recycled glass storage jars. I already got them, thanks.

The same goes for tin cans that become, as and when needed, a pencil bin or other container. And other glass jars can be used as drinking vessels for water, whiskey, or whatever, and the same goes for bottles of the Snapple kind that are ready-made reusable water bottles. But, all to many, even among those in the green movement, cannot think that way anymore, if ever they could.

Our parents and grand-parents and their parents reused almost everything and glass jars and such like where always reused, including for drinking glasses for every day use. If there were real glasses in the house they were for special occasions, especially if there were visitors. Otherwise the drinking glasses were jars; period.

Every scrap of paper and envelope was reused and newspapers were used as wrapping paper, and so forth. I remember many a home where the walls were papered with the pages old newspapers that were then painted over. The walls of the old farmhouses and cottages needed, generally an underlay paper of sorts in order for the interior walls to be painted and instead of buying the special stuff many people simply used old news sheets.

While this may be seen as serious scrimping it is and was a way of saving resources and money. However, our governments nowadays equate thriftiness and such ways as – wait for it – “acts of terrorism” as one is not helping the economy to grow by not going out spending like it is gling out of fashion.

You cannot spend yourself out of a recession and the constant growth economy is not sustainable. The very attempt of continuing with the economy as it is and trying to grow it more and more is an act of terrorism, on all of humanity, on the Planet and all on all living things.

We need less of more and more of less and we need a new system, economic as well as political.

© 2013