The Story of Stuff got me thinking. This time of year we all seem compelled to buy and consume. I keep thinking about all the STUFF we buy that we know is trash. All the stuff that is waste from the moment we put it in our grocery cart. I want less STUFF. I want to consume less. I want to think about what I need. Is there something already in my possession that will accomodate? Do I need this? It is more than wastefulness. If we are to be good stewards of this planet, isn’t it important to live in a mindful manner? I want to go beyond simply recycling our Diet Coke cans and beer bottles. I want to find a better balance between living and consuming.

I am no Luddite. I like the amenities of this modern age. I hate shopping but I must admit I like Target. But, if I can just resist the impulse to BUY, I will avoid the consumption of crap I don’t need and tomorrow will not want cluttering up my house. George Carlin was correct, our house is just a place for our stuff. When we get more stuff, we need a bigger house. Buy a bigger house and accumulate more stuff. It is a horrid cycle. I want off. There is a movement among some communities to avoid buying anything NEW for a year, except groceries. It would mean no new clothes, no new items, no gifts of brand new merchandise. Some people go so far as to use recycled materials for building. It is a radical concept, but I know I could go to my local thrift store(s) and find an abundance of really decent STUFF.

So, in this Christmas season…..resist the urge to BUY more just to have a wrapped package to give. Bake cookies instead, make a cake, make a copy of a picture. Write a letter. Share a meal. Do a deed for that friend, instead. Chances are that the knick knack you give them will get shoved in a closet or drawer until they “de-clutter” their house….and then it will go to a landfill. I would say…..gimme something I can really consume… coffee, liquor, chocolate, FUDGE or iTunes (music without wrappers).

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