What If Over-Consumption Became An Oil Issue?


So here's a thought: one of the growing ecological trends is the concept of consuming less but better. Reducing consumption will reduce the demand on natural resources and reduce the volume of waste products we leave for nature to deal with.

Piers Fawkes, PSFK
  • 29 january 2007

So here’s a thought: one of the growing ecological trends is the concept of consuming less but better. Reducing consumption will reduce the demand on natural resources and reduce the volume of waste products we leave for nature to deal with.

Less but better. It’s a simple idea but it’s difficult to see how the idea would spread among the majority of Americans. Huge numbers of US shoppers spend much of their leisure time shopping: popping into the SUV at the weekend and driving down to the mall or out-of-town megastore and buying junk they don’t really want nor need: it’s just cheap. Just drive past the strip malls at a weekend and see how crowded their parking lots are: suburban America buys crap each and every day that is not needed and is soon discarded.

I’d bet that many of these people consider themselves pro-American and are concerned by the impact by their country’s dependance on foreign oil.

So, what would happen if we sold them the idea that if they consumed less, their country would be safer and stronger?

Less journeys to the mall means less gas, less products bought means less oil to turn the machines that make their purchases plus less oil to make the plastic that goes into their products and packaging. Could consumption of oil drop to a level where the US doesn’t need to import oil from those hot or humid lands?

We could kick start this easily: just ask Oprah to put a ‘Less But Better’ ribbon sticker in every one of her magazines for each and every reader to attach to the rear of their cars – just by their ‘Support Our Troops’ ribbon sticker.

Of course, some folk might argue that a drop in consumption would harm the economy. But what would happen if we consumed less, but when we did consumed better? Our purchases on goods may be less frequent but we would pay more for higher quality goods that we really need or even really want. (America, of course, would have to rise to the challenge of making better products – but, hey, what a great motivation)!

Just a thought. Less But Better.


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