How Consumerism Affects Our Quality of Life.
Consumerism: Things are getting cheaper and easier but at what cost?
Our quality of life.
This is a conclusion my Husband and I came to after a discussion about consumerism. Specifically our conversation was geared toward conventional chemical cleaners, where chemicals are in abundance and can do every little job you can think of.
Let’s play a little devil’s advocate shall we?
· Go to any Walmart cleaning aisle and you will be bombarded with cheap products that are designed and marketed to make cleaning easier.
· But we all have busy lifestyles and do not have time to take into consideration all of the harmful toxins lurking in the bottles.
· But it gets rid of all the bad germs in my house.
· But these chemicals also kill the good bacteria in our bodies that we need for immunity.
· But there are alternative ways to keep our homes clean!
· But many people are not aware of “why” and “how” to Clean Naturally and they are still using potentially harmful cleaners!
· Modern Betty strives to inform people everything they need to know about Natural Cleaning so their homes are safe and naturally clean.
So many people are unaware of the potential hazards lurking in chemical cleaners that have been used our entire lifetime:
Other issues bombard our day and we worry about the rush hour morning commute, car troubles, or planning our next vacation. There is too narrow a scale of thinking to address the problems we have.
People need to be aware that consumerism and everyday choices that deteriorate their health and increasingly affect their lives in the future.
· Most of our time is either working or shopping. Everything is getting bigger, (bathtubs, houses, cars, waistlines) we are running out of time and have less of the things we really care about.
· We are wasteful creatures and will continue to be until we realize: You can never get enough of what you don’t really want.
In Nature there is no waste.
One organism’s waste is another's food.
That has to be the model of the industrial system.
Instead of a throw away economy, everything should be reused.
I never realized this before but Recycling should be the last resort.
· If we reduce and reuse first there are less things to be recycled and thrown away.
How we make things is 180 degree turn from how nature makes things.
· For example Kevlar fibers, the strongest man made material, is made from petroleum that is heated to 1400 degrees Fahrenheit and is bubbled in sulfuric acid and then pulled by enormous pressures.
· Now think of a little garden spider taking flies and insects in its web and ingesting them. Silently and at room temperature, with chemistry and water this little spider transforms the insects in its abdomen into a material five times stronger, ounce for ounce, than steel.
· Biomimicry – looks at how nature is made.
This is manufacturing of the future if we can completely trust and learn from nature.
This is another reason to keep our connection with mother earth.
By studying nature, new products are designed that can help us find solutions to health and environmental problems.
In a sense, Natural Cleaning is mimicking nature in such that we are using ingredients that the earth has created from natural resources.
Theses resources are biodegradable, non-toxic, safe, and doesn’t hurt the environment and the creatures that live within.
Cleaning with Natural Ingredients
Throughout my life I have always had a deep love for aquatic life and I have always had an aquarium or fish bowl with little sea creatures swimming around. Cleaning the aquarium has always been a challenge for me, trying to catch all of the fast fish and making sure the water is just right before returning them back into their home.
Although I was never told how to clean the aquarium, I have always used vinegar to wash the inside of the glass. Something in my gut, even as an adolescent, told me not to use chemicals. Amazingly, the aquariums and bowls always looked brilliant and my fish lived long happy lives. The fish in my current aquarium have been with us for almost two years now!
So why did I clean my bathtub with such harsh chemicals and then bathe myself and my children in residues that I could never seem to completely wash down the drain no matter how many times I rinsed?
We are products of 500 billion dollars of advertising each year.
· We need a continual marketplace present to compete with all the wrong messages in consumerism that are being repeated a thousand times a day.
In my research, I was reading a book on Consumerism and this quotation caught my eye:
“It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into heaven.”
I was really confused by this and contemplated it for weeks.
Amazingly, one Sunday at Church our Priest clarified the passage in his Homily. This is something I would love to share with you.
He clarified the literalness of the passage immediately. The rich man is not a bad person, in fact he follows all of the commandments and loves the Lord. However, this man has difficulty making the most difficult and radical decision in his life, which is to leave behind all of his worldly possessions.
I had an “ah-ha” moment after he explained this.
It’s not that the Lord will not welcome us into heaven; it is our greed that keeps us from accepting eternal happiness.
His question after reading this passage was “What must I do to have eternal life, to have joy forever and be happy?” His answer was finding the ability to separate yourself and be free from your possessions. Wealth, economy and consumerism commands every choice we make and directs our lives. Our salaries determine our lifestyles. Jesus said to his disciples “be careful, because wealth is dangerous, for it promises what in no way it can give you: a happy liberty!”
Let your life be expressed without having earthly bonds, don’t make your decisions depending on your wealth.
In our society Consumerism has become the substitute to calm the longing for things, which could easily be replaced with a meaningful connection, for peace, for friendship. We are becoming more lonely in a world full of technological convenience.
That was a lot to digest at one time.
Let’s treat this like an aerobic exercise video…
…take a little breather and come back after you’ve contemplated these ideas if you’d like!
……but the fact of the matter is that today, consumerism, stuff-selling mega-corporations, have a huge influence on our daily lives. And because of the competitive nature of our global economy, these corporations are generally only concerned with one thing – the bottom line. That is, maximizing profit, regardless of the social or environmental costs.
So to move towards a low – polluting, sustainable society, we need to start thinking about our purchases.
But with today’s misconstrued world of communication, unless we look at new ways to reach people and question their choices, most will choose the cheapest or most convenient – choices that have essentially made for them by corporations with their eye on the bottom line. I was guilty of this. It takes a conscious effort to live Naturally.
You can make a difference when you vote. You vote with your hard earned dollar. You can vote everyday when you pay for something. You approve of the object if you buy it.
We need to be slower and smarter. Slow movement means disengaging from consumerism. This idea has nothing to do with consumption. We all need things but what we need to determine is to what extent do we need the things we purchase. We need to move away from the marketplace and what is sold and embrace our identities and meanings. Instead of the bigger house and car why don’t we enjoy local produce and the company of friends and family?
Everyone I speak with usually feel the same, we have no time to ourselves.
“Things are thieves of time.”
Is there any greater truth than this? The more things you have the more time you’ve likely spent working for them. Life has become a mechanical rhythm to acquire ‘more.’
How Does this relate to the Chemical Cleaners we use in our homes?
As we acquire more – there is essentially more to clean! Corporations know this and send out commercials to appeal to the viewers that their product is the most convenient to be used in every home. What alternative is there? We have to keep our homes clean, the television provides a solution for us – bingo, we are surrounded by consumerism through commercialism even in the cleaning industry!
By embracing a simpler lifestyle, focusing more on enjoyable experiences than material possessions we can move away from the purchases and chemical cleaners that clutter and pollute our lives. This sounds simple but it does take effort and most importantly, awareness.
I have discovered my new outlook on life through Natural Cleaning and is something I want to share with everyone. Each of us will find our way. As the heart informs us what our next action will be, we begin to walk the path of wisdom & compassion.
Looking into the future, we will begin to understand the cyclical nature of things, and from that view, can temper our immediate need as consumers.
We need to get to know our neighbours, to trade in our arrogance and insecurity, and cultivate humility, generosity, and compassion for all who inhabit this fragile earth. As competition gives way to collaboration, companies share their trade secrets to solve problems, nations forgive national debts, and people around the world will celebrate our diversity for the richness it offers.
We are not alone and we will go forward together into the future, kissing the earth and eachother!
Go to "How Change Starts at Home" from Consumerism and Quality of Life.