We’ve been trained to think that shopping makes us happier – but it doesn’t. Like a drug, it may give us an immediate high but that high doesn’t last. What it does do is destroy our environment because it leads us to consume and throw away things we don’t need and it distorts society because it encourages us to value each other based on what we own rather than who we are and how we behave. It actually makes most of us feel worse about ourselves, depletes natural resources, causes debt, increases economic inequality and results in landfill sites full of toxic materials, some of which will not biodegrade for many centuries.
Common Weal published the report ‘From I to We‘ to explain all these problems and how we can feel better if we change our relationship to consumption. Common Weal’s Robin McAlpine wrote an article to explain one of the key ways that we can shop less but have more if only we would recognise the merits of building better and leading more in a circular economy.
And the issue of deconsumerisation is right at the heart of The Common Home Plan, Common Weal’s comprehensive, costed Green New Deal for Scotland. It has a chapter explaining exactly how a circular economy would work, another on how trade can be better managed for social and environmental benefit and a final chapter called ‘Us’ which explains how we can be happier and healthier if we shift our spending from consumption to activity, relaxing and socialising and go back to valuing each other because of our contribution to our community and not just because of what we own.
(If this article makes you need retail therapy, restrict your shopping to our online shop and use it to support us!)