Courtesy Clara Natoli


Commercialism: Ubiquitous product marketing that leads to a preoccupation with individual consumption to the detriment of oneself and society. – Center for the Study of Commercialism

We have, it seems, been reduced to what we consume. We’re not only what we eat, but in this age of branded consumables, what we wear, what we drive, and the gadgets we possess.

Given that Americans are bombarded with up to 3,000 advertisements a day, it’s nearly impossible not to be affected by the overwhelming message that we are what we buy.

Our need to define ourselves by our consumer goods has led us to waste our limited natural resources on vast quantities of unnecessary “stuff ” that is generally over-packaged and all too often disposed of after a single use. In addition, the vast majority of our consumer goods are manufactured, distributed, and discarded in ways that pollute our air, water, and soil.

Because of this excess, Earth’s batteries are quickly running down, but we can recharge the planet by consuming less, consuming local, and recycling everything possible.

Although an entrenched market system and a global economy are highly resistant to change, the environmental crisis is now headline news, and powerful forces are marshalling to address it.

Click on the links at right to read about how we’ve short-circuited the planet and some practical and provocative ideas about how to rewire it.