Consumer Detox: book review

Ironically, in my year of decluttering, I bought this book. It's called Consumer Detox and is by Mark Powley, a Brit who is also part of the Breathe network which he started for people who wanted to do something about overconsumption and its associated problems in our world. (He wanted to call it 'Choke' but his wife talked him out of it...)

I liked it so much that I kept annoying my husband every half hour or so with, "Hey, listen to this..." and then reading out a pithy quote or too. The book is really about how to live - not just what to do with your stuff, and I found something useful and new on every page. I'm just flipping through it now and I see the title of Chapter three - "I Am Richer Than I Know" - which was a whole chapter on enjoying what we have without hankering for more.

Here's a tantalising little quote on page 30: "If consumerism were as basic as pure greed or even addiction we'd be able to grasp what's going on pretty quickly. but the reason its so hard to quantify and so difficult to resist, is because it plays on the irrepressible human desire to know who we are. This is about identity."

And another one - about something I wrote about recently. "So many consumer products come to us faceless, with makes but not makers, without craftsmanship or personal pride. It's easy to forget that every consumer good we purchase is part of the world God lovingly and intricately created. And they've been made by people who bear his image. That's right - even paper clips. If we forget this, we can end up treating things without respect. We use them thoughtlessly or inefficiently. We buy impulsively and let them waste away in a cupboard or we allow ourselves to be wooed by the next thing and throw them away before they're even broken.

a much better review of the book is here at Make Wealth History. (This site also has some interesting things you can do to help make change.)

And by clicking around a little on the Breathe Network I found this rather marvellous 'guide to Christmas' which fits in with the whole decluttering thing.

I completely and utterly recommend this book. I intend to read it annually.

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