A quick note about Unconsumption

Via unconsumption [a group project I – Molly – am happy to say I’m involved with]:

So, I was part of a panel discussion tonight, and Unconsumption came up, and people seemed interested and it occurs to me that I should put a quick note here.

I’ve written up the backdrop of this project many times, but the short version is that I made up the word “unconsumption” in a column I wrote about Freecycle, which mused on the idea that perhaps sometimes getting rid of stuff could feel as good as acquiring it — emotionally, as it were.

This fed into some other things I was thinking about at the time, and led me to ponder the idea of “Unconsumption” as a sort of brand, an “invisible badge,” an idea attached not to products or services but to mindful consumer behavior: recycling, reuse, etc.

I managed to convince several wonderful volunteers to join with me in the first step, which is basically this Tumblr — the idea here is nothing more than to offer fun, pleasing, inspiring, upbeat examples of the ideas noted above. Wherever this project goes — and believe me, we have ideas about that — I wanted the first step to be something engaging and enjoyable.

Not a lecture. Not an admonition to eat your vegetables or stop being such a bad person.

My thinking is that if Unconsumption is ever to get anywhere as an idea, it needs to feel, from the start, like a positive idea.

That’s what this Tumblr is about.

So if you heard me chat about this tonight, please poke around here, read the notes in the sidebar about this could mean, follow along, send us your thoughts, be part of the ride.

As mentioned tonight, it’s a small volunteer effort, and it’s not against anything. Who knows what might happen? Not me.

— Rob Walker