Americans are addicted. Not to drugs, but rather to consumerism. While we only make up 6 percent of the world's population, we consume over 30 percent of its resources. To break this down, the average American consumes five times more than a Mexican, 10 times more than a Chinese person and 30 times more than a person from India. We spend our lives working to earn money so that we can buy more. Our consumerism is killing the planet.
There is another way to live, a way that promotes ecological and human sustainability. If we don't start to curb our consumerism we will start to see ecosystems crash and more people dying of starvation. We need to look to the future and think about what kind of world we want our children and grandchildren to grow up in.
Imagine for a minute a world where humans live with nature, a world where malls haven't replaced parks, churches and community gatherings. Juneau has not gotten to the point where this has become a major problem, but as Home Depot wants to move in and shut down local businesses, and as Sealaska and other corporations clear-cut our pristine temperate rainforest, we need to ask ourselves: is this worth it? I don't think it is.
This Friday, Nov. 28, is the busiest shopping day of the year. I dare you to quit you addiction for just one day. Over a million people in over 30 countries around the world will be participating in Buy Nothing Day. Buy Nothing Day, now in its 12th year, is a 24-hour consumer fast and celebration of sustainable living.
Resist the Thanksgiving sales, stay away from Fred Meyer and the mall. Stand on a street corner with a sign to let Juneau and the world know that you can go one day without buying something. It's really not that hard. Make a conscience effort to participate in this event by not participating in America's addiction. It's only one day and if you like the idea of a sustainable lifestyle, see how long you can go without having to use your credit card. A better world is possible, but in order for change to occur we need to alter the way we live and this Friday is the perfect way to start.