Too Much Stuff
Can the Commons Save Us From Overconsumption?
The scramble to acquire an ever-increasing amount of stuff has shaped a hyper-individualistic society that consumes more resources than the Earth can spare. Enter the commons. The commons refers to the things that we all own together—that we inherit or create and, hopefully, pass on. Whether it’s environmental resources like air and water, a cultural resource like a much-loved public space, or a social resource like your local library, the commons offers us the opportunity to share more and to use less.
Filmmaker and activist Annie Leonard, whose work includes viral movies the Story of Stuff and the Story of Broke, says: “We have to learn to share more and waste less, to find joy and meaning in shared assets and experiences rather than in private accumulation, to work together for a better world, rather than to build bigger walls around those who can. And the good news is that these changes not only will enable us to continue to live on this planet, but they will result in a happier, healthier society overall.” In a conversation with Jay Walljasper of On The Commons, Leonard talks about why the commons are key to building an equitable and sustainable world.
[Top Image: Flickr User Derrick Coetzee]