Diamond-Cut Life

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The Non-Consumer Advocate and Living In Reality

April 15th, 2009 by Alison · 2 Comments · lifestyle, money, simplicity

My husband Thor likes to send  good material for Diamond-Cut Life my way. His latest suggestion is a winner: a lively blog called The Non-Consumer Advocate.

Its writer Katy Wolk-Stanley doesn’t buy anything new (with a few thoughtful exceptions). Her simple lifestyle lets her work only part-time as a labor and delivery RN, even back when her husband was in school full-time. Katy defines herself as a citizen, wife and mother — not a consumer — and she’s an advocate/resource for others wanting to exit the treadmill of consumerism, too.

Discovering Katy and her writing tickles me because we’re both Oregonians, fellow Portlanders, actually. By jove, I’m going to invite her to coffee to see if she’d like to meet up in person! The Non-Consumer Advocate was one of several blogs featured in a recent New York Times piece headlined  Austere Times? Perfect.

The NY Times piece was how Thor and therefore I found Katy’s cool blog, so I’m grateful for it. But I see simplicity differently than the way NY Times journalist Matt Richtel and most of  the bloggers featured in his article approach today’s so-called austerity. Their viewpoint is tightly people-centric, and defines economics in old-school terms.

Don’t get me wrong: I love people, and I care a lot about the economy. But the old school forgets what the world’s economy is actually resting on.

We humans and every single detail of our economy are completely dependent on the earth’s resources. We all live at the mercy of  clean water, breathable air, and soil healthy enough and a climate reasonable enough to grow food.

Economy-wise, right now everything from the auto industry to agriculture, from health-care to the construction business, is based on both extracting the earth’s resources, and transporting those resources with unnaturally cheap and very finite oil. Our economy is going to change whether we like it or not, in the direction of much less consumption.  (See our real choices).

Quite likely, our nation’s and world’s economy will change as Bill McKibben describes in his recent book Deep Economy, toward more localized production and consumption, with more human labor, involvement and practicing of community, and less physical resources. But to look at our nation’s current consumption down-tick, our scaling back of retail and buying used instead of new as anything approaching true sustainability is mistaken. It’s delusional.

Our current “austerity” is a small step in the the transition between the old economy that ignored the finite nature of the earth’s resources, and the future economy that will embrace that reality. I see Katy’s blog The Non-Consumer Advocate as a great resource for the transitional time we’re now navigating.

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2 Comments so far ↓

  • Colleen

    Thanks for the tip … I clicked the link to Katy’s blog after reading your post. I’m a self-admitted Blog Snob: I won’t read a blog unless the subject is really compelling, the suggestions useful, and the writing fun to read. Katy’s blog — and yours — have all 3 elements.

  • Deb

    Another thank you for turning me on to her wonderful blog. I also caught the NYT piece that included her, but might have passed it by if you hadn’t also mentioned it.

    Blogs can be such a time suck, but as Colleen said above - when compelling, they can be very worthwhile!

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