Saturday, November 8, 2008

Value of Things

Christine Atha, in her design historian candidate talk, mentioned the difference in the value of things (goods or materials) in the West vs. the developing world. Because of the abundance of objects, we often don't conserve, respect, or appreciate the things that surround us. In the U.S. we had to learn, especially since World War II, how to use (throw away) all the new disposable items, like paper towels and food packaging. Things and material lost value. I should read the rest of Waste and Want, by Susan Strasser, if I decide to go this direction. Chapter Seven quotes historian John A. Kouwenhoven from 1959:
A commitment to democracy - and a certain indifference to waste and untidiness - are prerequisite to abundance ... waste is as much a result of democracy as abundance.
How can Americans relearn not to take material (and natural capital) for granted?

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