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Less is more

A college guide to consumption reduction story and photo by Erin Hindalong


hink about this “Fight Club” quote...“You work in a job you hate to buy stuff that you don’t need to impress people that you don’t like.” The impacts of consumerism, both positive and negative, are important to all aspects of people’s lives and to our planet. Considering that consumerism entails the use of natural resources, the average person in the United States uses twice as much as they did 50 years ago. If the rest of the world consumed as much as the U.S. does, three to five planets would be needed to handle it all. By making personal changes and working for broader societal changes, people can take greater steps to personal well-being, a more humane society and a more sustainable world.


Local treasures reconstruct and reuse tips:

A resourceful way to consume less is to find new uses for old items; one piece of trash is another man’s treasure.

1 Old T-shirts, curtains or

blankets can be turned into decorations, costumes, rags, etc. Be creative.

2 Baking soda can be

used to clean anything and everything from hair to the kitchen counter.

3 Buying plastic water bottles and throwing them away is excessive. Buy a reusable bottle and reuse glass bottles as vases.

4 Coffee grinds can be used as a skin exfoliant, plant fertilizer and even a dark dye for clothing or henna.

5 Purchase rechargeable

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batteries and a battery charger – preferably solar powered.

The best way to help the planet is to use what is already available. Here are some places to purchase used items that would have otherwise been thrown away. Plus, buying unique items can be way better than wearing the same factory-made shirt as everyone else.

Places to find hidden treasures in St. Louis or online: Retro 101 & Cherry Bomb Vintage

This local favorite thrift/vintage clothing and furniture shop is located right in antique row on Cherokee Street. Make a day of it and check out the surrounding stores. Estate & garage sales

Wake up early on a Saturday and go raid. This is great for the college student who needs some quick. cheap furniture for just a semester or two. These are often advertised on Craigslist and keep an eye out for signs in the neighborhood. Etsy (

Buy unique, handmade and vintage items online directly from independent sellers around the world. Sell work, vintage collections or unwanted items. For an innovative gift, this place is a guaranteed hit.

4/5/12 11:54 PM