Archive for News & Views

Win the $500 Get Satisfied Award on Earth Day for Your Mainstream Idea!

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Get_Satisfied_Award

Why is this Earth Day different from all the other great celebrations of our sublime planet? It’s the day that you can win our new $500 Get Satisfied Award for the best idea to inspire “the satisfaction of enough for today” in the mainstream. That’s what is missing on the planet to keep it sublime so enter as many times as you like! Your idea can be just a few words or a few sentences or a few paragraphs and needs to be received by April 10, 2014. Send it in the body of an email with the subject line “inspire the mainstream” to getsatisfied@postconsumers.com, no attachments please. Here’s the national panel of contest judges that has been convened from the 20 co-authors of Get Satisfied: How Twenty People Like You Found the Satisfaction of Enough:

Tamsen Butler, Nebraska

Tamsen Butler is the award-winning author of The Complete Guide to Personal Finance: For Teenagers and College Students, as well as other book titles. More valuable information about her can be found on her website: www.TamsenButler.com.

Derek Hambrick, Georgia

Derek Hambrick likes words. And readers seem to like his. Parallel with writing his current novel, Derek crafts thoughtful narratives, insightful articles, and snappy web copy. Visit www.DerekHambrick.com.

Katherine Hauswirth, Connecticut

Katherine Hauswirth’s essays and poems have been published in a wide array of venues including The Christian Science Monitor, The Writer’s Handbook, The Writer’s Guide to Fiction, Women of Spirit, Lutheran Digest, Wilderness House Literary Review, My Lasting Legacy, Chronogram, Blueline, Bibliobuffet, and Seasons. Her book, Harriet’s Voice: A Writing Mother’s Journey, was an entry of note in the 2012 Anderbo Self-Published Awards.

Jon Myhre, California

Since the beginning of his retirement Jon Myhre has been focused on writing, something he’s wanted to do for decades.  So far he’s been published three times in the Christian Science Monitor, was the author of a weekly column for his hometown newspaper, has written numerous short stories and is a long-time member of what he considers the best writing workshop in Southern California.

Erik Richardson, Wisconsin

Erik Richardson is the co-founder of Richardson Ideaworks, providing business planning, marketing and consulting for small businesses. Smart solutions, creative thinking and the ability to assess and transform words, images and ideas into “a-ha!” moments are the RI specialties at www.RichardsonIdeaworks.com.

Many thanks to these distinguished judges who will decide the winner of the $500 Get Satisfied Award! They will eyeball your idea based on its positioning for mainstream impact – how to help the wider public fall in love with Enough For Today and move beyond addictive consumerism. Enough is beautiful, not belt-tightening or boring like its past reputation. They might even choose some satisfying sizzle per the sexy innuendo of our Get Satisfied title. Questions? Call 1-877-Unstuff.

All submissions become the property of Postconsumers.com to use and promote on our website, with email, and in social media channels. The entry deadline on April 10 is midnight PDT. Ideas cannot be plagiarized and need to be original to the author even if there are duplicates (sometimes great minds think alike). The winner will be featured in our blog and announced on our social media platforms so let’s help to inspire the world!

Fall in Love with Your Idea of Enough

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heart_treePostconsumers is gearing up for the Valentine’s fun ahead so I thought it would be a good time to quickly talk about falling in love. Oh, I don’t mean the usual romance or the once-in-a-lifetime romance or even the spectacular romance of life itself. I mean the every pore of your body, every moment of your day, every throb of your spirit kind of love. I mean fall in love with your idea of how much is enough.

Why is this so different and so important? The dictionary defines “enough” as sufficient to meet needs or satisfy desires. OMG, what could be more essential to the utter fulfillment of life and yet it’s like a nose-wrinkling, eye-rolling, Martian concept in America. There are so many millions of people in this country who don’t have anywhere close to enough, so it’s vital that those of us who do actually appreciate it, treasure it, love it to the core.

That’s why all of our offerings are called Get Satisfied. The Get Satisfied web course, book, cartoon series and game show all provide fun ways to explore how much is enough for you. And this doesn’t mean enough for tomorrow, no one can know that. It just means enough for today, whether it’s a little or a lot. No one can discover that except for you. More than anything – for our own mental health and for the planet’s health – America needs an ecstatic love affair with enough.

Thinking Inside the Bawx

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BawxI just heard that Bawx hopes to keep going after the winter holiday season, which may be outdated news but hey, it’s too good to pass up. What is Bawx? It’s a statement on our culture’s addictive consumerism, among other things, that offers a well-designed product any young child would love: a 100% recycled, sturdy, 2-ft-cubed, empty cardboard box. They sell four models that range in price from $24.99 to $499.99, but all the boxes are actually the same (different views are pictured for each model, however, and Model 3.0 is “New!”).

Why would people buy an empty cardboard box for $499.99 when they could get the very same wondrous item for $24.99? Why would people buy an empty cardboard box at all when they could find a free box to give their child anytime? All of the money from the purchases goes to either of two children’s charities: Charley Davidson Leukemia Fund in Boston or Blue Sky Bridge in Boulder, helping child abuse victims.

This postconsumerism effort beautifully enacts the legend that exists among early childhood educators like myself that young children often prefer to get creative with an empty box than with its pre-scripted contents. As the designers say, “Kids would much rather spend time with their friends and parents and a Bawx, than the latest technology. Ok, that is a complete lie, but maybe if they did have a Bawx they would spend more time with people, and a bit less time with pixels.” And maybe we would all think a bit more about why we’re buying stuff.

The Lambs of Main Street: New Movie Review

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Wolf-of-Wall-StreetA tagline for Martin Scorsese’s new film The Wolf of Wall Street is “More Is Never Enough,” so how could I not write a quickie blog about it? I was expecting the slogan to be one of the themes of course, but I had no idea that it’s virtually the only focus of the movie: never enough money, never enough hubris, never enough drugs, never enough bra cup sizes (“she already has C cups but she wants double-Ds”). Even when they’re convicted, the characters seem to learn nothing and change nothing about their personalities — it’s a well-done farce from beginning to end.

My takeaway from the film is somewhat different than most, however. While many are hooting or hollering at the wolves of Wall Street for their greed, I think the largely unspoken problem in this country is that the lambs of Main Street actually believe More Is Never Enough too. Of course there’s a gigantic difference between the “benumbed excess” of Wall Street and the mere dreams of it on Main Street, but they’re both aspects of the national affliction known as affluenza.

The movie is outrageous and dated while at the same time being customary and current. It sets the stage nicely for *anything* that can help to move our culture beyond its materialism virus, its addictive consumerism. But at three hours on the screen, it’s way too long and I have a feeling that audiences won’t Get Satisfied no matter how much they watch.

Ten Things We’re Thankful For This Summer

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Summer Photo by simplybikeSummer is a slower time of year when we hope that you’ll take the time to reflect on things that you’re thankful for. With all of the negativity that the consumer media machine (and, frankly, the world) throw at us daily, it’s often hard to keep perspective. From global violence to decisions by those in power that clearly work against the evidence of human-induced climate change, it’s easy to forget all of the progress that is being made or the things that we can be thankful for. We thought we’d take today to list some things that we’re incredibly grateful for this summer.

1. Access to Potable Water: This summer, Postconsumers has been focusing on raising attention about peak water and the global water shortage. As we’ve pointed out, it’s easy to forget that in many parts of the world, water itself is an endangered resource. We’re thankful that we have access to water every day.

2. People Who Lead By Example: From those who drill down to live with a hundred items or less to those how learn how to reduce their consumer budget by 10% a month, we’re thankful for everybody who’s actively making changes to move beyond the consumer machine and learning to find satisfaction in daily living.

3. The Internet: We may tell you to consider a media diet and spending less time online in general, and that is important. But it’s also true that the internet is a valuable source of information about consumerism, climate and more. It’s also how we find and stay in touch with other Postconsumers!

4. Trees: We dedicated an entire Pinterest board to trees! That’s how much we love them – and this is the time of year when the greatest number of people can enjoy the greatest number of trees!

5. Organizations That Fight For Change: The power resides in numbers, and that’s why organizations like 350.org and the World Wildlife Fund are so very important and we’re so very thankful for the work that they do. We need as many battalions in the fight to change the status quo and direction as possible.

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Who Was the Most Environmentally Friendly US President?

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Eco Friendly US PresidentsHappy Presidents’ Day! No matter what you think of Barack Obama, it’s somewhat undeniable that his environmental record as President of the United States hasn’t been much worth writing home about so far. That got us wondering what the most environmentally-friendly presidents in U.S. history were. We thought a good use of Presidents’ Day would be to take a look at the best environmentally-focused presidential administrations and then try to channel all of our energy to see some of that green-focus make its way to the White House and their combatants.

Jimmy Carter (1977-1981)

He may have been a one-termer, but he used that term to do a lot of good for the planet. Carter didn’t just sign environmental laws into being, he actively lobbied for them. In the first year of his administration, the Department of Energy was created and the Soil and Water Conservation Act was passed (as was the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act). He also helped to advance clean air standards with amendments to the Clean Air Act. That list isn’t long enough? It was also during his administration that the National Energy Act, the Antarctic Conservation Act, the Endangered American Wilderness Act and the Alaskan National Interest Lands Conservation Act all passed!

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Thinking About the Environmental Implications of the 2012 Election

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Post Election 2012 Environmental IssuesIt may seem as though it was months ago that the 2012 presidential election ended. Let’s be honest, the entire campaign was so painful for some that they’d like to banish it from their minds as quickly as possible. But the fact is that the election just ended, and four more years of President Obama means that we have some idea of what we can expect in terms of green energy and climate change policy. But is the picture as rosy as it may seem? Let’s take a quick look at a few realities.

Reality Number One: Obama Was the Better Choice for Environmental Concerns

If clean energy, climate change or environmental policy was your single-issue voting concern, then it’s true that your choice was clear. Why is that? Because to care about environmental policy, you have to begin by admitting that climate change is in fact happening. Unfortunately, only one political party has embraced climate change as a reality and attempted to craft policy around it. We’re going to avoid going so far as to say that the Republican party has decided to not believe in science, but the truth is that their statements on climate change just aren’t backed up by facts. So, yes, it’s unquestionable that for people who care about environmental policy and issues, Obama was the better choice.

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Postconsumers Roundup Week of January 7, 2013

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Did you miss out on anything on the Postconsumers website or our social media channels this week? If so, we summed it up for you here.

Favorite Quote of the Week

Our favorite quote of the week was from Kurt Vonnegut, on wrecking the planet. It was so popular on Facebook that almost 100 people liked and shared it!

Kurt Vonnegut on Wrecking the Planet

 

Featured Article of the Week

Our article this week was inspired to help with one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions – writing and journal-writing more. We gave advice on how to reduce your carbon footprint by keeping an eco-journal. Read up on how you or somebody you care about can make this happen in your life.

Our Second Favorite Quote of the Week

In a close tie, our second favorite quote of the week was from William S. Burroughs on demanding an explanation from the manager of Planet Earth.

William S. Burrough Quote on Planet Earth

 

Our Favorite Facebook Page Status Update

We’re just now finally starting to adjust to the fact that it’s January of 2013. This quote made us feel better about what is often a challenging month!

“To read a poem in January is as lovely as to go for a walk in June.” Jean-Paul Sartre

Our Featured Pin Board

All through January we’ll be adding pins to our New Year’s Resolutions and Inspirations Pin Board. Get inspired by taking a look at it here. 

Our Favorite Tweet of the Week

Our favorite tweet this week was from Heidi Unplugged in response to our tweet: This one may be hard! In 2013, make a resolution to spend less time tethered to your cell phone. http://dld.bz/ahyrK

Heidi Unplugged tweeted:

Yes! I’m traveling for a year, and my smart phone was stolen. Thought I might die. Haven’t replaced it, and am faring well!

There’s so much planned for Postconsumers.com this year! Be sure to check our blog, Facebook page, Twitter account, Pinterest account or Instagram account regularly for updates!

Should Your Chicken Sandwich be a Political Statement?

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Should a chicken sandwich be a political statement? Let us be very clear before we begin this: We are not here to judge what you may or may not think of gay marriage, of Chick-Fil-A or of the limits or lack of that should be applied to the First Amendment. That debate has played itself out on social media, mainstream media and in in-person conversation in a way that we hope will not be repeated any time soon. What we would like to talk about, however, is this statement that kept getting made as the Chick-Fil-A debate escalated into a two-week media frenzy.

“Does EVERYTHING that I do need to be politicized? Does my food NEED to be a political statement? Can’t I just have a chicken sandwich without it meaning something?

Well, honestly, no. And that’s not a bad thing.

We get it. People don’t want every moment of their lives to be a statement on their moral or political beliefs. That’s great. But here’s a hard fact: the dollars that you spend make a bigger political statement than any vote that you will ever cast. In many ways, the dollars that you spend play a far bigger role in determining who sits in office and legislates than your individual vote ever will – and yes, that is heartbreakingly sad. But more importantly, your money determines the media messages that are delivered via advertising, and those media messages strongly shape the opinions of the entire nation.

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New Film “The Queen of Versailles” is Royal Stomachache

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As committed as I am to not being judgmental when it comes to addictive consumerism in America, I nearly barfed at the screening of the new documentary, “The Queen of Versailles.” My mistake was assuming that the tribulation of David and Jacqueline Siegel in trying to build the largest single-family home in the U.S. (90,000 sq.ft. and named for the French palace) would cause a shift in their thinking after the 2008 economic collapse. It forced a shift in their lifestyle but not in their thinking, making the societal delusion that Postconsumers.com addresses all the more obvious.

 

Here’s proof of the delusion. Although David admits that they should live within their means, they are hell-bent to restore and increase those opulent means as the path to satisfaction. “If I have to live to be 150, that’s what I’ll do to get back on top again.” Both David and Jacqueline blame the bankers, calling them vultures that “got us addicted to cheap money.” They don’t seem to question their constant mission to find more money in order to keep Versailles and other trappings. Read more