Consumerism

This past week of classes had me thinking about a lot of things that I never really thought about in my daily life. I consider myself to be pretty conservative with my money, and for the most part I tend to only buy things I need for myself and my son. However, I still have a great deal of stuff I don’t really need. I have an entire drawer filled with make up that I probably don’t use 50% of. I have a drawer in my room that has several old electronics such as cellphones or disc mans that I should really recycle now that i’m thinking about it. I am sure there are at least ten things in my room that I wouldn’t notice if someone threw them away when I was at school tomorrow. We all have stuff that we don’t really need or use. What’s worse is we certainly all have stuff we didn’t pay the full price for. These classes have me thinking about black Friday. I have gone almost every year, and never once had it occurred to me that the cost of selling electronics and other things for such a low price, is probably greater than I can imagine. On this day, people stock up on stuff that they don’t need for the simple fact that they don’t have to pay for all of it. And now it has me thinking, who does pay for all of it? The amount of material that goes into these products, the labor, the shipping, the environmental damage, all of those costs are externalized when we get our cheap electronics we don’t need. I always go shopping with my sister on black Friday, and it always becomes quite the chore because I have to help her regulate her spending. I remember her sitting on the floor of Walmart, surrounded by more DVDs than I could count, and probably a fourth of those she had seen. She was trying to narrow her selection down to 15 or 20. I just told her to get the ones she would have bought if they weren’t on sale, but leave the rest. It never seems to go down like that though. Another example I have come across is extreme couponers. I remember my friends dad had a girlfriend that was just the worst type of person in more ways than one. She was an extreme couponer and I remember going to her house and seeing boxes and boxes of things she would never be able to manage to eat before the expiration date. I had never seen so many boxes of useless things in my life. But to her she was saving money. Even though she was spending way more than she would’ve had she just bought one box. She also screamed at me one time for drinking only half a can of pop, as if I was the one being wasteful. She didn’t even give me the chance to explain I wasn’t finished with it before she dumped it down the drain. Sometimes coupons can be a complete blessing and are very useful for low income families, but sometimes they are completely abused and instead of people hoarding things they don’t need, they could try donating more instead.

_madeline howard

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