‘Your Money Or Your Life’ is a best seller written by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin. Just found it today and the ideas blew me away. Now I can’t wait to declutter our home and our lives, to give our excess to charity, and to rethink our spending habits so we can save some money. But more, I also really want to get involved in charity and volunteer work.
This is the companion web site: https://www.yourmoneyoryourlife.org/
In reading this book, my eyes were truly opened to the environmentally and politically destructive consequences of our consumption-driven lifestyles. It’s not just the politicians and Executives folks…it’s us too. By using the methods in this book, I manage to get by comfortably while saving 40-50% of my income and there is still plenty of room for improvement… While many of us complain about long working hours, we blow most of our paychecks on superficial material junk and live paycheck to paycheck creating the “need” to continue working those long hours. Domingues refers to this as “the work and spend treadmill”.
A Declaration Of Independence From Overconsumption – By Vicki RobinAn edit of an address given by Vicki Robin, New Road Map Foundation president, at the United Nations on April 6, 1994.We are all consumers. Every human takes sustenance from and returns waste to the environment. But overconsumption means taking more than we can productively use — or more than the environment can sustainably provide. Overconsumption has become our way of life in the United States. We put our faith in “more,” but it’s never enough; we report being no happier now than we were in 1957, when cars were fewer, houses smaller and microwaves, VCRs and personal computers did not even exist. Worse yet, our lifestyle, which threatens our social fabric and the very web of life on which we depend, has become the envy of much of the world. As Robert Muller, retired Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations, says, “The single most important contribution any of us can make to the planet is a return to frugality.”Overconsumption Is A Mounting CatastropheQuantity as well as type of consumption defines the individual’s impact on the environment. With population rising and expectations for more, better and different stuff increasing, humanity is taxing the earth’s life-sustaining systems, its “carrying capacity.” Each overconsumer is responsible; we must face this catastrophe in the making.Overconsumption Is A Catastrophe for Ourselves:Declining quality of life. Our habit of overconsumption enslaves many of us to longer hours at tedious or morally questionable jobs. We say we value relationships over possessions, yet our behavior says the opposite. As we spend less time with our families and communities, we end up with more crime, violence and teen suicides.Overconsumption Is A Catastrophe For Our Country:Economic weakness. Our habit of overconsumption has led to debt, bankruptcy and the lowest savings rate in the industrialized world. We don’t have money to invest in infrastructure, in education, in the future.Personal excess encourages institutional abuses. The more-is-better mentality allows us to tolerate wars over oil, and corporate practices that are wasteful, polluting and unethical. We can’t say “no” to Nintendos for our children or new gadgets for ourselves, so how can we expect our government to say “no” to deficit spending or CEO’s to say “no” to exorbitant salaries?Overconsumption Is A Catastrophe For Humanity:Modeling an unattainable and unsustainable lifestyle to the global community. The earth cannot support everyone in the manner to which Americans have become accustomed. We must find a way to limit our excess and maintain or increase our quality of life while providing the world’s people with our best knowledge and technologies so that they too can enjoy sustainable livelihoods and lifestyles.Overconsumption Is A Catastrophe For The Earth:Environmental destruction. Overconsumption accelerates species extinction, water and air pollution, global warming, and accumulation of toxic waste and garbage.Resource depletion. Overconsumption means we’re using renewable resources faster than nature can restore them. Twenty percent of the groundwater we use each year is not restored. One million acres of cropland are lost to erosion annually. Ninety percent of our northwestern old-growth forests is gone.