While I was re-installing my office after the redecoration we did over the holidays I bumped into so much stuff I'm not using anymore ... it's really incredible. Good thing I use almost no paper, but the rarely-used cables and old machinery fills up two boxes (see pic). And this is only what I managed to save from my dear wife's cleaning frenzy. So another good intention for the year is to consume less.

But how do you convince a more or less rational guy like me to start consuming less. Well, the little video at the bottom of this post gave me some good arguments. I had seen it before but Corneel turned me onto the full story again by pointing out this blogpost by Swissmiss. It's worth watching but what I remember from the consumption part is:

1. We are being tricked into consuming by selling us stuff that breaks faster then it should (Planned obsolescence)
> So I will continue to buy less stuff of low quality, buy quality things and keep the longer.

2. We are being fooled into replacing stuff because of fashion (perceived obsolescence)
> I must admit this is a weak point of mine, but here again I intend to buy only high quality stuff that lasts longer. The so-called "stockverkopen" (inventory sales?) are great for this. Buy high end clothing at low prices. It may be dated, but who cares really.

3. Traditional advertising tells us we are losers if we don't consume.
> So I will fight this kind of campaigns as much as possible! And I'm happy to say we have a number of customers at ONE Agency who have legitimate reasons to market to people (Van Gansewinkel, Nuon, ...).

And by the way ... if you look at the film you may think that this is a US thing only. But I wonder why they New Year fireworks were cancelled in Brussels (and not in New York - 1 million people - or Paris), and why all of these people who would have watched the fireworks could 'safely' roam together through the Nieuwstraat, Avenue Louise and the Grand Place. Is our new Belgian government also pushing consumption?

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUeMVt3stAo&rel=1]