The Irony of the Consumer Culture

I pride myself in lowering consumption every single day.  So to my surprise along comes an email like this;

“Hi Gavin,

Love your work on The Greening of Gavin! And I wanted to personally invite you to be one of the first Advisors on ShopSquad, a free shopping advice website where shoppers and your readers can ask Advisors (i.e. you!) for advice.
If you recommend something that is purchased, from appliances to clothing to electronics to sporting goods, you get a percentage of the sale. You’re already sharing your expertise through your blog, so why not earn more money for it?
We think your readers would love the chance to get one-on-one advice from you, and ShopSquad is a great platform for you to monetize all your hard work. We’ve built several awesome tools for bloggers, including a referral program in which you can earn $5 for each of your readers who signs up.
Read our great press coverage or learn how ShopSquad works. When you’re ready, sign up free at
Feel free to ask me any questions:

Thanks Joycie!  Once upon a time, I would have ignored the email, but today it was just too good an opportunity to not pass comment on. 

So here goes.  Please dear readers, don’t be fooled by the simple, alluring, and siren like message above.  It is designed to appeal to your sense of greed and artificial desires and wants.  I will not be your shopping advisor, not now nor never in the future.

Joycie obviously loves my work (not), and having read my blog from start to finish (not) knows that I abhor the consumer culture and affluenza in its entirety.  So why in Gaia’s name did she send me this email?  To upset me?  Probably not, she and whatever marketing company she works for thinks I am a normal ‘consumer’!  ShopSquad sounds like just another marketing ploy to increase sales for some multinational selling tat that nobody needs, with a view to record profits and draining the planets finite resources!  Something that does not make me happy.  Sustainable living makes me happy.  Here is why.

The last five years whilst on our journey towards a more sustainable lifestyle, we have never been happier. By discarding materialistic habits, and living a simpler life, we have found the bountiful happiness that eluded us for many, many years. It was in front of our faces all along. It was within us and all around us. It was in the joy of feeding the chickens every morning. It was in the gift from nature by watching seeds grow in to edible plants. It was in the conversations with family members at the table at dinner time and in the eating of home grown meals. Happiness was in paying down our credit cards, tripling our mortgage payments, and buying needs, not wants, with cash. It was in the beauty of the Sun, the Moon and the air that we breath. It was in the bees that pollinate my fruit and vegetables. It was just amazing. The old me couldn’t see the forest for the trees. Now my family and I can see everything and am truly happy. I give thanks for simple living and the lessons that it has taught me.

Joy and perceived happiness should never be associated with shopping.  ShopSquad be gone!


  1. says

    Thanks for putting this out there. I just received a similar email from this supposed company and could find no conclusive evidence on google of their existence. I have called it spam and moved it there. Cherrie

  2. says

    Here Here!! Way to go Gav….I’ve gotten these kinds of emails before too…I used to look into what they were about, but no more, a waste of my time….If I don’t support it, there is no way I’m going to market it…Each time I get a similar email I now add them to my ‘block sender’ list…Great post and thanks for sharing the email.

  3. says

    I got this exact same email from Joyce, here was my reply to her:

    Hi Joyce,

    I am actually against excessive shopping in an excessively consumerized world. We are all shopping too much, buying too much stuff and rapidly using up the Earth’s resources. What will be left for future generations? Further – the production and shipping of all this stuff is putting so much carbon into the sky, which we really don’t need right now. Climate change is a disaster waiting to happen, and over consumption is a big part of that problem. I want to leave a better world for our children. I want to live a good life with less. I want to simplify, and rely on time with my children and family to bring me happiness, not the next gadget, dress or toy. So I guess you could call me an anti-shopper, and would probably not be the best Advisor for ShopSquad.



  4. says

    So pleased you have declined to be “my shopping advisor” Gavin as I too need nothing. I have no desires or wants anymore, other than repairs to existing things. Shopping holds no allure and my life is more complete now that I have relinquished the idea for things.

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