TGoG Podcast 091 – Christmas Consumerism

Listen to the Episode Below (00:16:04)

It is about this time of year that I have my annual “consumerism gone wild” rant.

Everywhere you look, the effects of Affluenza are clear for everyone to see.  But what is Affluenza?

Now, Wikipedia defines affluenza as;

affluenza, n. a painful, contagious, socially transmitted condition of overload, debt, anxiety and waste resulting from the dogged pursuit of more.

affluenza, n. 1. The bloated, sluggish and unfulfilled feeling that results from efforts to keep up with the Joneses. 2. An epidemic of stress, overwork, waste and indebtedness caused by the pursuit of the Western Dream. 3. An unsustainable addiction to economic growth.

Christmas ConsumerismNow, wait a minute. There is that economic growth example gets thrown around a lot of late. All forms of government seem to keep telling us that we must stimulate the economy, and increase economic growth. But doesn’t growth mean destroying, sorry, squandering the remaining resources we have left on the planet?  That can’t be a good thing, can it?  More on that in another post though.  Lets get back to the subject of Christmas.

We have lost our way.  It doesn’t need to be like this, but economic growth demands it.

Around this time of year, our consumer culture ramps into high gear, urging to buy the next shiny thing with money that we just don’t have.  So what do we do?  We go into debt by using credit cards, and end up with a big fat debt headache in the new year.

So now you know what Affluenza is, have a listen to the show where I will hopefully convince you that there is another and better way.

Once you have played the entire episode, please leave a comment about what you think of Christmas Consumerism.  I would love to read your thoughts on the matter.

TGoG Podcast 084 – Country Visits the City

Listen to the Episode Below (00:20:18)

It was a brilliant day at the Royal Melbourne Show.  Join me as I walk you through some of the highs and lows as Ben and I saw it.  From the funny and cute farm animals and my backyard display, to the excessive consumerism and advertising.  It had it all.  Some parts made me cringe, others made my heart sing with joy!

What I loved the most was the My Backyard display.  It was as if my very own backyard was transported to the show grounds!  Chooks, worm farms, veggie patches, fruit trees, the works.  A little bit of sustainable living in the city.

Certainly a day to remember.  Have a listen.  I think you will enjoy the show.

My Backyard display

My Backyard display


Very cute piglets

Very cute piglets


Kids with kids

Kids with kids

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Spuds. Why Not!

Spuds Why Not

I love growing my own spuds.  Today, I dug up 2 kg (4 lbs) of volunteer potatoes from my garden.  Yes, volunteers!

These spuds were ones I missed from the last of the summer harvest and grew over winter.  Fantastic and certainly one to put in the lazy gardener category.  Free spuds without any work except to dig them up.

This got me thinking of the last time I was in the supermarket when I saw prepackaged, peeled spuds and carrots ready to roast.

It never ceases to anger me when I see everyday items like this, packaged in the name of so-called convenience, wrapped in layers of plastic, slightly processed, with a token sprig of rosemary packed with it.

Do supermarkets think that consumers really are that lazy that they either don’t know how to peel and chop vegetables, or would rather pay at least four times the price of a couple of spuds with a bit of dirt on them?  Just craziness.  But I suppose some would.

The more sustainable alternative is that you could buy some cheaper spuds, peel them yourself, toss in a little olive oil and roast them.  All the while saving a small fortune in the process.

Or even better still, throw a back of seed spuds in the ground, wait a few months, dig up, wash, and cook.  Saving even more money!

The ultimate method is the one I mentioned at the start of the post.  Do nothing, wait for volunteer spuds to grow, harvest, wash, cook.  Cost = Zero!

Potatoes are one of the easiest vegetables to grow and there are just so many varieties that it boggles the mind.  There is a potato to suit every cooking method.

So do yourself a favour, and grow some spuds today!

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