Consume less; create more

I have been thinking a lot recently about consuming less. Not so much trying to eat less (although less coffee and sugar would definitely be a good thing) but being less of a consumer – rethinking whether I really need what I buy and why I buy it. At the same time, I have been rediscovering my ability to create and I wonder more and more if they are opposites of each other.

Handmade tortoise toy from old shirt

Today I spent an hour making ‘Stripes’ the tortoise out of an old shirt with my 4-year-old. It has not left her side since. For her, an item’s value is not about cost but about worth. And I think she’s got it right.

Obviously I can’t make everything I need (or would like), even if I could make more. So what about when I do buy things? We’ve been persuaded by our friends at Wrapped in Newspaper that the food we choose to buy matters and love getting our locally-grown veg delivered. For interiors, this post by Fenton Art + Design makes a good case for buying home-grown products. The thought of paying sixty-four pounds for a cushion makes me feel as queasy as the next person but buying less, better quality and more local products seems like a good plan for individuals, communities and the planet.

So, like slow food, is the idea of slow design forging a path? I hope so.

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