Demand and consequences
As consumers demand cheaper clothing and other goods, manufacturing is spending less to make them, while the quality inevitably suffers. While some stuff can be recycled, often it ends up in landfills.
At Michigan State University, students leave so many packages of unopened food and toiletries behind, that the university started a program to get students to donate when they move out.
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Before the internet, we had to set time aside to walk and browse a physical store, which was only open for a certain number of hours.
Now, it has become effortless to buy things online from anywhere, anytime and for a very good price. We do it without a second thought. And in the process, we are accumulating a lot of stuff.
Kipple, a phrase coined fifty years ago, refers to "useless objects" that accumulate in a house.
Except, our modern-day "Kipple" does not just multiply by itself, we grow it ourselves and buying more of it, because we can.
Not everyone is part of this hoarding culture. Some people can't or don't shop online because they can't make ends meet or because they don't have credit cards. Some people are part of the zero-waste movement.
According to research, we get a dopamine surge from buying stuff that causes us to want more and more.
Delayed gratification when the order arrives a few days later also makes is more physiologically rewarding than shopping in stores.
Some online shops have made it especially easy to shop with a one-click buying process. Most major retailers offer free shipping, and only one in ten consumers return stuff they've bought online.
Americans are also taking up more space with all the stuff they are amassing. Self-storage units are rapidly increasing too.
Cheaper clothes usually mean cheaper material and bad resistance. But quality doesn’t have to be expensive. You can find secondhand quality clothing items in special stores or online.
Just don't use the quality excuse to spend even more on stuff you don’t need.
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