Friday Nov. 26 was Buy Nothing Day. I know this because there are numerous posters and banners around the University of Calgary proclaiming it so. On most of the posters is the catchy slogan "Consume less. Live more." Unfortunately, this slogan is a contradiction in terms. Consumption is the fundamental requirement of life. The basic needs of human kind are food, water and air, all of which must be consumed to ensure continued life.
I don't suggest that the slogan means something so drastic as "don't eat, drink or breathe for the whole day," but it implies something comparable. The concern of the proponents of Buy Nothing Day is that we consume too much. Sure, they claim, we need food, water, and air, but do we need microwaves, computers, and cars? The answer to this is yes.
Production of items like refrigerators, microwaves, computers, and cars increase the ease of production or consumption of the essential items food, water, and air. Thus increasing the consumption of refrigerators, microwaves, computers and cars, is to increase the possibility of the continuance of your life.
Just as the production of the first spear aided some caveman millennia ago to kill game better, the production of automobiles and refrigerators aid us in getting food from the grocery store and keeping it fresh until we need it. Every invention, from slingshots to space stations, is for the purpose of ensuring the continuance and enjoyment of your lives.
Anyone who suggests we stop consuming these goods is suggesting we either aid in our own destruction, however minutely, or purposely inhibit any pleasure we can receive from life. For the most part, these amount to the same thing. Next year on Buy Nothing Day, I suggest you buy something. Consume more. Live more.