Earth in Renewal: Consumerism vs Meaningful Consumption

March 27, 2019

Earth in Renewal:  Consumerism vs Meaningful Consumption

ALERT: SOAP BOX!!

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Howdy Jewelry Fans! As this month transitions from blustery puffs of Arctic air to the warm moist air of the Gulf being driven across our continent, I'm thinking about my impact on the Earth. I'm considering the ethical sourcing of my stones, my metals, my packaging. These things are important to me, to you, to everyone really. 

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There is no Planet B.

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Yup. That's right, Jewelry Fans, as of March 2019, our species has no redundancy, no planet to escape to should we screw this one up too far past breaking. Deep down, I don't believe humans will break the earth, but I worry we may come closer than we should before we learn that great windmills fastened to the deep sea beds off the bucolic cost of Cape Cod are more important than any bourgeois baron's view. I believe we can develop tidal electric power, where the great churning of the ocean can be harnessed to run my low wattage LED lights. I know we have the ingenuity to see it done, my future grand children are betting on it. And being in a line of work where my products, the jewelry I forge and weave by hand, is not a necessary product to live, like water, food, power, I'd like to believe the adornment of the body is necessary for the soul.

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But how to we balance consumerism with thoughtful consumption? Consumption for our physical needs and for those of the soul?

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These days consumerism is dirty word, the secret addiction of an industrialized world. Bring me my oversized house, my oversized vehicle, my oversized closet!! And bring me my wine. Seriously. I've got be honest with you, Jewelry Fans, I've had an oversized home. Believe me, such large constructs consume more maintenance, more expensive due to the size, and don't get me started on pools!! In the past, I've had a large closet (although my husband's was larger!!) full of clothes I barely wore. Now I share a moderate closet with my husband where half the clothes now reside. And well, I do have a pickup truck , but if we've met on the road, you know I've got work gear to haul around (like a tent, weights, glass display cases (I wish some folks didn't steal), and pretty recycled boxes for your purchases). I'm truly using the smallest, most limited impact products I can to bring my work to you. I've considered flying and renting materials at shows, but there's the carbon impact of that coupled with the mostly soulless booth set up that neither of us would enjoy. 

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Anyway, back to consumerism.

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Being a full time exhibiting artist, one of my primary goals is to connect a human with one of my pieces so the two can have a meaningful, long term relationship. I'm a jewelry match maker. You, my Jewelry Fans, my Patrons, purchase my work for the resonance it has for you. We exchange money, but money is at its foundation (we are not going into the devaluation of currency and the time value of money in today's economy-- we are not!) a universal concept that really means we are exchanging energy, quantified and represented by the human construct of money. I'm pretty sure we are both happy about it. Our exchange is an expression of consumption.

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But in the last couple of years, I've heard folks say that they reject consumerism and therefore CANNOT make a purchase.

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Phoey. If you don't like my work, aren't interested in an exchange of energy, that's one thing, but please do not hide behind a blanket statement that any purchase of goods is a complete breakdown in the social fabric of our times and that in an effort to be pure of heart, you purchase nothing. Ever. Really?

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Well. Can I be honest for a second?

Too bad, I'm going to be honest anyway.

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Purchasing from an artist is the opposite of consumerism. In fact, it is meaningful consumption. What I'm offering you, Jewelry Fans, is a direct link to the maker, a piece of soul woven into precious metals and the coolest natural, recycled or repurposed stones I can find. They are ethically sourced, created and crafted in the most environmentally friendly environment I can create with the lowest impact products and packaging I can find. I live here too, and there is no Planet B. 

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That's the truth, I'm sticking to it, Jewelry Fans.  So let's crush consumerism and up the ante on meaningful consumption. You may not remember, but each of my woven shapes has a powerful positive meaning. My most popular shape and message is the Shield, which reminds Patrons to Protect their Positivity. You can find more information on Shields here and I'd be honored for you to tell me your shield story by clicking here.

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I'll see you out on the road, Jewelry Fans. And if we don't meet up in person, you can always find me online: Original Sin Jewelry.

 




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