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Letters, July 17

Half a life

Half a life. What would half of your life look like? Half as many clothes in half as many closets. Half as big a house, with half as much furniture. Half as many dishes for half the cabinet space. Half as many cars that traveled half as far.

We have too much. You. Me. All of us. Too much.

But if we stopped buying, wouldn’t we destroy our consumer economy? No, I don’t think so. We would change it, but not destroy it. In buying less, we could purchase things crafted by Americans paid a living wage. Instead of buying two pairs of jeans made in foreign sweat factories, we would buy one pair, artisan crafted, here in America.

Going halfsies all at once could be tough. So pick your target. Any target. Just pick one.

The benefits to us and to Mother Nature are astronomical. Consider the energy it takes to make just one shirt, and include the transportation costs from foreign lands. Compare that to the energy costs of a local cotton or wool fabricator, and the costs to transport that shirt from Central Oregon to here. Even if we paid twice as much for that shirt, everyone would prosper.

“Buy less and prosper!” There’s the Madison Avenue slogan.

I thank you. Our children thank you. And our Mother Nature really thanks you.

MaryAnn Shank