This week, as I was preparing my section of the reading summaries for next week, I was looking over the article, "Cuties in Japan," by Sharon Kinsella in the class reader. I noticed her idea about "cute consumption" and found that what she is saying about this topic, is very common with people today. Kinsella talks about how cute consumption encouraged people to purchase goods in order to keep up with "cute/latest" fashion. Since consumption is unlimited, people don’t feel like they need to stop buying things if they want it. I realized that I, as well as many other people, are like this today. The idea of all these different "cute" topics by Kinsella doesn’t just exist in Japan; it exists everywhere! Everywhere people have a limitless supply of "cute" fashion items they are able to purchase practically anytime they want. This ranges from cute cell phone accesories to stylish clothes. I think that if people were more limited to items they were allowed to purchase, it would cut down and help the compact challenge out more and people would be saving money and they would be able to wear the clothes they bought before, more often. I find that sometimes I buy a lot of clothes and I wear them a couple times, then buy more clothes, and wear them a couple times, and the cycle continues. If I were to limit myself from buying things through the compact challenge, not only could I save tons of money, but also I would be able to start wearing the clothes I buy more often. I decided that for this week for my compact challenge, although Kinsella says that consumption is unlimited, I would limit myself to the things I buy. Last week I decided I would try not to go shopping either, but for this week, I decided that for necessities [bathroom stuff, food, etc] I would limit myself to the things I buy. I am going to find the cheapest brands, cook more food instead of by food, and anything else I can do to limit the things I buy to a minimum.
As I was getting ready for our ASA class on Tuesday, I went to the bathroom in Olson right before. I was thinking about the compact challenge because I thought we would probably discuss it in some way and I wanted to be prepared in case I was called on. I was thinking about how I was going to minimize my purchases, when as I was reaching for paper towels, I saw—a STICKER! On this sticker, it said, "These Come From Trees." At first, my reaction was, "OH COOL! A STICKER!!!" However, as I looked more closely, I realized this sticker was put up in hopes of people using less paper towels when washing their hands. However, I realized that by just use less paper towel doesn’t exactly make me more "green." I needed to do more than that. I realized that I use an excessive amount of paper towel. Totally unnecessary because I could probably use less. However, the reason why I don’t is because I can’t stand the feeling of wet hands when I leave the bathroom, and therefore, I use a lot of paper towel so that I can have super dry hands. However, I realized that I can still get dry hands with less paper towel because I noticed after drying my hands, there is still a lot of dry spots on the paper towel, and therefore, I don’t actually need to be using so much. I decided that in addition to minimizing purchases, I would attempt to use less paper towels so that I wouldn’t be wasting the paper towels. Either that or I would start bringing my own towel in my backpack so I could dry my hands completely without wasting any paper towels at all. When I got home, I looked up where the sticker had come from. I learned about how the sticker came to be and how people came up with the idea for it. If you’d like to learn more about it as well, click here. Basically, the person who came up with this idea, started the stickers, because they noticed that at restaurants, people get a large stack of napkins for their table so that they don’t have to get up later on for more. However, if they don’t use the whole stack [as most people don’t] they end up throwing it away. It becomes very wasteful. People saw this and started making these stickers in hopes of saving more trees.
I hope that this week I am able to achieve my goals for the compact challenge at least partially. Even though it may be hard to limit my necessities, I am at least hoping that I don’t take advantage of what is available to me [whether it's bathroom necessities or paper towels] and to just be reasonable when shopping for things I really need.
image 1: http://www.giftsanddec.com/articles/images/GDA/20081017/x081013JapanC2410.jpg
image 2: http://thesecomefromtrees.blogspot.com/
Kazanjy, Pete. "These Come From Trees Blog." February 19, 2007. http://thesecomefromtrees.blogspot.com/
Kinsella, Sharon. "Cuties in Japan." Class Reader.