Simple living in a complex time – is a return to frugality the key to happiness?
William Isdale speaks with Emrys Westacott about how living simply can bring happiness in an increasingly complex world.
Closed on November 24.
On Black Friday, November 24, outdoor retailer REI will close its stores and urge customers to #OptOutside. But a historian calls this popular campaign light green environmentalism at best.
“That strange desire to spend money we don’t have to buy things we don’t need.”
A new book about what we consume and what it is doing to us raises lots of good points, but lacks a little on the ‘what is to be done’ question.
One happy customer.
EPA-EFE/Koen van Weel
Why do so many people queue overnight (or longer) for an over-priced, at best incrementally-changed gadget?
Our behaviour is far more selfish than we might like to believe.
What if you had somewhere quick and easy to put food waste, instead of being blamed for wasting it?
New research shows most people try to shop and cook carefully – the real problem with food waste is infrastructure.
The infamous 1994 Wonderbra advert featuring Czech model Eva Herzigova.
The old adage that 'sex sells' is past its sell-by date, as consumers now sport a more socially-conscious mindset.
Firms like Apple inspire their customers to evangelize for their products.
(AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
Firms like Apple are known to inspire cult-like devotion among consumers. But it's often less about the quality of the product and more about the emotional connection they create with their customers.
A prototype Amazon delivery drone.
Amazon.com and others are eager to fill the skies with drones delivering packages at all hours. Convenient, yes, but it could transform – and not in a good way – our ability to make informed choices.
oneinchpunch / Shutterstock.com
The Victorians had some interesting solutions to the problem of telling children where our stuff comes from.
A family catches Mardi Gras beads during the Krewe of Thoth parade down St. Charles Avenue in 2000.
Each Mardi Gras, 25 million pounds of beads hit the streets of New Orleans. One researcher went to the Chinese factories that make them – and spoke to the workers who believe the beads will be given to royalty.
Still marching …
Gareth Fuller PA Wire/PA Images
You may not be free but buying lots of stuff can create the illusion that you are.
Which objects would you choose to tell the story of your life?
Back in 1663, it was all about staff getting the day off, now it's all about boosting the coffers of the major stores.
Stores are engaged in an arms race to make online shopping less of an impersonal chore.
Modesty in your spending (and half an eye on the future) could make you very cheerful indeed.
REI's 'Opt Outside' campaign makes a virtue of shunning Black Friday and hiking instead of shopping. But while outdoor retailers preach sustainability, they still fuel our consuming habits.
Viral marketing in the making.
John Lewis' Christmas ad is highly anticipated and guaranteed to get Britain spending.
People are buying more and more things. But does that make them more contented?
Michal Jastrzebski / shutterstock.com
As a remedy to rampant consumerism and the throwaway culture of fast-fashion, a few clothing brands actively encourage their customers to buy less.