“The world has had its fill of things”.
These are the words sustainability expert, Chris Goodall, uses as he explains his hypothesis of ‘peak stuff’. He believes that as advanced economies, our need for things extracted from the planet is continuing to fall. The cause of this is two fold: firstly that we’re manufacturing and using goods more efficiently with more renewable energies, and secondly because there is a widespread change in consumer choice.
The change we’re seeing, states Goodall, is that once households attain a certain level of wealth, function and comfort, they’re not continuing to buy more ‘stuff’. The days of buying newer, bigger and trendier things as an expression of wealth and status are dwindling in a move to live more simply with less.
Today there are things we no longer need to own. Thanks to advances in technology and innovation, we can share. Where a new or expensive car may have been a symbol of status twenty years ago, now we Uber.
So how will wealth and status be expressed as our addiction to ‘stuffocation’ declines?
Goodall believes we will switch to ‘experientialism’, and that people will start collecting memories instead of the newest trends and products. We’re already seeing signs of this over social media platforms. Instead of photos showing our latest purchases, we’re showing they world what we’re doing instead.
So, in support of less ‘stuffocation’, here’s 5 ways we’ll be embracing experientialism this holiday season…
Gift a pamper experience.
Make a voucher book including promises of massages, breakfasts in bed (preferably on some great cotton sheets!) or lazy nights in with a 12-month expiry date. And then… follow through with them!
Book a class with your loved ones.
Embrace time together by booking something you can do as a group - from a cooking class to a sailing lesson or even a photography workshop.
Take time out to be tourists in your town together.
Explore new places in your city from; ghost tours to guided walks, scouting for street art, or finding secret parks and gardens.
Gift a membership.
To things like yoga, meditation or something that your loved one is into… bird watching, hiking groups, national parks passes, art associations and writing groups often require annual fees.
And if buying physical gifts still holds a special place in your heart, why not try ditching the traditional paper wrapping and use one of these reusable ‘guilt-free’ gift wraps from Eco Chici instead?