Environment

Do I Need This? New Documentary Questions Consumerism

We’re targeted by more than 1,500 commercial messages each day, so the question we should be asking ourselves before buying is: do I need this?

posted on 05/14/2012
Simone Preuss
Scribol Staff

Toy store aislePhoto: orchidgalore

How many toys, pairs of shoes and clothes do we really need? How many toiletries? And how many gadgets? If the constant stream of ads that bombard us on a daily basis is anything to go by, it’s a case of more and more – and of the latest and greatest, too. Just shop, shop, shop, and make the manufacturers and outlets happy!

But what happens to all our stuff over the years? Often, items lie discarded in the back of a closet before they get thrown out, and a lot of the time they’re just left, never to rot. Think of this: any piece of plastic that has ever been produced is still on this Earth. A scary thought!

In the face of such wastage, the only measure that’s better than recycling is nipping the initial purchase that satisfies us in the bud. In a new documentary, Northern California Emmy-winning filmmaker Kate Schermerhorn looks at the disproportionate amount of possessions we buy – not to mention the knock-on effects of such excessive consumerism – and asks us to ponder the question that forms the title of the film: Do I Need This?

Read more about the doc here, where you can also pledge your support. Schermerhorn is trying to raise money for the project – with only a few more days to go until Saturday, May 19, the date on which she’ll learn whether or not the project gets the green light for funding.

Simone Preuss
Scribol Staff