Sunday, March 18, 2007

Putting Trash To Work

Ran into this old news story on TOI about the enticement used by malls in Pune to lure shoppers. Trade the trash gathering dust in your home for shopping coupons. This is like a perpetual motion machine, shopping propelling yet more shopping - you just have to start the event in motion and the rest takes care of itself. Since controlling consumerism is not too realistic, this is a good way to recycle the excesseses of consumption.

The model seems highly likely to work in America where the average household is fighting a losing battle against growing piles of "stuff" no one needs. Community colleges offer courses on clutter management. While emptying the contents of an average self-storage unit can fuel a whole lot of shopping by way of junk redeemed for coupons, retail bussinesses and credit card companies would rather shoppers spent money than barter old goods for new. Thanks to eBay, closets do pay for themseleves if they carry a bunch of designer and limited edition labels.


ggop said...

Thanks for the slate article. It was fascinating. About the Pune Big Bazaar store, I'm curious to know what do they do with the junk. I can only hope they responsibly recycle/dismantle the parts of electronic goods. Somehow I doubt it will be among their priorities.

Heartcrossings said...

ggop - I'm sure there is some form of recycling in place though it would be far from "responsible" :)