A New Economy
Yurts at Poncha Pass - Colorado Yurt Rentals and Sustainable Building Workshops - Photo of Chris in ground of Earthship

Written by Chris

January 19, 2011

I’m not an economist. I see vague trends of over speculation in the housing market as a source for the housing bubble in the US. I struggle seeing lowering interest rates as a loose connection to people purchasing again. Why are there fewer jobs? Why are employers hiring fewer people as things get better? Why are people buying less?

            I may not have the answers to these questions. What I do see is people changing their motives, goals, and priorities in the way they live. Social media is making it extremely easy and convenient to buy and sell used products, barrow appliances from friends, and exchange a favor for favor. People are couch surfing, ride sharing more often, and communicating easily between each other about their needs. It is 1:47 pm as I write this and already on the Buy/Sell section of “Craigslist” for the Vancouver region, there are some 7,600 posts representing the last 14 odd hours on a Wednesday! We have an emerging economy independent of new production and it’s booming!

            Watching documentaries like “No Impact Man” or “Garbage Warrior” exhibit two brilliant cases in which people trying to be more sustainable, ultimately results in them cutting down their consumption and using a tighter network of friends, services and resources.

            Economists and governments site a downturn, fear, and reservations. I would be fearful too if I bared witness to a less taxed new economy! I see a people more adept to less consumption, more aware of their surroundings, and keener to usher in a sustainable, affordable, and economical way of living. Is it bad for our current economy? Well yes, the economy we presently function under is struggling at best. But there are countries and municipalities out there that rely less on consumerism and new material luxuries and more on basic requirements, services, and exchanges. Farmers markets across both Canada and the States are growing. My hometown of Santa Fe now hosts a farmers market four days a week up from once a week just a few years ago. People are creating their own solutions, helping each other out, and telling each other all about it. This subsequently is resulting in cutting out the movement of money through a taxable system.

Our needs and motivations are changing and it is not only ok, it is a good thing in the scheme of reducing our overall needs for new materials. This reduces our carbon emissions, footprint, and is making us more sustainable across all fronts. If we can observe this emerging economy as the positive it is, we can align our motivations and personal goals to it. It may lead to profits observed less in dollar amounts and more in food accumulation for a day, exchanges of services, and ultimately a stronger local community!

This thought only touches on the issue at hand, could be written as a thesis, and backed up with far more solid facts. It is simply a trend I see daily. I have yet to buy a new couch or dresser, yet I own a wooden dresser and desk. When did you last buy a new couch?

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