Need some anti-consumerism inspiration?  Check out this video where we’re urged to sell our crap, pay your debt, and do what you love. 

Quite often, when I’m doing something in the kitchen.  Or perhaps editing images for the blog.  Or anything else that means I can focus on two things at the same time, then I listen to TED talks while I work.  It’s a good way to listen, learn, and be inspired.  Especially when it feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day!


There’s this one anti-consumerism TED talk that I keep coming back to again and again.  It’s by Adam Baker.  In it, Adam shares his powerful and inspiring personal account of how he and his wife found “freedom” by ditching consumerism.   

Adam and his wife sold most of their possessions, defying the ‘status quo’ of how people often perceive success.  In the process, they paid off their $18,000 consumer credit and student debts. They also restructured their lives to minimise debt and get the most out of life.  Instead of consumerism, they now focus on experiences and living in the moment instead of relying on possessions to make them happy.

Adam’s key point of the whole twenty-minute talk is so succinct it hurts.  Put simply it’s “sell your crap, pay your debt, do what you love“.

adam baker man vs debt - sell your crap, pay your debt, do what you love

One of the parts of the talk where I find myself nodding furiously is when Adam quotes Nigel Marsh (speaker of another great TED talk).  Here he says “There are thousands and thousands of people out there leading lives of quiet, screaming desperation.  Where they work long, hard hours at jobs they hate to enable them to buy things they don’t need to impress people they don’t like.”

Another great moment is when Adam says “if you don’t answer this question [what does freedom mean to me] then there is a corporation, company or product that is happy to answer it for you”.

While the main focus of Adam’s talk is debt reduction, I think there are some very very strong parallels with sustainable living.  Learning to be happy living with less and rejecting consumerim is definitely key.  Therefore, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the video – it’s incredibly engaging:

Sell Your Crap, Pay Your Debt by Adam Baker

If you can’t see the video, you can watch it here.


 ps: the gist of the talk reminded me of the late comedian Bill Hicks.  I could watch his DVDs time and time again and never get bored!

ps: more anti-consumerism inspiration here.

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