Consumerism and Overconsumption

Consumerism and Overconsumption

Having More by Having Less

On April 11, 2021, we hosted “Having More by Having Less” Climate Forum on Consumerism.  See Presentation Video.

During the summer of 2021, we’re hosting monthly Zoom small-group discussions on “Living Intentionally.”  

For more information, contact

Acquisition and Disposal Hierarchies

What we buy, whether we buy and how we disposed of possessions have immense impacts on the health of our planet.  On each of these pyramids, the least optimal option is at the base and the best option is at the top.



The rate of consuming and over-consumption by the US and other industrialized countries is the #1 cause of the climate crisis, global warming and species extinction.  We have met the enemy and it is us, especially in the US where consumerism and ensuing waste has reached frenzied proportions.  The average American’s carbon footprint is three times that of the French.

Studies have shown that not only is this consumerism destroying the environment, but Americans are more stressed, our happiness index is falling, and it is causing or exacerbating a multitude of health problems.

The purpose of UUCC’s Consumerism & Overconsumption project is to examine our own habits within America’s brand of consumerism, and attempt to identify changes we can make as individuals, as a community and even as a country.   There is a vast amount of literature on the topic, and books like Affluenza are a good place to start.

If you have ideas of how we might approach this pervasive problem or want to be kept in the loop as we proceed, please let us know or join the team by contacting

Meanwhile: Carbon Offsets

The average American annual carbon footprint is over 16MT (metric tons of greenhouse gases).  The world target is 2MT.  Until we find a way to cut our consumption in half or more, we need to offset the damage that our overconsumption is doing.   Carbon Offsets are an inexpensive and effective and in many cases immediate method to sequester carbon.  Please consider buying carbon offsets as an interim step to solving global warming and the climate crisis.

References and Links

Carbon Offset Forum (December 2020)
Whitepaper on Carbon Offsets (May 2019)
Invest Green/Carbon Offset Forum (December 2019)
Carbon Footprint Whitepaper (January 2019)
Affluenza: How Overconsumption Is Killing Us–and How to Fight Back (February 2014)