• The Day the World Stops Shopping

  • How Ending Consumerism Saves the Environment and Ourselves
  • By: J.B. MacKinnon
  • Narrated by: Kaleo Griffith
  • Length: 11 hrs and 54 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (40 ratings)

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The Day the World Stops Shopping  By  cover art

The Day the World Stops Shopping

By: J.B. MacKinnon
Narrated by: Kaleo Griffith
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Publisher's Summary

Consuming less is our best strategy for saving the planet - but can we do it? In this thoughtful and surprisingly optimistic book, journalist J. B. MacKinnon investigates how we may achieve a world without shopping.

We can’t stop shopping. And yet we must. This is the consumer dilemma.

The economy says we must always consume more: Even the slightest drop in spending leads to widespread unemployment, bankruptcy, and home foreclosure.

The planet says we consume too much: In America, we burn the Earth’s resources at a rate five times faster than it can regenerate. And despite efforts to “green” our consumption - by recycling, increasing energy efficiency, or using solar power - we have yet to see a decline in global carbon emissions.

Addressing this paradox head-on, acclaimed journalist J. B. MacKinnon asks, What would really happen if we simply stopped shopping? Is there a way to reduce our consumption to Earth-saving levels without triggering economic collapse? At first this question took him around the world, seeking answers from America’s big-box stores to the hunter-gatherer cultures of Namibia to communities in Ecuador that consume at an exactly sustainable rate. Then the thought experiment came shockingly true: The coronavirus brought shopping to a halt, and MacKinnon’s ideas were tested in real time.

Drawing from experts in fields ranging from climate change to economics, MacKinnon investigates how living with less would change our planet, our society, and ourselves. Along the way, he reveals just how much we stand to gain: an investment in our physical and emotional wellness; the pleasure of caring for our possessions; closer relationships with our natural world and one another. Imaginative and inspiring, The Day the World Stops Shopping will embolden you to envision another way.

©2021 J.B. MacKinnon (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about The Day the World Stops Shopping

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Great book!

I appreciate the inclusion of preliminary information about the effects of the 2020 pandemic. The chapter on “participant” vs “consumer” lifestyle distinction was my favorite.

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Inspiring without sounding preachy!

This thought experiment takes you on a journey around the world as it considers what would happen if consumerism suddenly ground to a halt.

It explores:
--Various existing lifestyles across the spectrum of consumption
--Examples of sudden economic collapse, including the COVID-19 pandemic, and their effects on society and the environment
--How business models would have to shift to focus on quality, repairs, sharing, etc.
--How society would have to support shopping limits for enough people to participate
--How individuals would have to replace their roles of consumers with new identities and values, perhaps as actively participating citizens and creators
--The possibility of replacing "physical" consumption with digital consumption, particularly as augmented reality technology advances
--...and much more.

Ideally, of course, transitioning to a post-consumer society would happen in a less jarring way, so as to avoid widespread hardship and chaos.

Unlike some other books on environmental issues, this book left me feeling inspired and motivated, rather than guilty and despairing. I highly recommend it!

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One of the best books I’ve read

I loved that this book touched on so many different topics around consumption. From consumption in various forms (clothing and light use) to economic impact, human psychology, and ecological and environmental consequences. A balanced, informative and well written book

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Worthwhile

Definitely a book we need to discuss if we are really serious about the environment, SDGs, and our own societies’ futures.