Nothing is the next big thing

I’m not saying get rid of all you own, but the fad is to downsize. Just don’t give up your couch if you love it! Flickr photo by christopher.woo

Ever since the economy took a nose-dive, people have been scrimping and saving to make it through. In the course of this, an ecological or “green” mindset became popular, and people began to downsize.

You might have heard the phrases “small is the new big” or or “less is more.” Well, there is a new phrase in town: “Nothing is the next big thing.”

I am embracing this phrase all too well: Moving makes me want to donate everything I own. But for most people, it is more than just frustration with what they must step over, push or move just to function in their living spaces. For some, it is about having time for other things, or maybe being a person who uses his or her apartment just to sleep.

Not owning much is super ecological, too. Less garbage, less space to put garbage and more thinking before buying has a huge impact on the environment.

There was a recent article in The Atlantic that called the Y Generation the “Cheapest Generation.” There was a lot of backlash and praise about it, some discovering that our generation isn’t cheap but has different priorities. Others proclaimed that cheap and broke are two separate things.

I think the ideas of the “Cheapest Generation” and “Nothing is the next big thing” go hand in hand: Many young people are poor from student loan debt, don’t want to destroy the earth in the quest for products and are looking for ways to cheaply enjoy life. This usually draws them away from home ownership in the suburbs to city living, where they can be within walking distance of shops, cafes, eateries, music, art and entertainment. Plus, maybe the prospect of owning a home scares them (I seem to be the only one of my friends, though.) And when you live in a city where there is a ton to do, what else do you use the apartment for other than storage, sleep and maybe the occasional meal?

I know this is a gross generalization, but from a lot of blogs, photos and social media sites that I look at every day, and popular TV shows such as “Girls” and websites such as Treehugger, I think this is a safe assessment.

I’m not saying to trash all your stuff and live on your futon, but maybe consider what you have, what you bring into your home, what you give out and what you spend your money on. Then that is green thinking at its finest.

Do you think nothing is the next big thing? Do you live a minimalist lifestyle?

Bethany Fehlinger

Bethany Fehlinger is a journalist in the Design Center at the York Daily Record. She is a graduate of Penn State University and has been a vegetarian and geek for more than six years. Twitter: @Wonder_veggie

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1 Response

  1. September 24, 2012

    […] I write in a recent Smart magazine blog post, the idea of being “green,” frugal and a minimalist has gained a huge amount of […]

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