Where did you go on holiday? Shopping.

June 21, 2008 at 1:15 am | Posted in Consumerism, Economics, Environment, Shopping, Tourism, Windsor | Leave a comment
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Del Vecchio also worked out that if you want to sell goods globally, you can’t sell to adults who belong to distinct cultures. But children are the same everywhere, and if you get adults to behave like children, you can sell the same products to any generation, anywhere.

Hyper-consumerism is a major contributor to environmental problems, yet so-called green marketers are as guilty as your average marketing man. “Don’t fool yourself,” warns Barber. “Green consumerism is still consuming. The simplest way to go green is not to consume, or to consume less, but these people want you to consume their way, because if you stop consuming they don’t make any money.”

~ Gene del Vecchio, merchandising guru quoted in Benjamin Barber’s new book Consumed, which sounds like a worthwhile read on hyper-consumption.

There’s more on this in The Independent Green Living article Think you love shopping? It’s the marketing scam of the century on 19 June 2008.

Here in Windsor, we have a window on the world that is unique.  With many more visitors per annum than residents, and (I am guessing) more wonderful opportunities per square mile than many places on Earth, it is intriguing to reflect on how people choose to spend their time.  This week has been busy, with Garter Day on Monday and Royal Ascot since then, but even on a regular week the town is buzzing with activity.  As a resident, I must admit, it is easy to take the world’s best, right on our doorstep, for granted.

Needless to say, life in this most Royal of English towns, is in many ways just like it is in the rest of Britain:

  • In The Body Shop, when I refuse the offer of my third canvas bag for £3 because I already have plenty, the shop assistants try a little harder.  A portion of the sum, I am told, helps support poor people in developing countries.  Furthermore, to thank me for helping them, the bag contains suprise goodies (which I don’t need).  Perhaps I am heartless to refuse a golden opportunity to help people in need by buying things I don’t need?  Should I feel guilty that I have not contributed a smidgen towards their well-being?  No.
  • When I am “wasting time on the computer” instead of wasting time and money shopping, or wasting time watching TV, my choice of pastime is considered cool by some, though quirky or even bizarre by others.
  • When I tell the Vodafone salesman that I need a replacement phone—preferably identical, but certainly with the same functionality as my old one (before it failed)—he treats me like a young girl.  He gleefully suggests I choose (!), instead, the newest pink glitter model “because all the celebrities have this style now”.  After searching the display racks, I come away with the only old-fashioned grey one left in the store (from the hidden dark corner of stock-fallen-from-grace), and a wry tale with which to entertain old friends.

However, there are major differences …

Here in Windsor, we are surrounded by beautiful, open English countryside which includes Crown Estate lands, Windsor Great Park, and riverside walks along the Thames Path.  All are easily accessible and free of charge.  There is nowhere else like this town and its environs in the entire world!

We also have the wonders of the world’s most romantic, spectacular Royal Residence—Windsor Castle.  You have to pay a worthy sum to enter, though there are exceptions to that rule: as a resident of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead you can enter free using your Advantage card, and there is no admission charge to attend services of worship in St. George’s Chapel.

So, what do many British visitors do in Windsor instead of paying to visit a world-class site of Royal heritage and enjoying our glorious countryside?  Why—go shopping, of course!  They don’t seem to know, or care, what they are missing …

Very sad 😦

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