Ten ways to change the way we live

By Emma John For The Observer , Sunday 6 February 2011


If the West's biggest vice is over-consumption, then it is supported and constantly reinforced by the multi-billion-pound advertising industry: a relentless, wearing system that tends to undermine any hope that we'll feel good about ourselves just the way we are.

In such an atmosphere, it's always going to be hard to create the momentum for ending waste, and for pulling together rather than just thinking about yourself. If only there were "advertising-free zones", calm, clutter-free spaces where we could momentarily escape the pressure of being sold to.

Sounds like a pipe dream? It's already happening. There are now site-specific bans on billboards in four American states - Maine, Vermont, Hawaii and Alaska - with the backing of community-focused policy group the New Rules. Three years ago, São Paolo introduced "The Clean City Law", and the world's fourth-largest city now has a near-complete ban on outdoor advertising, or, as it terms it, "visual pollution". Now there's a new perspective.

For more ideas from the New Rules visit www.newrules.org ; for more on anti-consumerism visit www.adbusters.org