On Monday, February 11, at 4:00 p.m., come watch the acclaimed PBS special, titled Affluenza. This second Sustainability Café of the spring 2008 semester will be held in room 204 in the new School of Business building.
Just what is "Affluenza"?
Af-flu-en-za, n. 1. The bloated, sluggish and unfulfilled feeling that results from efforts to keep up with the Joneses. 2. An epidemic of stress, overwork, waste, and indebtedness caused by dogged pursuit of the American Dream. 3. An unsustainable addiction to economic growth. 4. A television program that could change your life.
Affluenza, hosted by National Public Radio commentator Scott Simon, explores the high social and environmental costs of materialism and overconsumption. Through revealing personal stories, expert commentary, hilarious old film clips, dramatized vignettes, and "anti-commercial" breaks, Affluenza examines the high cost of achieving the most extravagant lifestyle the world has ever seen.
Last year Americans, who make up only five percent of the world's population, used nearly a third of its resources and produced almost half of its hazardous waste. Add overwork, personal stress, the erosion of family and community, skyrocketing debt, and the growing gap between rich and poor, and it's easy to understand why some people say that the American Dream is no bargain. Many are opting out of the consumer chase, redefining the Dream, and making "voluntary simplicity" one of the top 10 trends of the '90s.
"Teachable edibles" -- seasonal, organic, and/or local foods -- will be provided. Please bring your reusable mug and fill up at the drinking fountain or provide your beverage of choice.
Drink in a new way to think in the Sustainability Café.