The Day the World Stops Shopping

J.B. MacKinnon, Kaite Stover
Wednesday, July 21, 2021
6:30 pm

The COVID-19 pandemic uncovered a simple truth about our buying habits: We’re capable of reining in our vanity and impulse shopping, our compulsion to keep up with others. We can consume smarter, and less. 

For the sake of our resource-depleted planet, J.B. MacKinnon says we must.  

In a discussion of his new book The Day the World Stops Shopping: How Ending Consumerism Saves the Environment and Ourselves, the award-winning journalist examines the conundrum facing the world today. Humans are burning through the earth’s resources at a rate five times faster than it can regenerate, and efforts to “green” that consumption have thus far fallen short. Yet, our economies demand that we always consume more. What would happen – to the economy, our products, our planet, ourselves – if we scaled back? 

MacKinnon is joined in the public conversation by Kaite Stover, the Library’s director of readers’ services. 

MacKinnon, who lives in Vancouver, Canada, is the author or co-author of five books whose work also has appeared in The New Yorker, National Geographic, the Atlantic, and the Best American Science and Nature Writing anthologies. He is an adjunct professor of journalism at the University of British Columbia. 

Watch his discussion with Stover live online at