Reduce Materialism

As well as promoting wellbeing it is important to counter vested interests that prey on our sense of inadequacy. Rampant advertising can cloud our ability to seek true wellbeing by over-emphasizing the benefits of material consumption and income rather than a healthy work-life balance. The material consumption promoted by advertising is also the primary driver of many of our environmental problems.

Australia should follow the lead of Sweden, Norway and Quebec, where advertising aimed at children under 12 is banned. Codes of conduct can be fine-tuned to crack down on irresponsible and deceptive marketing. Products should not marketed as being able to deliver more than they actually can. Policy initiatives that control advertising will help us move to a more authentic sense of what is in our best wellbeing interests, especially for young children who can't distinguish between reality and marketing fantasies. 

The Wellbeing Party also advocates the adherence to the seven 'Sydney Principles' for reducing the commercial promotion of foods and beverages to children as recommended by the World Obesity Federation.

Governments can also act to provide greater access to cheap leisure activities such as sports centres and arts venues, as well as informal open spaces, parks and walking trails. These activities encourage healthy lifestyles and reduce the dependence on shopping and watching TV for entertainment and help get us off the 'hedonic treadmill'.


More at Video by the Center for a New American Dream Psychologist Tim Kasser discusses how America's culture of consumerism undermines our well-being. When people buy into the ever-present marketing messages that "the good life" is "the goods life," they not only use up Earth's limited resources, but they are less happy and less inclined toward helping others.