Keep Calm and Unsubscribe

What would having less be worth?

What if, every month, instead of having something sent — you had something taken away?

How much would you spend to receive a bin in the mail every month that you fill up with things and leave on your doorstep to be taken away? So you have one less box-full of stuff. Every month. Would you do it? Could you do it? Could you do with less? Would you be willing to let go of the things you don’t need, don’t really want, don’t have any use for, don’t do anything with, take up space, take up part of your brain.. ?

There’s been an explosion of subscription services: razors, cookies, menswear, jerky, makeup, socks, ad nauseum. How many of those things actually get put to use and how many sent back? How many of them end up in junk pile at home or in a landfill? Are we so wealthy, as a people, that we’re willing to continuously turn our resources into goods which do only one thing: accumulate? Is it possible to arrive at some stable amount of goods we own, at any point in our lives, such that the amount we acquire is matched by the amount we give away? What impact would that have on our mental and physical lives?

What would having less be worth?

Maybe we need unsubscription services — removal, donation, reduction, reuse, and recycling as a service. Creating negative space as a positive value proposition.

Could there be a business model there? Would you be able to charge enough and would the tax write-offs and pittance made from donations, recycling, reuse or resale be enough such that the overhead of running the business would be covered? Could you turn a profit? Could it survive as a non-profit or a B corp? Doubtful, but an interesting mental exercise.

Originally published at