How much don't we need?

How much of that which surrounds us is necessary. How many things have we bought that maybe get used once and then are forgotten in some corner of the house gathering dust, the only meaning of their existence being an exchange of money from the convinced to the convincer. We are surrounded by convincers, professionals who through natural charm, charisma, and psychological studies, convince others to give them money - because in the end that is what happens. The object destined to occupy space but forgotten in time, having already served its purpose.

In a time where energy comes with a real cost, not just monetary, but also as regards the future of our planet, we should question all energy consumption that is unnecessary. Guessing, I would say that about 80 percent of energy consumed in industrialised nations is for unnecessary things, however to be able to seriously evaluate such a claim we really need some measure of usefulness. How much don't we need and what is the possible energy footprint of that.

What we need is probably hugely variable, dependent on culture, climate, habits, diet, location (for example urban or country) etc.. However, what we don't need is probably more or less the same for everyone. The idea is to propose a way for cutting excess and useless energy consumption removing all that is unnecessary.

Let's start with big things. A new car every year, or every two years, or even every five years or so, is not necessary. A decent car, well kept should last easily ten years, and probably most will get to twenty. One could counter this viewpoint by saying that the new car has less impact on the environment, through pollution or whatever. Is there some way to calculate the quantitative impact? Let's try.