Since 2001, UK consumption seems to have fallen in spite of rising economic growth. If true, this ‘decoupling’ of consumption from growth offers hope to a world running low on natural resources. Eating less, buying digital products and re-use may have something to do with this.
It is unlikely, however, that many other countries can follow this path. Better, then, to remind all that economic growth does not lead to happiness. Once this is accepted, we can downsize without getting down in the mouth. We need only ensure those workers reliant on our consumption are safeguarded: even if we pay them to write poetry, it would be better than paying them to produce things we do not truly want or need.
The calorific intake of Britons has been falling for around 40 years.