Did you get everything you wanted for Christmas? Perhaps even more? Many of us are drowning in all the stuff we buy, and the Boxing Day sales are still going.

But do we really need all this stuff? And where are we going to put it all? Well, there’s always storage space for hire, and lots of it – thousands of facilities around the country.

Australians spend an average of $163 per person each month to store their belongings and, tellingly, around a quarter of customers can’t remember what is actually in their storage unit. And 13% use these facilities to hide their purchases from others.

These are symptoms of the overconsumption that’s doing increasing harm to the planet. Unfortunately, as Louise Grimmer and her colleagues observe, the Earth does not have an off-site storage option. Curbing our desire to consume has to be the solution.

John Watson

Cities Editor and Deputy Energy + Environment Editor

Australians pay $163 a month on average to store all the stuff we buy – how can we stop overconsuming?

Louise Grimmer, University of Tasmania; Gary Mortimer, Queensland University of Technology; Martin Grimmer, University of Tasmania

Australians buy so much stuff that they have run out of space in their homes for it all, so storage businesses are booming.

Micro-aggressions are repeated acts that send women backwards. Here’s how micro-accommodations can fight back

Rosalind Dixon, UNSW Sydney

Micro-accomodations are acts that seem small to those making them, but if repeated can have much larger positive consequences for those they target.

Radicalism, feminism and family puzzles: why Wilkie Collins is so much more than a mystery writer

Stephen Knight, The University of Melbourne

He is most famous for The Woman in White, but with their intriguing female characters and investigation of social issues, it’s time to delve into Wilkie Collins’ other novels.

The spectacle of anonymity: how the mask became a way for celebrities to control their image

Laini Burton, Griffith University

For the celebrity, the mask has become a way of self-presentation and branding. It offers a safe, psychological space promoting free expression.

Kids driving you crazy? Try these science-backed anger management tips for parents

Alina Morawska, The University of Queensland

The best way to manage anger is to try to reduce the likelihood that these situations will arise. But even so, having a plan for what can you do when anger strikes is important.

Are black holes time machines? Yes, but there’s a catch

Sam Baron, Australian Catholic University

Black holes could take us to the future, and maybe even the past. The hard part would be surviving the trip.

Wahine of the waves: how women broke down the boys’ club barriers to surf lifesaving in NZ

Katie Pickles, University of Canterbury

For a long time, surf lifesaving was a bastion of masculine ego and pride – until some tenacious and talented women turned the tide.

The ‘forgettables’: 5 Australian prime ministers you may not know much about

Joshua Black, Australian National University

While some prime ministers loom large in the public imagination, others are largely forgotten. Why were they so unremarkable- and is that fair?


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