Shopping as a substitute for relationships?

Farmer and blogger Sharon Astyk said in a podcast with Krys Boyd (released 10/1/08) was articulating the experiment her family did one year to not buy anything other than food or fuel that the year exposed to her that "shopping is a substitute for relationships." Her point was that if they needed something instead of going to the store they were able to go to their neighbors house and talk with them and seek out the item(s) they might need to borrow.

In addition she said that the average American uses 30 times the amount of resources of the average Kenyan (who on average has 4 kids). Her point is that population issues are nothing compared to the issues of consumption. This is not an excuse of having loads of kids, but sometimes pregnancies happen, so we need to have the ability to deal with these unexpected pregnancies.