Waldemart Lord of OVER-consumption (and waste)
250 Million tons of waste are generated annually in the United States of America. Out of this, only about 30% is recycled, leaving approximately 175 MILLION TONS OF WASTE DUMPED INTO LANDFILLS EVERY YEAR!!
A walk through a local “Big Box” store provides some insight into american consumerism. Shelf after shelf of cheap, plastic, STUFF hanging right out in your face, screaming “ME! ME! BUY ME!”. It’s no wonder a simple trip to Walmart to buy a roll of masking tape can easily result in a basket full of items, mostly junk that will ultimately end up in the trash. How do we change our ways before it’s too late? I have one idea that I sincerely hope will be of benefit.
As a consumer I am “consumed” by the idea of “more is better”. And while having more stuff may make me feel better for a moment, more IS NOT better for my environment. From barges of trash floating homeless on the ocean to toxic landfills, I am poisoning my world and deleting my future one piece of plastic at a time!
I recycle as much as possible and I re-use or find new uses for items no longer serving their original purpose, but I need to re-train my brain to want less….
I decided it might be time for some:
- Step 1: Admitted I was powerless over big-box stores, and my plastic consumption had become unmanageable.
- Step 2: Came to believe that “green” knowledge could restore me to sanity.
- Step 3: Became willing to turn my buying habits over to the idea that less REALLY IS more.
- Step 4: Made a searching and fearless personal “trash inventory” of the stuff I throw away.
Okay now, step 4 was really revealing. In one week my household (myself and one 10 yr. old child) accumulated three bags of material for recycling!
Suddenly, all of my ongoing efforts to recycle shrank in comparison to the larger picture of this amount of trash multiplied by 52 weeks.
- Step 5: Admitted to myself, my spirit, and all who read this blog that over-consumption is in my nature.
- Step 6: Was entirely convinced I needed to change the way I “consume” the earth’s resources.
- Step 7: Humbly began to approach reduced consumption as a means to help save my planet from destruction.
- Step 8: Made a list of all the ways I can reduce and reuse.
- Step 9: Began to reduce my unnecessary consumption whenever and wherever possible.
- Step 10: Continued to take “trash inventory” and promptly adjust my consumption as needed.
- Step 11: Sought through research to improve my conscious understanding of eco-friendly principles and meditated for the power to carry them out in my daily life.
- Step 12: Having had a spiritual reality check as a result of these steps, I will try to promote the idea of consumer accountability by setting an example and practicing eco-friendly principles everyday.
Let it begin with me (once more, with feeling!)