|Waste not, want...|
More prosaically, I'm one of those people brought up in an environment strongly influenced by the lives of my depression era grandparents. People who saved bits of twine, didn't eat out, took things out of other people's garbage before it was (semi) fashionable. I've lived my entire adult life in a sort of haze of horror at the waste around me, a mouthful eaten and the rest thrown away, carelessly bought, still in the box but put on the curb because the moment of enthusiasm has passed, things people need loaded into a dumpster, because it's not worth a busy person's effort to get the things to those people. If you weren't brought up so that you viscerally feel that waste is a horror, it's easy to miss. It's just the way things are done around here, time is money, mindfulness is expensive, it makes some sense. But these things drive me crazy every day. I've always arrayed my life against them personally, but feel helpless against the larger tide.
|Fallen apples rotting at a U-pick place in western NJ.|
But I was also brought up to believe that what you feel is less important than the practical consequences of what you do. We're still trying to live in the moment, to be blind to the damage we do while just trying to get by, and to what is done in our name, by poorer people somewhere else, also just trying to get by. But the consequences of that waste are getting harder to ignore, we dimly see the time ahead when we cannot ignore them. Habits of a life time are hard to change, both personally, and in systems that encourage perverse behavior on a massive scale, but ultimately there are no other choices but slide to the bottom or start climbing. So, do you really need to buy that? How much effort is it to go on freecycle or craigslist, and give that other thing away now, rather than throw it out the next time you move? Do you need any of the material things you think you do? Maybe we can change before it's too late.