We live in a “throw away” culture – that wastes much of its precious resources – including people and their potential to contribute. As a society, we are HUGE “consumers”. We not only USE far more energy and manufactured/material goods, let alone food, than we “need” (especially in proportion to our population) but we also produce more unnecessary “waste” than EVER before!
Like factory farming feedlots, our overflowing landfills are one of the major contributors to global warming (from the methane released into the atmosphere) and water/aquifer pollution (through runoff and leachate). MOST of what we throw away and consider (unwanted) trash, garbage, or waste could be (re)used – as (cost effective) renewable resources that would otherwise be lost forever. The same is true with human potential.
Elimination of (real) “waste” is usually a good thing – but television shows and many businesses have made getting rid of things – and people – more important than looking for what (untapped value) they might offer. Just as e-Bay has profited from recognizing that “one man’s garbage is another man’s treasure“, so too, we all really should LOOK for the “hidden” value/uses of anything (and anyone!) we consider “discarding”. We really need to think much more in terms of (unrealized/underused) resource management and really getting the MOST we can out of what we’ve got, rather than being so wasteful that it actually creates more problems than it solves by over-consuming and trying to rid ourselves of the unwanted/unused excess.
Reduce, reuse, repair, restore, renew, refurbish, reclaim, recycle- and reward those who really rethink the value of what you might otherwise (just) throw away.
© 2007 – 2010, Oren Pardes. All rights reserved.