Friday, November 23, 2007

I'm not the only one who feels this way

...

Click here for article from the San Francisco Chronicle that does a great job of articulating some of the points from my recent rant.

The point is this: the more "stuff" we consume, the more we exhaust the finite resources of our planet, the more we ruin habitat, the bigger mess we leave for future generations.

Have you ever thought about just how many products are on the shelves of the local Target or WalMart or Macy's? Can you picture all that stuff off the shelves and piled in front of the shop? Have you ever considered the raw materials it takes to make all the stuff for sale? Have you ever thought about all the miles all those goods traveled, and how much fuel it took to bring those things to your local store? Have you ever thought about all the plastic and paper that it took to make the wrappings and hang-tags to display those goods? The paper was made of wood pulp, which means destruction of forests, and the plastic is a petroleum product.

When you get those new socks home from the Target, you're going to throw that packaging right into the trash. And if the socks are anything like the past few pairs I've bought, they're not going to last much longer. If you buy new Christmas decorations every year, you're expending resources on something that's meant to be used for a few weeks, and then tossed into the landfill.

And caught in the middle of all of this are the animals whose homes are being chopped down to feed wood into the paper mills, and whose bodies are being drenched in oil spilled by container ships that transport all of these cheap consumer goods to market.

At the biggest buying season of the entire year, do take a moment to consider the hidden costs of your purchases.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Material World" by Peter Menzel 1994

I wonder what the 2007 version of the same families would be?

Ziska

Gothknits said...

Having just liberated myself from retail I can tell you absolute horror stories about waste.

Like the time a vendor bought out a rivals existing stock in all our stores to put their product in that space. What happened to all that paint? Did we donate it to needy schools? NO! We threw it out! I attempted to rescue it but then told if I did I would be fired for stealing.

We threw out so much stuff it was absolutely disgusting. That's one reason I'm attempting to make us more self sufficient.

Anonymous said...

Well said. I will admit to going shopping yesterday. I don't agree with buying things for the sake of buying them, but sometimes you need new clothes and the prices are good. It's not wasteful if it's something you actually need. (I also needed to save some money while doing it!)

I do recycle, though, and drive a teeny tiny car.

I think big companies need to think about their packaging. So much of that is excessive.

Chrissy/Brandy

Anonymous said...

Hey, WWJR stands for "What would Jesus Recycle?"

I think I'll invent a religious group based on recycling, because I really feel morally disgusted when I see such gross waste. Then I can have tax free status, and live high on the hog with my own garden grown veggies, right?

I should have no problem starting this up as a religion, as many people I know ar already "devotees" of recycling and sustainable living.

Good luck to you. We got part time temporary work at a department store in order to pay for our ever-rising fuel oil (thanks bush) and we see such an immensity of plastic and artificial based products that so far come from China, Jordan, Mexico and Indonesia. NOTHING was made in the USA, and I can tell you I have "processed" literally half a million dollars worth of stuff in a single week.

We stayed through a break at work in order to pick the styrofoam out of cradboard boxes, so that the entire mess isn't put into a trash compactor and hauled to a dump. Instead we got rid of teh styrofoam in order to put pure cardboard into the bundler so it could be tied up for recycling. It's not much, but it's a start.

Annalisa

Anonymous said...

By the way, How's Robb?

Anonymous said...

It's called www.freecycle.org
Try some!
Smiles!

Martha said...

Here's a great site to go to to reduce the number of catalogs you receive.

http://www.catalogchoice.org/

The following link is to a group that is committed to saving endangered forests. That includes Canada's boreal forests.

http://www.forestethics.org/index.php

Happy Holidays. Let's all knit our socks. They last for years and years!

xoxo,
Martha

Anonymous said...

I recently caught the biggest fish throwing away clothes at the landfill. Before the trucks arrived at the dumping grounds we intercepted them and allready gave several tons of clothes to needy children in Central America.

Bubba
Peas In A Pod

Anonymous said...

Add to all that oyu have said that a suspected cause of early puberty in children is the plastics that we use in every day life. Try to escape it though, it's VERY difficult!

Tania said...

So sad, I just don't get it.

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