Over Abundance Imagine saving everything; from pieces of string, tin foil, and old clothing. Fifty years ago not much was being thrown away. In addition, almost everything had a considerably longer life p. According to Joshua Becker he states from his blog “from the moment we are born, we are told to pursue more”. Today, our lives are inundated with advertisements on television, radio, newspaper, magazine, billboard, and websites that encourage us that more is better. As a result, we toil for long hours so that we can buy the biggest homes and fanciest cars, wear the trendiest fashions, and use the coolest technologies.
What led us to this place of having and wanting so much stuff; stuff that we literally do not know what to do with or where to put when we are done with it? What we buy, what we use, what we keep and throw away make up the fabric of our daily lives. A sea of stuff flows in and out with such speed we hardly realize the global impact attached to each and every item we buy. “The process of becoming obsolete; falling into disuse or becoming out of date is also called obsolescence. (Rogers) Compared to fifty years ago our society is better known as a throwaway society; in essence we are never satisfied with what we have and always want more. Craving the latest trends and newest gadgets coming out every season, many people tend to just toss out the old items and purchase new. Common examples of this reckless and selfish behavior include: electronic devices (cell phones, I Pods and computers), clothing (newest fashion trends) and small appliances. In our collective society many people want more of what is new rather than repairing the item.
The current generation of people (Generation Y) is described by the www. freedictionary. com as “members of the generation of people born since the early 1980s that are seen as being discerning consumers with a high disposable income has more time and money than any other. ” A combination of new technology and the internet is partially responsible for this transformation. With the explosion of electronic access (free WiFi and smart phone technology) consumers today are exposed to persistent and persuasive advertisements.
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Instead of making an expensive product that will last a long time, businesses produce more affordable, disposable items. In addition, technological advances cause many people to discard products well before there useful lifep has been achieved. For example; some electronic items such as portable DVD player ($50) have become so inexpensive that it is cheaper to replace them. Our society has been conditioned that time is money which busy people translate into paying for convenience over saving money.
Conversely, complicated computerized equipment may be difficult or time consuming to repair and consumers may be less inclined to wait for a repair. Multimedia has programmed our generation to become a materialistic type society that focuses on the buildup of many new things over things that still work. “With only 5% of the global population the U. S. consumes 30% of the planets’ resources and creates approximately 30% of its waste. ”(Rogers) Growth in America is being driven by a new sense of convenience and disposability.
Paper plates, frozen foods, TV dinners, and aerosol cans are the way of the future, bringing a new convenience and ease to everyone's life style. This drive thru mentality has filtered through our society and fueled our desire for more while reducing our level of patience and tolerance. “For example; we can live our lives without leaving our homes or automobiles using drive thru access for fast food, online education, pharmacies, dry cleaners and even banks. ” (Rogers, 2) Today “to go” food comes in cheap, disposable single use packaging.
Pre-packaged frozen and canned foods are increasingly popular, generating additional waste. Milk used to come in glass bottles that were recycled each morning when fresh milk was delivered. “Now, most beverages come in plastic bottles, of which less than a third is recycled. ” (Rogers, 5) These quick and easy products have been developed to suit our desire or instant gratification and convenience. Here are some simple and cost effective solutions that our society can implement to reduce our carbon footprint. Bring your own reusable bags when you go shopping.
Buy things that can be reused over and over, like rechargeable batteries. Clean counters with a cloth towel instead of disposable paper towels. Create your own cleaning solutions using baking soda and bleach which are less harmful to our environment and cost effective. Ask whether your delivery person will recycle the plastic bags and rubber bands that newspapers come in. These are just a few simple ways to help make the earth a better place for our future. “More advanced technology being put on the market every six months our society has become a throwaway society.
With technological advances and the desire to have the latest and greatest products who would want to pay almost the same price for something to be repaired when you can get it brand new? ” (Rogers 2) Americans as a whole have become wasteful with material and place more importance on time and convenience. For our world to continue with plentiful resources we need to start making changes and change the way we live and use our precious natural resources more efficiently to have a better future.
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