I’ve been thinking a lot about trash lately.
Think about all of the THINGS that have come through your life. Every item that has passed through your hands since you were born. All of the clothes, napkins, shoes, unused bottles of perfume, plastic bags….everything.
Think about the intended length of purpose for some items. How long is a plastic bag designed to be used for? The half an hour it takes to carry your groceries to your car, drive them home, and unload them in the kitchen? And yet that plastic bag will exist for darn near 1,000 years.
So many things are designed to be used for less than 5 minutes. We buy all sorts of crap to use it for just a few seconds and then throw it away. Bye bye money.
Or these days, the dirt cheap clothes that are designed to last through one event to make sure you come back to the store for more every time.
Do you have credit card debt? Do you have credit card debt for clothes, shoes, bags, and toys you’ve long gotten rid of? We are paying for things we don’t even own anymore! Paying for our trash!We are paying for our trash. Click To Tweet
Think about the one recent thing you just couldn’t live without. The purse you had to have. It would make you all sorts of things…successful, put together, high end, or whatnot.
Do you still own it?
And just think…we all probably have dozens of things we “couldn’t live without.”
If you want to dive deeper into this topic, I recommend Garbology by Edward Humes.
Also check out this great post on Becoming Minimalist.
What does this all mean?
First of all, I don’t believe there is such a thing as “zero waste.” Although we can drastically reduce the amount of waste we produce, it’s unrealistic to have no waste. Even if that waste doesn’t come directly out of our homes, products we use in life every day created waste in their production alone. (Huge amounts of waste is created in just producing products. Way more than the product itself.) Also consider the transportation of the product.
But…I do think we can and should reduce our waste. I originally started replacing disposable goods with reusable as a way to save money, and things evolved for me from there.
As I got more into personal finance, minimalism, and living with intention, I started realizing just how much we are conditioned to constantly crave more things, believing these things will bring us joy or success or some sort of fulfillment. And I also started noticing how many of these things that are supposed to be more “convenient” are actually terrible for the environment. Many of the things we use, especially the disposable things, are fairly recent inventions. People have gotten by without many things for many years, only modern marketing convinces us that we just can’t live without all these things.
Let me tell you, once you start seeing it, you can’t really un-see it. And you break free.
So, I’ve been thinking about trash a lot lately!
(Coincidentally it happens to be America Recycles Week!)