There’s a lot of stuff that might be considered trash, but before you throw something away, think about the possible uses for it. These are partially full cleaning supplies and pesticides, well, there’s also a random bottle of unopened champagne too. Just because it’s half empty (or half full, depending on your perspective) and you don’t want it, dosen’t mean someone else can’t use it. I list this on freecycle and it was gone in a matter of hours. Yes, it’s my waste, but it doesn’t need to end up in a landfill or disposal center.
Before you throw things away, here’s some things to think about.
Repurpose. Could I repurpose this for something else?
Sell. Is this something that I could sell?
Give. Is this something I could give away? Do I know anyone who might use this or need this? Will a thrift store take it? Remember, your trash might be some else’s treasure. Put it on freecycle. If it doesn’t go on freecycle, it might just be trash.
Green. What is the best environmental way to get rid of this item? Can it be recycled?
Good. Is there a way to use this to bless someone else? Can you give it to a fundraiser or charity?
Plan. Why did you buy this in the first place? Have you made a plan not to buy it, or anything similar again?
Repurchase. If you need this item or something similar in the future, is there a smaller size or is it something you can borrow?
Yes, this is a lot to think about each time you plan to get rid of something, but if you start doing this, it will change your habits. It will be easier to get rid of things because you will have a process and your shopping habits will change, as you will think long-term about something before you buy it. It’s a win-win.
I stumbled upon this little video called The Story of Stuff. It’s a little over 20 minutes long, but I watched the whole thing. Before I get into the details here, take a look if you haven’t seen it. If you don’t have time to watch the whole thing, skip around and take a quick look.
Although I like the overall message, I was questioning the statistics as I was watching it. The presentation is awesome, the content easy to follow. Again, the overall message here is a good one, but I have a few things to discuss and challenge.
The big picture of stuff. The message here is that we, as Americans, are abusing our planet, taking advantage of the disadvantaged and that we have all fallen victim to materialism. On many levels, this is true, but some of the statistics seemed a little off to me. After a bit of research on this video, I found they are using it in schools to teach children about materialism and “stuff”. I’m not opposed to that at all, but this video is not just creating awareness, it’s trying to impose a guilt trip, and as Fox News stated, “Other critics have called it a “firehose of paranoia” meant to scare children into becoming environmental activists. They say the video romanticizes poverty in its attack on industrial nations and corporations.“
I hope we’re teaching our kids to watch something like this and process it in a healthy way, as they should do with everything. My kids question things, think about everything they take in, and sometimes have a viewpoint that even I haven’t thought of. This video’s overall message is a good one, and unfortunately, it does paint an accurate “big picture” of our wasteful society. The reason I say that, is because this video could be remade without all the statistics, showing both sides of the message about consumerism. That’s a hint for my idea… Continue reading