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Welcome to Green Gal's blog, where you'll find stories, recipes, gardening updates, and green tips related to nature, adventure, placemaking, and food systems. This blog is written by a young woman entrepreneur who is also a beginning farmer-gardener and seasoned sustainability educator who loves to grow, cook, ferment, and eat local and ecologically happy food.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Reduce Consumption

Our society and economy center around a cycle of purchasing, using, and throwing away. But this cycle is devastating to the environment due to its wasteful mindset.

Most of what you buy comes in packaging, which is instantly disposed of. Recycling helps, of course, but it would be so much better if the packaging simply didn't exist, or was at least reduced to a minimum. Try to purchase things without packaging--produce from the pile rather than from the cellophane-wrapped pack.

It's also important to keep in mind that consumerism is very much ingrained in our culture, and that this needs to change. Advertisements for the next best electronic make us greedy for the newest gadget--but we need to stop ourselves before we rush out the Apple store. We needn't buy the new appliance until our current one has died, otherwise we're continually fueling the landfills with perfectly good appliances. And even if we donate or recycle the old, it will eventually reach the landfill and, as you support the creation of more and more electronics, the eventual pile grows and grows at an unnecessary rate. Before you buy something, think about it and determine if you really need it. Most of the time, you'll find you don't.

My vice when it comes to consumerism is books. I see a new book and I have to have it. But I've tried to restrain myself to used book stores, which is actually where I find the most interesting books, often long-forgotten bestsellers. And for those of you who don't write in the margins and highlight passages in books, the library is a perfect place to reduce and reuse. If you're only going to read the book once, why not check out your public library? Or borrow from a friend.

Most importantly, just be thinking about your own consumer impact and how you can reduce your consumption of things that will end up in the earth for decades and centuries, leaking chemicals or piling up to the sky.

Just came across this advertisement for Buy Nothing Day.
Check it out.


---

"Modern technology
Owes ecology
An apology."
--Alan M. Eddison

3 comments:

  1. Melissa, In response to your post on consumerism :

    Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment.

    Industrial Society is destroying necessary things [Animals, Trees, Air, Water and Land] for making unnecessary things [consumer goods].

    "Growth Rate" - "Economy Rate" - "GDP"

    These are figures of "Ecocide".
    These are figures of "crimes against Nature".
    These are figures of "destruction of Ecosystems".
    These are figures of "Insanity, Abnormality and Criminality".


    The link between Mind and Social / Environmental-Issues.

    The fast-paced, consumerist lifestyle of Industrial Society is causing exponential rise in psychological problems besides destroying the environment. All issues are interlinked. Our Minds cannot be peaceful when attention-spans are down to nanoseconds, microseconds and milliseconds. Our Minds cannot be peaceful if we destroy Nature [Animals, Trees, Air, Water and Land].

    Chief Seattle of the Indian Tribe had warned the destroyers of ecosystems way back in 1854 :

    Only after the last tree has been cut down,
    Only after the last river has been poisoned,
    Only after the last fish has been caught,
    Only then will you realize that you cannot eat money.


    To read the complete article please follow any of these links.

    Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment

    Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment

    Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment

    Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment

    sushil_yadav
    Delhi, India

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for this thoughtful information. It really is amazing how we take packaging for granted.

    Just think on Christmas day how many resources are thrown into our waste stream in just a few hours.

    Thanks for helping us to open our eyes and become conscious about ways we can make a difference in saving our world.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am so often discouraged by the amount of needless packaging that comes with so many things. I try to buy in bulk when I can, or buy items that use less packaging, but often packaging is unavoidable. I also buy used items, especially books and clothes. But to tell the truth, I don't feel the need to buy every new gadget that comes on the market, and I don't actually buy that much stuff other than food. I only wish that more of other people felt the same way!

    ReplyDelete

I love reading comments and am always up for a discussion! Thank you!

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