There is no such thing as throwing something away. There is no ‘away’. Once our trash gets hauled off, it becomes someone else’s problem. Out of sight, buried in landfill or incinerated and spewing megatons of dioxin in the air.
What’s dioxin? The deadliest toxin known to science.
Meanwhile, we’ve made consumption a way of life, a religion. The average American generates 4.5 pounds of trash per day, twice as much in the 1970s. The U.S. has 5% of the world’s population, but we produce 30% of the world’s waste. Hey, that’s okay because our economy depends on constantly producing more stuff.
Buy. Dispose. Repeat.
It’s known as the ‘materials economy’. Make it – consume it – toss it – buy more. We used to export barges of trash to other countries. But no mas. They don’t want our stuff either. Now there’s talk of launching garbage into space.
Here’s my take. The supply chain nightmare that’s choking deliveries now has its sights on Christmas. Forecasters predict barren shelves. Shipping delays and soaring prices.
So maybe it’s time to rethink giving stuff.
Instead, give experiences that create memories. Not things that get buried in a drawer. I prefer to give concert tickets to a favorite band, dinner at a special restaurant or a weekend getaway. This year, my twin sons received (different) celebrity birthday videos from Cameo. For those unaware, this app features a menu of famous people who’ll create personalized videos for $50-$500. It’s mostly C-level actors, musicians and athletes, from Mr. T to the soup Nazi guy.
The celeb videos that I sent were cherished and shared with friends. Today, those clips are stored in the cloud, where they won’t take up much room.