Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Free to buy a lot of crap we don't need

I would like to get this made into a bumper sticker. Stuff is starting to consume us. We want it. We "need" it. We feel it's our God-given right to have it. We're Americans damn it, and we're free to buy what we want.

The problem is, we aren't. Being able to do something doesn't make it right. Buying every little thing our heart desires isn't helping anyone. Not even ourselves.

I was out for my morning walk when I noticed a large dumpster behind our town office building. It was not one of the regular sized dumpsters, but a big, fat, jumbo-sized one. It was filled to overflowing with stuff. Scattered all around it was more stuff. Cabinets, a chair, a stereo, an electric fireplace, tables, and more. Take a wild guess where it was all headed. If you guessed "the local landfill" you're right!

I came home and called the town office who put me in touch with the guy in charge. Long story short: There is a dumpster this full or even more full every year after the annual Fireman's Auction on Memorial Day. My suggestions of having a "free sale" or people to come pick up useable items was met with a look of disinterest and a "yeah, whatever."

One of the men there preparing to take the furniture to the landfill commiserated with me. "Some of it could be recycled. Or there might be people in the area without much money who could use it."


But here's another thought. There might be crazy people like me who actually LIKE used things! There is a whole mentality here in my little county that "only poor people" would want "used" stuff.

If you are as fed up with America's obsession with stuff as I am, you have to watch Annie Leonard's free online video, "The Story of Stuff". This 20 minutes just might change your life. If nothing else it will give you a broader picture of where stuff comes from and where it ends up.

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