We Became a Throw Away Society
The United States has become a throwaway society. Whether it is plastic bags or straws, cell phones or computers, broken or unused household items, clothing, building materials, or used toys or appliances, most of these items end up in the trash.
When we need something, we buy it brand new at the store. Even if we only need it for one project, it’s much easier to buy it new, use it, and if it breaks, throw it away. Or keep it for a few years . . . and then throw it away!
But, as The Story of Stuff asks … where is away, anyway? Away is getting closer and closer to our own back yards.
So, what can we do?
The first thing we can do is to Reduce the amount of stuff we are buying and Replace throw away items with items that can be Reused.
When we buy less stuff, we reduce the number of items that are manufactured, reduce the amount of natural resources depleted, reduce pollution from manufacturing and transportation, and reduce the amount of stuff to be thrown away.
The second thing we can do is Replace throw away items with items that can be Reused . . . like stainless steel straws that can replace plastic straws and be used over and over and over again.
Next, we can Reuse what is already here.
- Can I reuse this item as it is or in another way?
- Can I buy this item used?
- Can I rent this piece of equipment or dress or tux?
- Can I repair what I already have?
The ideas and insights will help you think about ways to
- reduce purchases,
- replace throw away items with reusable items,
- reuse items and materials that already exist,
- rent quality items,
- repair the items you already have, and
- redefine and rally for legislation that supports reuse and a circular economy.
We hope to inspire you to help us make a difference in our world . . . one step at a time.