There’s so much more we could say about overconsumption, but before I say anything about it, I want to post about me. Not, not how I’m doing all of this right, how I’m living a green life, driving a green car, recycling everything I possibly can. I want to tell you how I really live, how I’m trying to cut what I consume down, recycle everything I think can be recycled (which isn’t as much as what COULD be), driving an 86 Buick Electra (not so green, but it gets me around and it was free).
If I haven’t said this before, the past three years have been ones of change for me. I’m learning how to be more content, though there are still things I want. It’s hard – desperately so sometimes – to watch everyone around me buy what they want when they want it when I can’t afford to do the same, but with practice I’ve learned to “covet my neighbor’s stuff” less.
And in the middle of all these wants – not needs, not usually – I have boxes of stuff in my basement which doesn’t get used. It’s just sitting there, not being used, taking up space, and there might be someone else out there who can and will use it. I don’t know if it’s sinful of me, but it certainly isn’t good stewardship. So I’m trying to sort through it all and decide what can be kept, what can be recycled, given away, and finally (and I hope this pile is small) tossed out. The inspiration for this was from Real Simple’s “Declutter Your Mind”. The idea is to get rid of all the physical (and mental, though I’m not so much working on that) stuff which weighs you down and keep a list (written, not in your head) of what you’ve cleared out. (Real Simple, April 2007)
This is what overconsumption does – it clutters our environment and our minds, not to mention it helps us waste money on things we don’t need, supports the system of overconsumption, which in turn helps support the breakdown of the environment. And please don’t think I’m ranting against capitalism, because I’m not doing that at all. My problem – the problem, in my opinion – is with our mentality of gluttony which allows us to consume too much at the expense of other people and the planet on which we live.
I also want to point out the possible hypocrisy of what I’m saying. I just started Coming Home Candles about five months ago. It’s a retail business which relies on people who consume things they don’t really need – and it bothers me. Does it bother me enough to shut down a business I love and quit making candles? Apparently not – but I also know that in a few years, this is a business which will help support outreach to people who need help.
Jeff found this blog, and I though it appropriate to include this post here:Be the Revolution.
Yeah, I’m guilty of it too. Change is difficult, but I’m trying. If you’re trying too, just remember change doesn’t happen overnight. We’re all guilty, but join with me in not making that an excuse but a motivation for change.