Tag Archives: consume

waste not want not

2 Oct

There’s nothing like being on a budget to make you appreciate the value of every little thing you consume.  Every mouthful of food, the electricity that plays your music and powers your computer, each sip of wine and the roof above your head.

And it’s not just the dollar value but the energy that has gone into making the things you enjoy in life.  The energy to dig the garden and nourish the soil, to plant to nurture and to harvest.  Then the energy to chop and flavour and cook.

Given everything that goes into providing you sustenance, building your home, creating your technology and your entertainment, how can we waste any scrap of it?  Why do we buy food we don’t need and then throw it away because it is past it’s prime, or buy a dress because it’s ‘on sale’ and then never wear it?  What is it that makes us feel so indulgent that we think we can waste anything and still expect to have an abundance available to us at our whim?

So, suddenly when we have little or no money we become thrifty and careful.  We count every item we put into our shopping cart and we plan our meals.  We only buy clothes we need, and we sew the holes in our shirt before we get a new one.  We turn off the lights when we leave the room, and only use the heater when wearing a jumper is not enough.

Imagine if we lived like this all the time, even when we are going through a feast phase and have money enough for whatever we want.  Imagine if we were always thoughtful about what we consume and before every purchase asked ourselves “do I really need this?”  Imagine if we never wasted our food, or our water or any of our resources.  What a different more balanced world we would be living in.

So, the question is: what can you do to be less wasteful and more productive in your everyday life?

For me, I am going to try living like I am on a budget even if that is no longer the case.  I will grow any food I can, plan my meals and only buy food I know I am going to eat.  I will compost my waste wherever I can, and recycle everything I can (both in my own home and in my rubbish).  I will chose to buy things that use less packaging and wherever possible things that are made locally and sustainably.  I will turn off the light when I leave a room, and wear a jacket before I turn on the heater.  And I will make a considered effort to think before I buy and to always appreciate the true value of the things I consume.

I hope that we can all change the way we live either a little or a lot, and  I really hope that is enough to make a difference in the world.  I want to live in balance and I want to appreciate that life.  Here’s hoping that consciousness can spread.

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