This week in class we talked about consumerism and the damage that our consumer nation does to the environment and the rest of the world. The sad part about it is we notice what harm we are doing, but we just keep on doing it. It has even gotten worse. I am going to pick on a company that I personally hate, Keurig. Keurig machines, and other pod coffee machines, use small single-use, non-biodegradable cups to make a single cup of coffee. To make matters worse, these cups are also non-recyclable. Enough of these cups were sold in 2014 to wrap around the globe at least 10.5 times. The inventor of the k-cup, John Sylvan sold his company in 1997 and now regrets ever creating it. Here is an article in which Sylvan discusses why he is now against the use of his invention:
K-cups are just one product that we see doing damage to our environment that we just cannot seem to stop buying. People seem to be willing to look the other way when faced with the negative effects of products in the name of convenience or in order create their self-image. We buy clothing and electronics that we love and then hate within a few months or a year, and then we toss them out and buy new. We do not think about, or care where these things go or what went into making them. We just want-want-want and nothing can stop us. We take durable items and make disposable versions of them. Cups, bags, eating utensils, the list is endless. We buy-use-toss.
The only real answer to all of this is to reduce. That’s right, the famous reduce from the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” arrows that have become so popular in the environmental movement. Of those three words, the real winner is “reduce”. Reduce our consumption of all things. The closer we can get ourselves to a minimalist lifestyle, the better off our world will be. Some studies even show that less things often equates to more happiness in a person’s life. Just think, less waste, less clutter, less money spent. Just a few durable products that you absolutely need. I think that this is something that I could get into.