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Defining Waste

December 8, 2013 , , , ,

During this December of deletion it has become abundantly clear to me that waste of all kinds can be nipped in the bud by simply defining it.  I, for instance, have not been willing to admit that owning 5 times more clothing than can be worn in a year is wasteful. Hoarding and waste are the exactly same thing, but hoarding is waste without boundaries . This shocking realization has deep meaning in my closet, in my office, in my kitchen, my garden, my barn, and even in my social life.  The most notable waste that can be eliminated is time spent seeking more acquisitions.  If you don’t need anything, is it not a waste of your time to go around trying to mindlessly acquire something, just to be consuming?  Even more devastating to my health and happiness is allotting my space to extra junk. I pay taxes, insurance, and utility bills to basically own the space in which I keep all my gear.  Although I am not approaching the level of the hoarding crazy people on reality television, I see no reason to continue owning extra stuff I never use. I now define that as a waste of my time, energy, and space.  As the hoarder in the video explains, the junk is like a barrier or a wall created to hide himself from the world.  All possessions can be treated as self-limiting boundaries, from your Mercedes to your expensive signature haircut.  Marketing is the process of changing the desires of the people to match what is available in the marketplace.  In itself, it is not evil.  Something has changed our attitudes about consuming to the detriment of our society and economy.  We are building a landfill to heaven.

When I was a child we never thought of wasting energy, or carbon footprints, or even about world peace.  I grew up in an industrial era during which producing goods and shipping them around the world was exciting and considered to be the highest and best use of time and resources.  Owning things was very important to my parents.  Pride of ownership was a distinct value they impressed upon me.  They were both very seriously into wardrobe, theirs and mine.  They had super high standards for tidiness and order that would not allow them to acquire more stuff than they could store.  The material world was in balance because they did not mistake quantity for quality.  I rejected their materialistic version of reality, but ended up with plenty of material goods anyhow.   It is time to examine, eliminate, and most importantly be vigilant about portions.  Time, interest, talent, and resources need to be spent in the right proportion.  As we head into the darkest time of the year it is my goal to emerge with a highly organized and clear space.  There is much to do.

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