This weekend I assisted with our local electronics recycling day from 9:00-2:00. It was a success and a great deal of electronic equipment will be recycled instead of buried in a landfill. It was an eye-opener. I know intellectually that we are a "throw-away" society. I know that technology advances in quantum leaps. I know it is easier and more cost efficient to buy new than to have something repaired these days.
I watched car after car unload numerous televisions. Of course, the switch to digital essentially made many TVs obsolete. Many cars delivered 2, 3. and 4 computers. Of course how long had they been holding on to these just waiting for someone to make recycling a possibility and convenient?
The piles of televisions, hard drives, monitors, keyboards, printers, etc. was stunning. Just 5 hours on one day, in one small town, and an estimated 200 cars . . .
I realize there are always circumstances in which we must buy new---such as electronics breaking, needing to upgrade, too costly to repair, etc. but I began to think about all the possessions I own.
Perhaps REDUCE would be the best environmental act. Step One.
The quote that kept coming into my mind over and over was Thoreau's: "A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone." What can I afford to let alone? What can you afford to let alone?