Sunday, January 20, 2008

Waste and Stuff

I was surfing the blogs when I found a link to the Story of Stuff”. This video really got me to thinking. As Americans…we have a lot of stuff. Good stuff, bad stuff, clutter, things we “feel” we have to have, things we want…..stuff.

Our preacher spoke today about “Giving or Clutching”. It was real interesting. He talked about how by natures we are clutchers. As an infant, when someone would give us their finger, we clutched. As a toddler, we clutched our toys and screamed “Mine”. When we got our first paycheck, it was “Mine”.

As we grow up, our parents tell us to save for the future. However society tells us to spend - Buy a car, a house, a second car, maybe a second house, a pool, a hot tub, a big screen tv, a new computer/laptop, the latest fashion. etc.

We buy and clutch. Society measures people by how much stuff they have. You’re labeled by your income – low income, middle class, or upper class. We buy stuff to get us love, we buy stuff to feel happy, we buy because we feel we have to have it, etc. But stuff really doesn’t give us love or happiness. With stuff comes responsibility.

As the video mentioned…we buy, we use, we dispose. We have become a “Disposable Society”.

We buy new cell phones, because it’s almost cheaper then buying a new battery. We buy DVD’s that we watch once and then they go into a cabinet, we buy cd’s, burn them to our ipods and then they go into a cabinet. We have disposable juice boxes for the kids, instead of a sippy cup. It’s cheaper to buy a pack of ink pens instead of the ones that offer refill. We buy bacterial wipes instead of using old towels and t-shirt and washing them. I look around and see disposable this and disposable that – why the waste? Why the clutter?

I’m guilty. For years now, we buy bottled water because we don’t like the taste of our tap water. We spent roughly $40 a month in bottled water. That’s $480 a year. Today we bought a Brita filter pitcher. $30. Even if we go and buy the fancy new earth-friendly water bottles ($20 each x 2 = $40) I’m still saving us approx $400 this year. Not to mention how much I’m saving the earth from the plastic bottles.

Think about it, if we drank the recommended 64 oz of water a day – that is about 2 litters a day - 60 1-litter bottles a month – 720 1-litter bottles a year (now this is just for 1 person) where are the bottle going after we’re finished drinking? Think of the money it cost to make the bottles and then to dispose of the bottles. So now, not only am I saving money but I’m trying to do something to help God’s creation.

Another confession that I must give….I’m a pack-rat! I’m not a shopaholic like some…but I don’t like getting rid of stuff. For 2008, one of the lifestyle changes I wanted to make was to become more organize, get rid of the clutter, etc. This is something that I still want to do!

But “The Story of Stuff” and the lifestyle changes in 08 that I want to make have made me really question things before I purchase – Do I really need it? If it’s replacing something, what am I going to do with that object? Can it be recycled once done? Is their something better, more earth-friendly or is their another option altogether?

I don’t want my worth to be determined by what I have anymore but instead by who I am and the type of person I am. I want to take care of this beautiful creation that God has given us the privilege to live on – not aid in destroying it. I want to give not clutch!

Sorry if this sounded like a rant……Just wanted to share….Love you all!


Melissa said...

Very thoughtful post. I definitely agree with what you said. My husband and I both struggle with "Keeping up the ____'s." I'm looking forward to simplifying and placing worth in things that are eternal rather than of this world.

Take care!

koinoniacommunity said...

Wow! God has been placing the same stuff on all of our hearts. Kind of weird. The last couple of weeks I have gone to church and thought 'has Eric been reading my blog? That is what I have been writing about.' I think God is steering us all in the same direction. It makes me wonder what he has up his sleeve!

Richard said...

After reading what you wrote, I cant help but wonder how much money we are wasting on convenience. My wife and I buy Culligan 5 gal water for less than 2 dollars from Walmart. I haven't begin to calculate what the saving is per year when compared to LaBlue or some thing else.


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