In today's turbulent economy it boggles my mind why Americans are not more careful with what we throw away. A 2009 study showed that 37% of greenhouse gasses that are a byproduct of commercial products are directly attributed to the packaging of these products alone. This is a heavy tax to levy on the environment but also on our personal pocket books. Considering that the cost of this packaging is included in the price we pay for the product it's a wonder why we throw the packaging away. Remember that this does not even include products that are designed with a built in obsolescence, among these are obviously disposable products such as paper, plastic, hygiene, and cleaning products but also included are cell phones, furniture, computers and clothing. The time honored tradition and lessons hard learned by the generation that went through the Great Depression, about thrift conservation and economy, has been lost on the generation that is going through the Great Recession.
It can be said without reservation that approximately 70% of food consumed becomes solid waste in the form of fecal matter. This fact seem almost irrelevant when we consider how little thought we put not just into the actual financial and nutritional cost of what we call food but of what happens to what we eat after our bodies convert it into feces. Packaged manufactured food consists of processed, modified starch, fat, salt, sweeteners, and flavorings and perhaps sprayed on proteins, minerals and vitamins. A recipe from Julia Childs these chemical cocktails are not.
All this is wasteful financially since they provide little in the way of nutrition and a lot in the way of addictions but it is also wasteful because it goes without saying that once we digest it, most of it will be washed down the toilet where we have to pay to have it carted away. All this makes little sense when you consider that feces can be converted to methane which can be used for running automobile engines, producing electricity via a generator or via steam and a turbine, as well as for heating and cooking and this from a gas that once burned is the least harmful of all its alternatives. Methane is not feces only useful byproduct the other is liquid and solid fertilizers, that are a proven soil amendment for plan enrichment.
We heat our homes centrally instead of locally by the areas we are occupying. We travel alone in vehicles designed to carry multiple passengers. We use nonrenewable resources before we use the renewable ones. We devote countless hours to self-gratification instead of charitable or entrepreneurial endeavors. We pray for hours to imaginary gods who cannot hear and we refuse the practical advices of the wise men and women that have come before us. In short we can complain about not having enough but much like a fat person on a soup kitchen line it is not that we have nothing it is that we wasted everything, waste not want not.