Thursday, March 4, 2010

Too Much Stuff

A strange coincidence occurred today.
I had several boxes of clothing and household stuff to donate the local Salvation Army store. I got there to find a bit of a traffic jam- four other cars lined up to drop off their donations. One couple carried in 5 big garbage bags to the clothing side. You walk right into their store room to make your donations. It is piled floor to ceiling. In a way it's wonderful that so many people give their usable goods to this charity. ( Assuming of course they are actually usable. I fear many people don't sort, they just treat this organization like it's a garbage dump.)
Anyway, as I walked out I was thinking about the fact that so many people were there giving away excess stuff. And then I thought of an ad running on tv, from the evil Walmart. Here is a woman in a perfectly nice room, nothing wrong at all with any of the furnishings, but she's tired of them. So, since the big W's prices are so good on their new home collection, she can afford to change it all. Watch this ad- they actually show either one of the kids or the dad brushing all the stuff off a shelf into a trash can. This is the society we live in. Everything is disposable.
This is my biggest issue for saving the planet- changing the mindset. You don't NEED new clothes every year for back to school. But someone convinced us all we did, and so we bought them. You don't NEED to have a whole new set of tableware for every occasion. And yet someone has convinced us we will spend eternity in Purgatory if the centerpieces don't measure up.
I'm guilty of it myself. I have way more clothes than I need. It's embarrassing. And my sewing room! I am currently moved out of my sewing room, due to some remodeling we are doing. I didn't have to take everything off the shelves, but the stuff I did have to take out is mostly the fabric and tools that won't FIT on the shelves. So I am going through the bins to try and reduce the excess. It's not easy. I am a fabri-holic. I "may need this someday". I had something in mind when I bought the fabric, so why get rid of it? I have given myself a pass in this area, but it's like buying offsets for energy usage. I don't use paper plates or napkins, because of the processing required to make them. But the growing of cotton is one of the most damaging processes there is. So what am I accomplishing in the end?
There's no point to this rant. I guess I was just thinking maybe it would serve as a reminder to me to try and use what I have. To ask myself if I NEED things before I buy them. You can make a big difference doing small things- if everyone does it!

Sorry for the rant. I had intended this post to be a thank you to my online friends who played along with last week's challenge. Mine is pictured at the top of this post. It doesn't have a name. I was thinking of something with "intersections"?? What do you think? I have been given permission to share their work. So here are a couple of them.
Linda called her's Octopus's Garden





Susie's kind of looks woven, doesn't it?














Aileen's was made to show how people with Alzheimer's have pieces of their life slip away.












Lest I forget-
I am grateful for:
The sunshine which is making it feel like spring outside the last few days
The birds singing in the morning
My husband and how hard he has worked to give us a nice home
The good fortune to have so much stuff I feel guilty about it
As always, my dear friends who bring such joy into my life even when they aren't trying.

2 comments:

  1. Darn! Why can't the "preview show things like the overlap in the text and Aileen's picture???)

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  2. ...too much"stuff" makes me insane. Moving last year was an exercise in weighing it all. Even though I repurposed, recycled and freecycled countless things (including fabric and yarn) there is still so much here.
    I dislike that same commercial for the same reasons you noted.

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