Each time I have to take out the garbage bag I realize how much we consume… and waste!
Early on in life we are repeatedly told that it is wrong to waste: “See the poor children on TV starving to death while you are wasting food?” We start feeling guilty when we consume, and even more so when we are not able to consume all we have. Our notion of waste is defined as anything which is not consumed. However, I claim this idea to be the source of a lot of more waste! Another way of defining waste is to consider it as anything which is consumed without being enjoyed. For example are you one of those who feel guilty when you don’t eat everything you have in your plate? Then you are not only wasting the extra food but also the whole meal if you upset your pleasant experience by bloating yourself. If you simply threw away the extra food (assuming you cannot save it for later) you would just be wasting the extra food, not the whole stuff.
I think these issues are the product of a world which has been tirelessly trying to coerce us into consuming. We are reminded time and again that the more you consume the happier you are. And craving as we are for happiness, oh boy do we consume! We try to consume many things at one go by for example eating while watching tv, and we pack our holidays with consumption; just consider how much sight seeing we try to fit in when we go abroad! We do everything with the aim of “not wasting” (eg: the money spent on flights) but in fact we end up wasting more!
It might sound strange but we should remember that “If I am consuming, then I should be enjoying what I am consuming.” So next time you are eating your favourite chocolate while watching TV remember to savour the taste in your mouth which has probably travelled across the world to reach you. Next time you are worried to fit in a whole schedule when you are on holiday, remember to enjoy the foreign elements around you. And when in front of a breath taking scenery you immediately reach for your camera, first take some time to take it in. You are the one who should be enjoying it not the people on Facebook!
Ironically, when we are living in the height of global consumption, we are so busy consuming that we hardly find time to enjoy. If we could really enjoy all we have, we would need to consume less… and if we consume less we might find the time to enjoy our consumption…