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Stuff

The vision for a more sustainable future must include a society that minimizes resource consumption and wastes nothing. It starts by questioning all the stuff filling up our lives. Where did it come from? Where does it go when we're done with it? Do we really need it in the first place? 

Mountains of trash to be sorted at a waste handing center in Cleveland's southern suburbs.

Being thoughtful about consumption

This section of the website offers ways to think about the impacts of consumption. It’s not just a matter of conserving resources and reducing environmental impacts. At a deeper level, it’s about our relationship with the material world and our responsibility for the things that pass through our lives.

There are several ways to think about this:

Reduce: Can you be more intentional about the things you bring into your life, balancing the value they bring against the responsibility they engender?

Reuse: Can you seek out things with a long lifespan, things that can be fixed, remade, and passed on to others when you are done? Can you make use of what others have used?

Recycle: After you have reduced and reused, can you recycle all the rest so there’s no waste?

Buy local: Can you think more about how your purchases impact your community—where your dollars go, whether you are helping to build the local economy?

Our economy is using more stuff than the Earth can replenish. It’s an actual physical limitation. Our global footprint reveals that we’re using 1.5 planet’s worth of resources a year, which is a problem. Anything over 1 planet is a problem.
— Annie Leonard, "The Story of Stuff"

Waste is not waste until it's wasted.
— Ben Franklin

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