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O Me of Little Faith

I need your help. I’m working on a new article for Christian Single about our big waste problem, which sounds like something you shouldn’t talk about in mixed company but is really about trash and consumption and having too much stuff.

I need to speak to some people who are doing things to limit or fight this problem, either on a larger, community-wide basis or on a smaller, personal basis. For instance, have you recently begun limiting the amount of stuff you buy? Do you recycle? Do you try to reuse certain resources? Are you one of those office weirdoes who insists on saving one-sided sheets of paper so you can print on the other side? (I am.) Are you actively working to reduce waste?

If so, shoot me an email or leave a comment, and tell me about it. I’ll possibly want to interview you for the article. Despite the title of the magazine, you don’t necessarily have to be Christian or single to get quoted. But I don’t really want to have to use many sentences that say something like: Brenda, a married Hindu, thinks recycling is awesome. “I think recycling is awesome,” she says. Too much of that would make for a lousy story.

Anyway, while you’re trying to decide whether or not you want me to interview you, consider the following facts, courtesy of Annie Leonard’s excellent The Story of Stuff site:

The United States has 5% of the world’s population…yet consumes 30% of the world’s resources. And we create 30% of the world’s waste.

If everyone in the world consumed stuff at the same rate we do, we’d need at least three more planets just to hold it.

The average U.S. citizen consumes twice as much today as 50 years ago.

Each person in the U.S. generates 4.5 pounds of garbage a day, which is twice what we produced 30 years ago.

For every one trash bag you put out on the curb, seven equivalent trash bags of waste were used beforehand to produce the trash you just put out on the curb.

If you’re intrigued or upset by these statistics and have 20 minutes to spare, go to The Story of Stuff and play the video. It’s entertaining and fun and educational in a Schoolhouse Rock sort of way, only it makes you feel bad about trash. Which is kind of the point.

Ideas? Talk to me.

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