When I was a little kid, my mom bought me and my sister a Nintendo!!! We spent so much time playing video games and trying to get those game cartridges to work. Thunder and Lightning was my sister’s favorite Nintendo game while mine was Dr. Mario. I spent many hours with my mouth hanging open totally focused on this game. For those of you who have not had the pleasure of playing this, Mario throws you colored pills that you use to kill the viruses. Match 3 of the same color pills to the virus and voila! It is eradicated! Fill the bottle past the top line though and it is game over.
Not only was it a very fun and addicting game, but Dr. Mario actually had a hidden life lesson.
There is a limited amount of space for each level in the game. To pass each level you have to use all the pills wisely and try not to waste anything. If you are not careful, then they stack up and you run out of space. Then it is game over. We can correlate that to our consumer driven society where we endlessly buy and throw things out as fast as we can. Before we run out of landfill space and resources, maybe we should rethink how we view products we buy and stop the cycle of rapid consumption.
No longer do we even bother to fix the item before throwing it out, items are made so cheaply that it is actually more inexpensive to just buy the newest product. Old and broken products are simply trucked to the nearest open landfill. Ever make you wonder if we will run out space one day?
As consumers we have to be careful about what we buy in terms of price, quality, and the features that come with a product. If we simply buy the cheapest item available, most likely it’s a total throw away item. As soon as it breaks it goes into the trash. Cheap items are not even worth the price of the repair because it costs more than just buying another cheap item. Buying a higher quality product will initially cost more money, but in the long run you will save money by having it last years instead of months. Sometimes it does pay to put a little extra mula towards something you want!
Another thing we can do is to think twice when shopping. Do we really need this new phone? Is your old phone still in good working condition and only a few months old? Sure, you can recycle or sell back your old phone, but would it be easier to just wait a little longer? If you are constantly buying new products to replace old products simply because a newer version came out, you are definitely going to be shelling out quite a lot.
The last thing we can do is to see if that old or broken item can be donated or recycled. In fact, if it’s not broken, donating to a thrift store or other charitable organization can even give you a tax break! It would be a good situation for everyone! If its not donate-able, look into recycling options. If it is an electronic, you can always bring it to a hazardous waste facility free of charge for disposal. There, they can break it down and take out the precious metals and recycle it properly. Best Buy and Radio Shack also take back numerous electronics. Each store has different guidelines on what they take so check before you bring in a massive TV.
We can definitely keep more items out of our landfills and properly dispose and recycle a good majority of our products! Major cities are already starting to run out of landfill space. New York has to take all their trash to other states! They have run out of landfill space entirely due to their dense population and high amount of consumption.
Sadly enough, if we keep on our current path, one day our best form of energy might be methane gas. Landfills produce high amounts of methane that can be harvested. Or maybe one day we can go to a park that used to be a landfill that has been covered over. Ever watch the movie Wall-E? That is one future I do not ever want to see.
Are you the type of person who must have the newest, shiniest product? What do you do to make sure our future is not living on a landfill?