Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Americans are a wasteful bunch. There's no way around it. We use, use, use and dump, dump, dump all over the place. In 1990, it was reported that Americans dumped in the neighborhood of 270,000,000 tons of non-hazardous waste into the nation's landfills. In 2001, that number was up to 410,000,000 tons. That translates to over 1 ton of waste per American. We are a consumerist society and one that thrives on disposable consumables. And while the recycling movement has generated some change in this trend, the statistics for waste in the United States still point to one fact - we throw away a LOT of shit.
And I'm not just talking about gross trash like diapers or those special "rags" you fellas keep by the bed. We throw out everything. We throw out refrigerators, washers, dryers, old furniture, clothing - hell, we even throw out cars. No one wants to get the most out of anything, it's just junk it and move on. As technology changes, everyone has to keep up, and so it's out with the old and in with the new in regard to everything from cameras to computers. In just the last two years Americans have thrown out millions of old televisions to make room for their new HDTVs. Computers and other electronics are getting tossed at an exponential rate. Things that were perfectly good just a year ago are now fodder for dumps.
If it wasn't bad enough that we toss out recyclable materials or underused items like electronics and appliances, we also throw out stuff that other people are literally dying to get. Specifically, we throw out perfectly good food. Yes, I'm talking to you, guy with the half-eaten pastrami sandwich, getting ready to toss it out before hitting the freezer for some pistachio ice cream. Someone could eat that, douche. You're throwing away something that other people - people who are fucking digging in the dumpsters to eat - could use for nourishment. Every year, Americans throw out 96 billion pounds of edible food products. Yes, billion. Our American instinct tells us "BIG PORTION," but we rarely eat half of what we prepare (which is remarkable when you consider that we're all a bunch of fattys). We're also completely over leftovers. I mean, that's so Great Depression-era America. Nope, today we just throw that shit out.
Our waste is everywhere. It's on our roads and in our streets. It covers our wilderness and infests our drinking water. Oh, yeah, we waste water too. But, I digress. I mean, what does it matter, anyway? We're Americans, which grants us the right to do as we please. Who cares that we deposit our junk all over the place - I mean, we sure as hell don't. Whoever coined the expression "don't shit where you eat" was obviously not an American. I mean, shitting where we eat is the American way. Go America!