A Throw-away Society – What are we Throwing Away?

Joel F. Salatin (born February 24, 1957) is an American farmer, lecturer, and author whose books include Folks, This Ain’t Normal; You Can Farm; and Salad Bar Beef. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joel_Salatin

By becoming consumers, we have given up so many of our human qualities.  We are disengaging from life and from nature and becoming the things we buy.

Rather than farming our own land, and growing fruit and vegetables on it, most of us landscape it or have someone else do it for us.  In so doing, we give up working outside in nature, in the fresh air, to  produce our food.  Then rather than cooking or baking meals with what we have grown ourselves, most of us now buy packaged food produced by big corporations and we microwave it and discard all the waste in the garbage, which ends up on Mother Nature’s lap. The real nutritional value of the food we eat is questionable.

“To cultivate a garden is. . . to go hand in hand with Nature in some of her most beautiful processes…”  Christian Bovee

Rather than using our hands and creativity to sew, paint, draw and build, most of us let others do it for us.  We buy manufactured goods and toss out the packaging and the goods eventually break and we toss them out too. (see https://businessintegrity.wordpress.com/2015/01/11/throwaway-living)

Rather than walk or run, most of us sit and watch. Rather than engage with life, most of us watch it on television or the internet or on our cell phones or tablets.

Rather than inviting friends over for a meal we have made from scratch, we squeeze a lunch or dinner date into our busy schedule and meet at a restaurant.  Rather than write a letter or card in our own handwriting, we email or text or tweet a quick note.

Like the rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, we seem to preoccupied with being busy.  “I’m late! I’m late! For a very important date! No time to say hello, goodbye! I’m late! I’m late! I’m late!”

Down the Rabbit Hole.png

By giving up so many of our human qualities and becoming consumers, we shift away from being physically active and engaging in life and settle for what’s mass-produced and manufactured and digital.

“If there is one thing clear about the centuries dominated by the factory and the wheel, it is that although the machine can make everything from a spoon to a landing-craft, a natural joy in earthly living is something it never has and never will be able to manufacture.”  Henry Beston

We work at jobs or own businesses to earn the money to live lives that are increasingly more detached from one another and from nature.  As we do, we throw away a healthy natural lifestyle and attract disease.  The increase is showing up in statistics and mother nature, who is unable to digest our air, water and land garbage, and she recycles it back to us.

We’re on a downward spiral.  It’s time for each of us to stop and sort through what we’ve thrown away and what we’ve embraced and to reclaim what really matters to us as people and collectively as a society.  Our health and well-being and the health and well-being of Mother Earth and all of her inhabitants depends upon it.


This is part of the Blog series, A Throw-away Society https://businessintegrity.wordpress.com/blogs-2/a-throwaway-society/

This entry was posted in Consumerism, Throw-away society and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to A Throw-away Society – What are we Throwing Away?

  1. Beth Camp says:

    Interesting discussion. I’d only add that as my circle of friends and family get a little older, we are all confronted by what to do with all this ‘stuff’ that no one else really wants. Recycle, reuse is just the first step. As I live in an apartment, I can’t imagine gardening for all my food. But I can take other steps to minimize my involvement in this consumerist society we live in. But I’d rather work with my mind than labor in a field.


  2. I agree with you as a society it seems silly to pay to go to a health club. I miss some of the times you mention in your writing. It seems like we are just as busy of not more?
    Karen Marie


    • Karen, I agree with you. I have been bringing more and more of the ways of life I write about back into my life. It feels so satisfying and my life feels richer. For example, I decided I would spend the money it costs for a membership to a health club towards exercise equipment. Then I listen to Coursera https://www.coursera.org/ classes I sign up for and am exercising my body and my mind. I love designing my life with what’s of value to me. I am going to be writing more blogs on this. Thanks for your comment.


  3. Vidya says:

    Your thoughts echo mine. Unfortunately our penchant for use and throw is invading relationships too 😦 We live in an apartment but manage to grow a few veggies (organically) in the terrace. We segregate our waste and practice composting too.


  4. A lovely sentimentn running throughout this post – not harking back to the old days just for the sake of it, but with actual benefits for today. I hate how much ‘stuff’ is bought as ‘essential’, only to be thrown away shortly after, and don’t talk to me about food waste – it’s a real problem here in the UK – milk is now cheaper than water in the shops, and milk farmers are on the edge.
    Thanks for the reminder,cheers,


  5. I lived in that kind of world for so many years. I was a busy single mom working a high pressure corporate job and used that as an excuse to rely on processed foods and convenience items. One of the best things I did was visit my local farmers market. I reconnected with real food and the people who spend their days producing it. I began planting a container garden since I live in an apartment. We ditched the processed goodies for real food and I learned that taking the time to create a meal was a way to bond with my family.


  6. hafong says:

    My partner and I are working on reversing the tide for ourselves. Last year we built 4 self watering beds – 2 in front yard and 2 in the back. We don’t fertilize or water the lawn. We stay away from processed food as much as we can. We compost, recycle, reuse. My partner rescues bikes from the landfills, fixes them up and sells them. It is a rewarding process.



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