In addition to the inherent shortcomings of recycling as a solution to our trash problem, I came across the following sobering statistic: municipal solid waste, (household waste) represents about 2% of national waste, (what the country throws away in a year). So it seems that what you and I do with our garbage really makes very little difference. That sounds overly cynical. Recycling is better than discarding, but we’ve got a much bigger problem.
While numbers vary, the most conservative estimate is that the average consumer product generates 18 times its own weight in waste during the manufacturing process. So, that’s what has entered the waste stream before you’ve even gotten out of the store.
The unavoidable conclusion is that we have to consume less and who wants to do that? I like my stuff. I like my stuff a lot. I like my stuff perhaps too much. This is where I hit a wall.