Are we quick to change our moral values for a convenience like a single-use plastic cup?

It’s time we end the disposable culture.

Image of juice in a clear plastic cup
Photo by Belle Hunt on Unsplash

The first disposable items entered our lives at the end of the 19th Century. Generation after generation, these disposable items not only became part of our lives, but changed how we value things and even lives.

The habit of disposing of things has become so common it feels “natural” that we have become a generation that simply discards of.. well, everything! It feels natural to throw whatever we don’t like, whatever is broken, whatever we find useless… The throw-away society was born.

We have substituted nature, replaced the reusable with the disposable. Disposable tableware, paper tissues, nylon bags,.. there’s a whole supermarket of them! We have substituted the biodegradable with everlasting junk.

Here’s the irony: we used to use the degradable stuff for much longer than the forever-lasting stuff we dispose of. And why? because we get bored of them, not because they wear down.. because they are old, a new version is already on sale.. because things are cheaper and we’re richer.. and other excuses.

Photo by the blowup on Unsplash

We are evolved we say. Is this evolution? Is this a higher society? A better society? Taking over nature was the first pollutant to us humans. We forgot that nature is our Mother; she takes the air we breathe out and gives us fresh oxygen; she takes the crap we crap and gives us food. But we not only turned nature into cities, but also dumpsters full of non-biodegradable junk.

Only a few decades ago, our garbage consisted of a few scrapes of food. A handful thrown in the backyard, where they decomposed and fed Mother Nature. Today, look in your garbage bag! Look in that non-biodegradable nylon bag! What is that junk? Boxes, bottles, bags, plastic, electronics, lethal batteries… Where do these all go? Mother Nature cannot process them! It can’t even process the food scraps we throw tightly sealed in those non-decomposing bags! But do we think for one second?

NO!

We just throw the garbage out of the door, and problem solved! Let someone else handle it!

This is what we have learned to do robotically. It’s one of the many things we do unconsciously. It has become such a “natural” thing to do that we apply it to other areas of our lives as well. Yes, we not only dispose of things, but also of people, of relationships…

How we do anything is how we do everything.

Disposing of things has polluted our natural environment. The disposal of relationships has polluted our social lives and our hearts.

It has become as simple as this:

  • The toy isn’t working? Throw it!
  • The boy isn’t working? Throw him!

Sometimes, we replace things for the most trivial reasons, feeding the greedy consumer-based economy. Unfortunately, this also applies to the way we replace our relationships. We come up with the silliest excuses and enlarge them to dramatic proportions.. “And I’m out!”

Did anyone tell this generation to fix something when it was broken? We’re told: “just throw it and get a new one.” Better yet, the media tells you, “why wait for it to be broken to get a NEWER, BETTER version.”

So, if this generation never learned to fix a thing, how will they know to fix a relationship?

Photo by Etienne Girardet on Unsplash

This is the generation of “use and dispose.” That’s why our world is so polluted. It’s so polluted that we haven’t realized that we are living in large dumpsters we proudly call modern cities. And proudly announce ourselves as civilized and advanced!

What type of society calls itself advanced when it destroys its own habitat and its own resources? What kind of society calls itself civilized when it treads over his fellow human to go forward? When it kills its own kind?

Even human lives are disposable to us…

  • You don’t like your neighbor? Shoot him!
  • Those people are standing in the way of your interests? Bomb them away!

We have replaced our relationships with nature, animals, and our human siblings with stuff, money, fame, and power…

Electronics enjoy our company more than our loved ones. They are our loved ones now! I’m worried that if there’s a fire somewhere, we would grab our gadgets and run out forgetting to check if other people or animals are still inside! “Thank God I got the important stuff out, right?”

How shameful that would be?

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

How do we “fix” humanity now?

Some of us are expecting some kind of natural disaster to “cleanse” Humanity. Still, we’re in the same dispose-and-start-over mindset.

First, we need to acknowledge that this is a threat. That not only is our natural habitat polluted but our minds and hearts as well. We need to wake up to this truth! Assume responsibility! We need to cleanse ourselves of this way of thinking. Then, teach others to do the same.

We can start by changing our habits and being more conscious of them. Mother Nature can restore its balance, but we need to help by removing pollutants that already exist. And then, with our new mentalities and conscious habits, we establish a new, better environment for humanity to thrive in again.

Yes, we need to stop buying stuff and stop throwing them, too. We need to make conscious choices:

  • Fix it if it’s broken
  • Donate it if we’re bored with it
  • Sell it if we have more than enough
  • Recycle it when it’s worn out
  • Choose natural, biodegradable, reusable when we need something new

In relationships:

  • Put love first
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate
  • Look for common interests instead of focusing on the differences
  • Make an effort to resolve issues instead of running away from them

It’s time to wake up and save this planet. It’s not like we have another one to go to. Oops, still in that mentality, are we?

Time to reset and be conscious!

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