It was my generation that was the first to adopt consumerism as a value. If we were privileged enough we baby boomers stared wide-eyed at television commercials and longed for the newest toy. Whether it was Play-Doh, or the Magic 8-ball, or Mr. Potato Head, Barbie or Ken, most of these must-have objects were made of plastic. Later we graduated to Frisbees, vinyl records, and Hula Hoops. By the time we were teenagers we were pretty sure that money could buy happiness. We craved cars, jewelry, the most fashionable garments. Some of us still consider shopping a form of therapy when we are feeling longly or sad or bored. Purchasing, we were told, was also very good for the economy. It was downright patriotic. If you didn’t have the cash to pay, credit cards were easy to get, although some of us learned they were not quite so easy to pay off.
In feeding this obsession we overflowed landfills, created islands in the ocean out of plastic waste, shipped our trash to other countries. So I find myself wondering why I have all this junk and how can I dispose of it without doing further harm to the environment.