Sign Up
All Charities Count, Inc. helps you connect and share with the people in your life.

Posted: 2019-01-11 13:18:20

There should be more to decluttering than just tossing your joyless junk.

I am thrilled that decluttering dynamo Marie Kondo is entering the mainstream via her new Netflix series. And while I don't always agree with her mandate that only those things which "spark joy" should be spared the junk bin, I do think that embracing a more minimal lifestyle is a crucial direction for a culture so smitten with consumption.

But for me, there's an elephant in each newly KonMaried room: The bags of rejected clutter headed for the landfill.

In a better world, those bags wouldn't exist in the first place. We wouldn't live in a culture that defines us by our stuff, and we wouldn't have marketers and the media constantly foisting things upon us that we do not need. Hopefully, the newly minimalist masses will now be encouraged to think twice before making new purchases.

But in the meantime, what to do with all the stuff? Ditching it in the landfill is not the answer. I am envisioning curbs across the lands studded with giant trash bags filled with unread books, novelty kitchen gizmos, and mismatched bedding. What a sad fate that so much went into making those things, and there they will sit, dying a very slow death in the landfill.

Alexandra Spring tackles this quandary in an essay for The Guardian, writing, that "the idea of 'don’t like it, just bin it' encourages the culture of disposability." She continues:

We’re chucking out more than greying T-shirts and old tax receipts. While that cotton T-shirt only cost you $10, there were countless resources that went into it: the materials, the water, the energy, the labour, the transport and the packaging is all being wasted too.

She goes on to discuss the problems with recycling and donating to charities, and ends up at the Japanese cultural concept of "mottainai."

She writes that, "It has a long history but essentially it expresses regret at the idea of waste and reflects an awareness of interdependence and impermanence of things. Mottainai is

View More
  • 0 Comment(s)