Americans are not alone in this, but I think it’s fair to say we take the blue ribbon. I recently read that as a society, we’ve become consumers rather than citizens. The following statistics speak for themselves and certainly should cause us to pause and reflect on our own personal consumption.
- Enough K cups were thrown out in 2014 to circle the earth 12 times.
- In America more money, is spent on fashion accessories than college tuition.
- Nearly half the world’s toys are in America.
- The size of the average American home has tripled since the 1950s.
- Nearly 40% of food in America goes to waste.
- The amount Americans spend in a single weekend is more than half of the total they give to churches in an entire year.
- 25% of people who have two car garages, do not have room to park even one car in them.
- Each year the average American throws out 65 pounds of clothing.
- The average person will spend 153 days (or 3,680 hours) of their lives looking for misplaced items.
- 1 in 10 Americans rents a storage unit outside of their home.
The following is from www.simpleliving.org It provides a great overview of the benefits and meaning behind living a life of simplicity.
The Art of Simple Living
Simple Living is "living in a way that is outwardly simple and inwardly rich. This way of life embraces frugality of consumption, a strong sense of enviromental urgency, and a desire to return to living and working enviroments which are of a more human scale." (Duane S. Elgin and Arnold Mitchell)
The practice of voluntary simplicity is advocated in the teachings of Jesus, the early Christian Church, St. Paul, St. Francis, and many others. It also has it roots in the teachings of other world religions, the teachings of Gandhi, and the writings of Thoreau. The American Friends Service Committee (The Quakers) define simple living as a "non-consumerist lifestyle based on being and becoming, not having."
Seven Reasons for Choosing a Simpler Lifestyle:
1. As an act of intentional living performed for the sake of personal integrity and as an expression of a commitment to a more equitable distribution of the world’s resources.
2. As an act of creation care for ourselves and especially for our children and grandchildren against the earth destroying results of over-consumption such as pollution, climate change, and resource wars.
3. As an act of solidarity with the majority of humankind, which has little choice about material affluence.
4. As an act of celebration of the riches found in God’s creation, and the riches of community with others, rather than in the "poverty" of mindless materialism.
5. As an act of spiritual discipline ordering our lives to reflect the values of simplicity and just living taught by Jesus and teachers in other world religions.
6. As an act of advocacy for changes in present patterns of production and consumption.
7. As an act of provocation (ostentatious under consumption) to arouse curiosity leading to dialog with others about affluence, and sustainable "green" living to redirect the production of consumer goods away from the satisfaction of artificially created wants toward the supplying of goods and services that meet genuine social needs.
(Based on an article by Jorgen Lissner)