Iraq War? Abortion? Gay People? Nope.
Stop buying so much stuff.
This is the truth underlying every conservation and environmental message out there. (Not to mention, every inner peace and simplify-your-life t.v. show and magazine article.) But, few politicians, media personalities or even environmental organizations have the courage to say it.
For instance, here's the abbreviated text from an "educational bookmark" that the State of Illinois distributed at the HomeExpo conference to promote reduced waste.
10 Easy Ways to Reduce Your Use!
1. Avoid disposables like the plague.
2. A sheet of paper has two sides!
3. If you get too much junk mail, write here.
4. Share! Trade books, magazines, and newspapers with friends. (Note the reference is only to printed material.)
5. Rent! If you only need something occasionally, rent it. (That's pretty close to saying, don't buy stuff you don't need, but very beat-around-the-bushy if you ask me.)
6. Donate! Charities are always looking for your unwanted, but still usable items such as clothes, eyeglasses, furniture and other household items. (As if this waste stream is endless and there's no need to cut down on buying more stuff because charities need more stuff when you're done with it.)
7. Buy in bulk. (Explicit permission-to-buy statement.)
8. Pack a waste-free lunch.
9. Bring your own bag to the grocery store.
10. Let those grass clippings lie.
Why isn't the first item "Buy less stuff?"
Fortunately, someone other than an obscure blogger like me is worrying about this. The Center for the New American Dream is an organization that's trying to say loudly and clearly to stop buying so much stuff. They've got a bunch of cool initiatives and good slogans like "Get more of what matters." Go visit their site. Then, clear out your home and see if you can keep from filling it back up again. It's damn near impossible.