Confronting Our Culture of Overconsumption

Just in time for America's "annual season of excess", Lee Epstein looks at the well hidden consequences of our insatiable appetites.

Epstein examines that mythical place called "Away", where all of our waste is miraculously dispatched in order to cleanse our streets, water, air, and trash cans.  

"Everything we do, everything we use and discard, every action we take that results in waste being generated – whether throwing away some food from our refrigerator, driving to the grocery store, building a building, manufacturing parts for an airplane, turning on an electric light, buying some new consumer electronic gadget, or even building new development where it really doesn’t belong – results in something going to that mythical place."

But away is not infinite, it's Earth and it's getting kind of full, says Epstein. "Air pollution.  Water pollution.  Solid waste.  Toxic chemicals.  Energy use and climate change.  We know that there is no Away."

Full Story: Wasting Away

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