Visit your neighborhood landfill
Updated: Jun 9, 2020
I grew up in Los Angeles County. Throwing trash away was always just a matter of throwing crap in the trash can and letting the magic trash truck haul it away. It never mattered if the week's waste exceeded the limits of our cans. You could pile whatever you wanted on top of or around the cans and the garbage fairy would make it magically disappear. Moving to Oregon and buying a home provided a different experience. The waste management folks in Oregon don't play around. There are specific types of waste that go in specific cans. And if you have overflow? You'll have to wait until next week, buddy.
Combine strict waste management policies with buying a fixer upper in need of countless home improvement jobs and you find yourself going to the dump a few times a year.
Going to a landfill will put your soul in check. Seeing mountains upon mountains of plastic - from children's toys to IKEA desk lamps - things that people knew were semi-disposable when they bought them - will make you question your own consumption. That cheap and easy purchase that solves some type of annoyance in your life will end up in a landfill, decomposing and leaking chemicals into our soil and water supply.
I am a consumer products marketing professional. My job depends on shoppers going out and buying the next product I come up with. I am as guilty for being a shopper as I am feeding the beast.
But going to a landfill... it forces me to stop and think about what I'm doing. Hopefully it forces me to adjust my plans.