Consumerism as an enemy of the environment: the 10 things you should not throw away

Consumerism as an enemy of the environment: the 10 things you should not throw away

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What do we do when in doubt? On many occasions we directly throw them away so that they do not continue to occupy us space, however this is very harmful to the environment since there are products that are highly polluting and others that take a long time to degrade. On the other hand we are also wasting things that other people could reuse and take advantage of.

Doing a deeper analysis, we could stop to reflect that if we have to throw out so many things, perhaps it is because we have accumulated too much and many times unnecessarily.

Living in this world we have to consume to satisfy our needs, the problem is that consumption often becomes consumerism, which is a much more extreme concept, and we know that extremes tend to be bad.

Why do we consume so much?

Consumerism is encouraged by different factors. One of them is "marketing" advertising, which on many occasions manages to convince us that an object covers a need when in reality it only creates a desire, fosters the idea that it is extremely urgent to acquire that product and generates a kind of "illusion Which makes you go for it to feel satisfied.

Misleading advertising also influences excess consumption by creating the idea that we can solve our problems through a product with “miraculous” attributes and that in reality it is not like that at all.

Surely you know the saying that says “cheap is expensive”. In fact, consumerism is weighted by the low quality of some products that are attractive for their low cost but are more expensive in the long term and more damaging to the environment.

Consumerism impacts our economy, our health and the environment, therefore before buying something we should ask ourselves if we really need that "good" ...

Other triggers for consumerism can be cultural and psychological. In the latter case there is "social pressure", this is seen more than anything in adolescents, who are more influential and often feel that in order to obtain the approval of society - and especially that of their peers - they need to possess everything it offers them and gives them security.

Just one piece of information to illustrate this point: A marketing conference aimed at understanding adolescent consumption estimated that the 30 million adolescent girls and boys in the United States spend $ 175 billion each year on clothing and electronic devices and are also the largest consumers of the 65,000 million dollars spent on snacks.

In short, consumerism impacts our economy, our health and the environment, therefore before buying something we should ask ourselves if we really need this "good", if it is really going to be used and what alternatives we can find at the time to discard it. We can call this “responsible consumption”.

The 10 products that we should never throw away

Batteries and batteries

Cells and batteries - even dead ones - are full of chemicals that can seep into the water supply system, causing serious health and environmental problems if they end up in landfill. Take the batteries to a recycling container. If you reside in the city of Buenos Aires, you can check here the points where they are received.

A very convenient alternative is the use of rechargeable batteries, they end up being cheaper and superior to the environment.

Medications not consumed or expired

There are many people who are tempted to dispose of unused medications by flushing them down the toilet, down the drain, or straight into the trash. Doing so allows these powerful drugs to seep into soil and water, where they can wreak havoc on the environment. The Municipality of San Isidro and the College of Pharmacists of San Isidro promote a project for residents to bring unusable drugs to pharmacies that are part of the program, it is good news that it would be convenient to replicate it in other municipalities and communes.

Grease, vegetable oil or cooking oil

Used oil can be a big problem for waste treatment plants. But pouring it down the drain or sink is an even worse idea, it is very difficult to separate it from the water and that makes the tasks of the purifiers difficult. Once treated, the oil can be recovered to make biodiesel and soaps. Cooking oil is one of the main ingredients in making your own homemade soap.

If for whatever reason you have no choice but to throw the oil away, put it in a plastic bottle and close it tightly. Likewise, used vehicle oil - due to its high polluting power - requires special treatment and can later be used as fuel.

Computer and electronics articles

According to private estimates, Argentines annually dispose of more than 100,000 tons of this type of waste: digital cameras, computers, televisions, printers, iPods, MP3 players, mobile phones, tape loaders, DVDs, locator CDs, ink cartridges and others. Electronic devices - all that electronic waste - contain dangerous substances such as mercury, lead, cadmium and beryllium, among many others (not to mention valuable metals such as gold, silver and platinum). In Buenos Aires there are two Special Green Points where they receive this type of waste:

- Parque Centenario, Av Patricias Argentinas 201, Caballito

- Plaza Arenales, New York 3901, Villa Devoto. Wednesday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

To find out about other places to carry electrical and electronic equipment, you can visit:

Plastic lighters

Plastic lighters, most with a little excess gas, are dangerous and flammable. So make sure they are completely empty before you throw them away. It is advisable to use refillable lighters to considerably reduce the waste generated.

Pesticides and insecticides

They have a very serious effect if you flush them down the drain. According to the managers of the sanitation networks, they cause the highest emission rates in collectors and public sanitation. Nor can they be thrown away, they are highly polluting for the earth. In Madrid for example there are different Clean Points where you can deposit. In Argentina the ideal is to use homemade and ecological pesticides for your plants.

Clothes and stockings

Don't throw clothes in the trash, you have many recycling options. If the clothes are in good condition, you can donate them for those most in need. Nylon stockings contain a fiber that does not degrade (it takes 200 years to disintegrate) so it is good to look for recycling options. A solidarity campaign collects this type of stockings to knit blankets and then donate them.

Paints and solvents

Paint and solvent residues, as well as the brushes or rollers that were used, are flammable and toxic. Unfortunately in Buenos Aires we do not have special containers for this type of hazardous waste, but there are many countries where this distinction is being made, in the meantime you can check with your Municipality where you can place them or if there are urban recyclers who can pick them up.


To be honest, how many creams and makeup we buy could we do without? Conventional cosmetics contain chemicals that are not removed by water treatment. Even when empty, cosmetic product containers cannot be recycled due to the mix of materials from which they are made. Fortunately, some companies are choosing to reduce packaging and offering eco-friendly cosmetics. Likewise, a good healthy and balanced diet can greatly reduce wrinkles, right?

Human hair or animal hair

Hair is full of nitrogen, about 15%. To avoid throwing it away, you can take advantage of it by adding it to your compost pile to help create cheap fertilizer for your inedible plants. There are also processes that allow the hair to be converted into wool fiber for weaving, which is very beneficial for the environment.

"Today the supposed evolution of society in the way of living can be involution, although we learn to have more hygiene and more comfort in some way. Before the indigenous people did not leave garbage in the streets, the culture of the indigenous peoples was one of great respect for nature and a very strong connection to it, ”said actress and singer Elena Roger in a dialogue with the Epoch Times. Beyond her profession, Elena spends a lot of her time promoting and supporting sustainable and environmentally friendly projects.

We are many on the planet and we can live together better, let's think more about others and get out of the "circle of comfort" ...

The "evolution" in this case is again in "going back to the past": to good traditional practices, home-made products and austere consumption.

We are many on the planet and we can coexist better, let's think more about others and leave the “circle of comfort” in which we are immersed, future generations will surely see –and will be grateful for- this change in consciousness that we are generating.

The Epoch Times

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