Generation Waste



We are not our stuff.

We are more than our possessions.

Our memories are within us, not our things.

Our stuff weighs on us emotionally and mentally.

Old photographs can be scanned.

You can take pictures of items you want to remember.

Items sentimental to us can be useful to others.

Letting go is freeing.

From: The Minimalists


In an alternate reality I imagine Generation X to be rebranded as Gen-W.

The Wasteful Generation.

Subsequently the following generations have adopted the same wasteful lifestyle. This is not a ‘dump’ on GenX but rather an observation. Typically demographers give a range of mid 1960’s to the early 1980’s for those of this generation cohort.

As it happens, we were probably the first generation to grow up fully surrounded by plastics, rubbers, synthetics, processed foods, MTV, media frenzy, abominable drug cartels and drug cultures, a kaleidoscope of synthesised chemicals and an ever-increasing galaxy of convenience consumer items which also introduced a King Wave of Waste and environmental destruction to fuel the skyrocketing demands of a new Consumer Army.

And it IS a consumer army.

It’s an observation that the forefront to this was the massive surge in population by our parents – predominantly the Baby Boomers. By necessity of demand, things changed and rising technologies had their impact too.

Environmentally it was thwarted with failure. Amazon Rainforest destruction – The Lungs of the Earth – Remember? Consumer fuelled reliance on all things petroleum, the chemical assault on our daily lives via the supermarket both in what we put on and in ourselves and surround ourselves with. And the ensuing explosion of cancer, allergies, illnesses and new diseases that began to present themselves like no other previous generations had witnessed. In a world more akin to Mad Max we might have gone by the title – The Glyphosate Generation. More on this later.

Economically it was a mega-success for the many companies, marketers, shareholders, distributors, businesses and entrepreneurs associated with it.   The rise and rise of franchised companies and businesses, the many diversified distractions available to the consuming public – Fast Food Chains, Computer Software companies, Toys and Gadgets, Digital Games, Television shows, MTV, fashion trends, Lifestyle-based businesses. Investment opportunities for residential and commercial property… a dizzying blend of services and STUFF.

Others were not so distracted from the buzz and blur surrounding everyday life. Bill Mollison was watching the transition and could obviously see its trajectory towards a future world thwart with problems. Such a wave of consumerism surely could not sustain its growth?

It has also been an observation of mine that under the pressures of such a consumer society, some have also been aware of the wasteful nature of modern society. Under the guidance and inspiration of those such as Bill Mollison (and many others…) Baby Boomers and Gen-Xer’s have also taken to changing their ways in a hope that it rubs off on future generations. This is the paradox with GenX. We have also grown up with a suite of solutions and problem solving abilities. Should we choose to use them.

That’s what I like about permaculture. Focus on the solutions. Look at where you want to be going. The road ahead may be bumpy, but we’re driving on alternative energy and optimism. Come on folks, lets not be a part of the problem. Let’s get cracking.

It’ll be fun too.







One thought on “Generation Waste

  1. Well, as you know, a consumptive society does not make it easy to be self sustaining. There are so many laws that make it hard to live the way one might want to, without outside intervention. Even building codes require that a home be connected to utilities, and such. Okay, I won’t get started on that rant.


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