People waste so much that it’s not just sad but literally heartbreaking, especially knowing that 1.2 Billion people on this planet are lacking and living in extreme poverty. While one shall start with making changes in their own home first without pointing fingers, it is hard not to get upset when it happens right in front of your own eyes. While I do feel guilty by occasionally letting half a gallon of organic milk go to waste (half a gallon that cost me a whooping $5.99) or making a rookie mistake and buying a shirt online that ends up not fitting (no returns, please), it is nothing compared to what kind of waste I have witnessed lately.
My friend (I will call him Bob) got a new house two years ago. And so he and his 3 children moved. And by moved, I mean they walked out of the house and locked the door. Bob still owned the ‘old’ house so there was no need to rush and pack up. Food stayed in the fridge, dry goods, spices, pastas and canned stuff all untouched in the kitchen cabinets. All clothing (Bob’s and the kids’) stayed neatly hang in the closets. It was as if no move ever happened and the family was coming back at any moment. Except that they were not.
Bob filled new house with brand new clothes for himself and his children, brand new laptops, toys, sheets and pillows. He got new bikes, new swimming and hiking gear, new whatever you name it. None of his kids (then 15, 13 and 11) cared for their stuff from the ‘old’ house. All Sephora cosmetics and perfumes stayed untouched in the oldest daughter’s bathroom. The middle boy never picked up his beloved basketball, and the little girl couldn’t care less for the American Girl doll she left on her old pillow.
It was the strangest ‘move’ I have ever seen.
Well, Bob just sold his home this past week, the one that he ‘abandoned’ two years ago. When the time to ‘pack’ came, it was long after all his children outgrew their expensive, brand clothing. It was after Bob already got the things for his new home and after he filled his closets with latest John Varvatos jackets, Prada shoes and other fancy things. It was long after all the items in the kitchen cabinets expired. Bob came back with two of his kiddos to ‘pack’. And this is what happened:
Yep, except a few things, all got trashed. Clothing, toys, laundry baskets, cans with paint and motor oil all thrown together onto one pile. Literally thousands of dollars of stuff that others could have used. T. was able to fish some things out (that managed to stay intact and free of the motor oil that leaked from the cans) and put by the road with a ‘Free to take’ sign (with full Bob’s blessing). Still 90% of everything got wasted. It literally made me sick to my stomach.
What I could not understand was that Bob did not think ahead and did not just simply give the things away. Bob is a good person, he actually is an amazing person, helpful, generous and thoughtful. And yet, this was completely out of his character – simply because he left it till the last moment and was rushing.
Within a couple of hours all the items that T. put by the curb disappeared. Al least that. But it still left me disgusted. There are so many people struggling making ends meet and there is still so much waste around us.
Have you ever witnessed this sort of waste?