Too Much Stuff
January 9, 2014
Have you checked the Lost & Found bin recently? While we are committed to donating unclaimed articles to charity at the end of each month, the bin continues to overflow with lost jackets, sweaters, and lunchbags.
Blogger Paul Graham laments Americans’ growing fascination with collecting stuff in his 2007 blog post:
“Stuff used to be rare and valuable. You can still see evidence of that if you look for it. For example, in my house in Cambridge, which was built in 1876, the bedrooms don’t have closets. In those days people’s stuff fit in a chest of drawers.”
Many of us begin January with resolutions to diet and exercise. What if we put our closets on a diet? The Great American Apparel Diet (GAAD) encourages individuals to take the one-year wardrobe diet challenge which entails avoiding any new clothing purchases for an entire year. This is no small task as the U.S. Department of Labor estimates the average American consumer spends $1,700 per year on apparel and clothing related services.
Beyond the obvious benefits of spending less on clothing purchases, a wardrobe diet may reduce our environmental impact on the planet. Manufacturing new clothes uses energy, water, and raw materials (cotton or petroleum based). According to the Footprint Chronicles by Patagonia , a pair of organic cotton jeans travels over 10,000 miles and generates 83 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions.
Please ask your student to check the Lost & Found bin. It is conveniently located in the South Yard so your child can pick up that sweater discarded at recess on their way home in the afternoon.