Waste Not, Want Not by Bill McKibben: Analysis

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Topics: Thought
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Aaron Archer
English 100 MW 1- 3:20
Essay #5
“Waste Not, Get Not”
In “Waste not, Want not” Bill McKibben argues against our excessive hyper consumerism and suggests a “return to the frugality of simpler times.” He offers that we can either hang onto the status quo of Costco size living or instead go to a retro post-waste living style. While McKibben may be correct that our American materialistic thinking can be the cause of unnecessary simple waste such as disposable products and outdated technology, he is too overzealous in his thinking. There is a fine line between simply wasting materials and food for no reason, and putting them to good use to either enhance or maintain our style of modern living. McKibben wrongly defines his idea of “waste”, in which he included people wasting their life for a cause that isn't his, and technological achievements in our quickly advancing world. McKibben is wrong, these do not define as waste, but instead freedom to do as you please and progress for our species. Hyper consumerism is not a terrible thing if it is pushing developers to produce superior and more efficient technology.
Countless items are discarded everyday, most people do not really stop and think to see if they can recycle an item, or donate it to an organization that can give it to someone who will appreciate it. This is the simple waste that I agree with McKibben should be processed, spared for later usage, and re-consumed, if not used at all. McKibben describes a man named Chris

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Jordan who is the “photographer laureate of waste,” Jordan recently executed a project that projected astonishing numbers of simple everyday waste that is unacceptable and dumbfounding. A few of the numbers he ran out were “ The 106,000 aluminum cans
Americans toss every 30seconds, or the 1 million plastic cups distributed on US airline flights every 6 hours, or the 426,000 cellphones we discard everyday.” While these are only a handful of the examples it is still

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