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From Sustainability to Gluttony: A Look at the Lost Essence of Reusables and the Impact of Trends on Waste

Remember when reusable water bottles and coffee mugs were all about sustainability — using them over and over again?

It seems the essence of reusables has gotten lost in the shuffle in recent years. Now it's all about the next stylish design and trendy colors that send customers into a frenzy (cue the Cabbage Patch Kid craze of the '80s). People aren't just satisfied with one; they want them all — every shade imaginable. This isn't sustainability; it's moved into gluttony and utter absurdity. And for what? These trends fizzle out within a month (if that) and leave you with a pile of useless containers that you'll struggle to use up in a lifetime. But the madness doesn't end there, not even close.

Every year, 1.6 BILLION disposable cups land in Canadian landfills, 3 million cell phones, and each year, the average Canadian tosses out 1200 pounds of waste. How many pounds of this are trendy, worthless objects that did nothing to enhance their lives? The average Canadian hoards over 300,000 items in their home.  Are these items adding value or stress to our lives?

So, what's the deal?

It's clear as day that social influence is pulling the strings. Influencers are bombarding us every minute of every day, promoting products left and right for a paycheck. Beyond a select few, these influencers couldn't care less about the brands they're pushing. With thousands, even millions of followers hanging on their every word, a simple "this is the best thing ever" sends their sales through the roof.

What can we do about it?

It's on us to band together and make small changes that send a message: enough is enough. Your every purchase fuels demand, leading to increased production. So, next time you're tempted by that influencer's ad or scroll past a tempting offer, stop and think. Where is that product made? Is it churned out in a country with lax labor and environmental regulations? If you can't find solid information on their site and the price seems too good to be true, chances are the production has brought no benefit to anyone except the profiteers lining their pockets at the expense of others.

Don’t forget, voting with your purchases goes both ways. 

Have you found a transparent, ethical and beautiful company that you love?  Support them in every way you can - create demand for more companies that are doing what is right.