With reports of toilet paper hoarding and shortages on just about every paper product on the shelves, we are forced to ask ourselves, “What do we truly need?” For as many that hoard supplies, the same number go without.
We live in a country of excess with waste at an all-time high. According to the Paperless Project, the United States uses about 68 million trees each year to produce paper products. As many stores transition to reducing plastic, we are forced to look more closely at the disposable life we’ve been leading. In addition, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that about $160 billion in food is wasted every year in the United States. All this while people around the world go hungry.
Single-use plastics, excess paper and wasted food are just some of the ways we’ve created a divide between fellow human beings. These examples also highlight the fact that we’ve drifted away from our connection to Nature. As we fill our online shopping carts with whatever we can muster, we must stop and give our lifestyles a once over. In overstocking our pantries, what we fail to realize is that human beings are not an isolated species. We are in this together. And while social distancing is now pretty much a mandate, taking and using only what we need is the right thing to do—for each other and for our planet.
Stick together and stand by each other—even if from a distance. Lend supplies, check in with the elderly, show that you care. Be creative with how you use the supplies that you currently have. Try turning yesterday’s leftovers into something new for dinner. These simple actions go a lot further than you might ever imagine.