Opinion Personal

Remodeling and Consumption

The killing of our Mother Earth.

It is hard to believe I have lived in my house for almost 30 years. When first moving in with a budding family, it didn’t seem big enough. Now, it’s too big.

At this stage of my life, I find many of my friends are downsizing . I too have contemplated a smaller place, but with my still-nagging ambition, and possible fallacy to believe “bigger is better,” I just can’t pull the trigger and move into a condo.

This decision to “stay put” comes with some guilt and work.

First, the guilt (a woman’s plight) comes from having too big a carbon footprint from a house where just two people reside. It seems, to me, the size of houses are ridiculously too big these days. Everybody has a mansion, and many children have their own wings! I am not that bad. Thus, I justify myself.

Now, the work. With the decision to keep our family home comes the need to update it. Though the walls have been painted, in years past, I have never undertaken painting the trim or updating the kitchen.

While feeling like a slouch, I also felt thrifty and eco-friendly.

Just talking about throwing away the shabby cabinets, that are still functional, makes me cringe. But that is what we do now; “out with the old, in with the new.” The consequences of this disposable consumerism are the consumption of Mother Earth’s resources and the creation of burgeoning landfills.

But this 30 year renovation gap can also be a little embarrassing and now, at my age, impossible to do myself. When the kitchen contractor came to measure, I blushed. No amount of scrubbing was going to clean up the old cabinetry.

Problem after Problem

It seems to me that problem after problem arises as we continue to measure our country’s health by its GDP.

I may be the only person that wants the price of gas to go up and the world to slow down. Is it correct to measure our country’s worth by the amount of frivolous stuff we buy or luxurious trips we take? FOMO (fear of missing out) is exhausting and unhealthy for a person’s mental wellness.

Remember how quiet it was in March of 2020 (the Covid-19 curfew), when the whole world took a pause? Smog was down. People learned to cook again, and we all thought, “I’m going to read a book and do some gardening.” How can we live like that for the long term?

Prosperous means what?

What if Prosperity was about thriving as the person you were created to be; a productive, honest contributor to society? Not about attaining wealth and living in abundant luxury.

How can we Love our Mother Earth, who is dying of consumption, and still be prosperous? Maybe we need to redefine what it means to be prosperous.


noun DATED from Dictionary.com

a wasting disease, especially pulmonary tuberculosis.

“his mother had died of consumption”