Trendy To Trashcan


The overconsumption of America’s utmost, wasteful desires is piling a gargantuan waste of clothing, food, and resources; this epidemic is plaguing the world and disallowing the Earth to process and gather her helpful hand to the soil and ground below.

While this sounds like the average teenager, most of the American culture is surrounded around consumption–holidays, TV shows, clothing brands, etc. As a country, we make up 5% of the world’s population while simulational takes up 24% of the world’s energy, and our population is only expected to grow. If the rest of the world consumed like Americans, the world would need over four times the available resources that our planet has to offer.  There are thrift stores and consignment shops on every corner to buy and resell clothes, large superstores in every city like Target and Walmart, and hundreds of restaurants in every town. People could buy things in installations and spend all their money and more without worrying about it until a later date. Americans wanted the next best life-changing appliance the moment the commercial for it aired. 

Anneliese Hilst, an overconsuming senior at Edmond North, admits “I consume a lot of gas and contribute to carbon emissions when I’m going for late-night drives for no reason. We as Americans need to reflect on our consumption patterns because we take advantage of the limited recourses available to us.”

The United States also has the most amount of waste per person with 5.7 pounds of waste per day. While Americans waste more than most countries, only 32% of our population recycles. We have 1,250 landfills that are all home to thousands of pounds of waste. American products 434 tons of waste yearly with the only close competitor being China at 361 tons. We also have the highest caloric intake and food expenditure of any country in the world.

Consumerism in America dates back to the 1920s when people had access to credit cards and loans for the first time. With these new ways of money came responsibilities that people weren’t ready for. While overconsumption reigns as a devastating problem, society collectively needs to reform its purchases and wasteful habits that are costing the current generation years of sustainability. 

For questions about this opinion piece, contact Callie Chesnut at [email protected].