The crackers from the “health food” aisle of the grocery store were a delight! Attractive, thick cardboard box, thick foil wrapper, a dozen or so crackers lined neatly in a plastic tray. The crackers long and with sesame seeds sticking (not falling off) were tasty.
The presentation of the few crackers was impressive, as it should be. These were in the health food aisle so they were different from the cheesy Cheez-Its and the corny Keeblers and the run-of-the-mill Ritz. These were “healthy” crackers.
If I had bothered to compare ingredients, I’m sure my royally-adorned crackers would have been marginally “healthier” by having fewer saturated fats or salt or something worthy enough to earn the placement in the health food aisle.
Yet is any processed food really “healthy?”
The “health food” aisle and the extensive packaging of a dozen or so crackers are “branding.” The wasteful packaging is needed to emphasize an image, a belief or an identity to the buyer. To eliminate this waste would be to eliminate the brand and those images, beliefs and identities.
If those crackers and the cheaper, cheesier versions were put in bins (the 1980s version of a health food store) and we were to pick our crackers and put them in a bag we brought with us, how often would the higher-priced cracker win?
If brand is eliminated, the ability for one to identify with consumer products is greatly if not entirely reduced. Now those crackers may be healthier but do I have anything to prove it?
To truly cut back on the waste produced in the “developed” countries, we need to eliminate packaging which results in the destruction of brand identity. And when we do that, the true challenge is to sever the identity created with the purchase of those brands.
Can we give up our identities to preserve the environment?
Coke or Pepsi?
In all of the discussions of plastic and waste, one main culprit is always ignored – Coke. This Forbes article indicates that they are “the world’s most polluting brand in plastic waste.” Yet the efforts to reduce waste always seem to be some other target such as straws and plastic wrapping on vegetables.
Why do we avoid the biggest culprit of all?
Rather than focus on the waste created by Coke, we are waylaid into another of our world’s dualities of identity – do we prefer Coke or Pepsi?
In addition to establishing identity with the carbonated-beverage duality, these drinks contain two highly-addictive substances – caffeine and sugar. Coke was brilliant in its original marketing by offering samples. These many years later so many other industries are following suit including the legal and illegal drug markets – try our addictive substance and we know you will return.
To get rid of all those plastic bottles, we need to get rid of addiction. If we do that, we can also preserve the water supplies of local communities which are pillaged for non-nutritious drinks.
Identity and Addiction
How does a human born with a personality eradicate identity and addiction in order to preserve the environment?
In astrology the sun is our conscious identity and the moon our unconscious reaction which doesn’t necessarily lead to addiction but encourages it.
Astrologer Steven Forrest does an excellent job in his books describing the highest manifestation of a sign and each sign’s “default” behavior. It’s the default behavior that the advertisers are seeking. And now that advertising is ubiquitous, we are encouraged constantly to move into our personalities’ default behaviors.
In a consumer culture, we are constantly prodded to manifest our personalities outside of ourselves through consumer goods rather than in relationships to each other through family and community.
We are meant, I believe, to experience life through the lens that our horoscope represents. We are meant to learn about the energy of our sun and moon as well as the entire horoscope through interactions with energy-generating beings (people, animals, plants, earth).
The encouragement of identity and addiction not only destroys the environment but also keeps us from developing our true selves. The focus of development becomes external rather than internal and our “default” selves. Preserving the environment is much more than recyclable packaging material, much of which doesn’t really get recycled but rather is another identity play to make us feel good about our waste.
Preserving the environment in an internal job, not an external one.