Since my time at Kansas State University over 25 years ago, I have understood the need to properly conserve our natural resources. We are quickly running out of vital resources that allow our economy to function while we continue to lose resources that allow our bodies to function properly.
Our use of natural resources greatly resembles our use of personal and government financial means. We are borrowing our way further and further into debt as individuals to buy consumer goods that immediately lose value. We have come from a generation through the Great Depression who had nothing and reduced, reused, and recycled to a generation who occasionally recycles.
Our economic consumption and our environmental consumption are functionally linked. When we run out of economic means to purchase goods, we begin to borrow our way into a pit of debt that we leave for our children. When we run out of environmental resources to utilize for personal gain, we leave an environmental debt that our children may not be able to repay.
During the 1990s, we saw soaring stock prices, larger homes, and an increase in both our personal debt and our national debt. This past year, we had the economic rubber band snap back on our hand as stock prices dropped, homes were foreclosed on, and we have begun to borrow even more to try and stop our economy from reaching a level only our grandparents understand.
We must take a lesson from the economic sphere of life and apply it to the environmental sphere. We have consistently consumed more and more goods that are functionally unusable within a year from purchase. We buy $100 sneakers that are sent to the dump a year later, we buy enormous homes that could fit a family of ten for a family of four, and we buy larger less energy efficient cars whose only function is to take us from point A to point B in "style".
We must remember the lesson of the 1970s environmental movement and the 1930s depression and begin to reduce and reuse once more. We must look to our grandparents to see their struggle to truly understand the predicament we stand in today. Their sacrifice and hard work brought our country out of a economic Depression, and I know that through hard work we can do so economically once more. As we pull ourselves up, we must also understand that the time has come for us to reduce and reuse in the environmental sphere as well.
If you would like to learn more about living within our means and what it means to me as a State Senator, please watch me speak about these two ideas with a similar baseline in our