Recently I was asked what movie I thought would make the world a better place if watched by everyone. In that spirit, I ask you to watch The Story of Stuff. It is a 20 minute film about the (non-cyclical) life cycle of "stuff" - from pollution-creating production and distribution, to careless disposal.
I disagree with the film in the way it lays most of the blame on the government and corporations. Although they are certainly at fault (70x the amount of your waste was discarded in making it in the first place), consumers make decisions that ultimately lead to the problems the earth is having. Buyers may be influenced by advertising etc, but that is still their fault: wake up and smell the pollution. Own your choices.
I cringe when I see all the JUNK for sale out there: fluffy teddy bears in every color for Valentine's Day, disposable products that are barely used then trashed, "gift" items that nobody wants (much less needs), and just about everything sold for a dollar. That is all complete junk, created with toxic byproducts, a waste of money, and filling up landfills.
The film states that 99% of stuff makes its way to the landfill within 6 months of purchase. How much of what you buy is still in use 6 months later?
The next time you go to buy something, ask yourself, "Isn't there a better alternative?" I guarantee there is.