Analysis Of Colin Beavan's Life After The Year Without Toilet

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Today’s society in the United States is a technological paradise where answers can be found in the blink of an eye on a smart phone and trips across the world can be made in a matter of hours. Innovations and constant breakthroughs have made people smarter and more efficient but, consequently, have also made the nation, as a whole, distracted. With on-going industrialization, the environment has taken an abrupt turn for the worst. The solution for the past few decades has been to “go green.” Words like “recycle” and “solar energy” have become focal points for many people, and the question for our society has become, “How can we fix this problem that has been created?” Authors such as Colin Beavan, who wrote “Life after the Year without Toilet …show more content…
Consumerism is the first major factor applying to the environmentalist movement, and although Beavan and Hayes have similar viewpoints on this subject, Matheson brings a contrasting opinion that allows the reader to visualize from another angle the effects consumerism has not only from an emotional standpoint but from an economical approach as well. In Beavan’s article “Life after the Year without Toilet Paper,” consumerism is marked as a vicious cycle that causes people to work and make enough money so they can spend that money on materials that aren’t needed but make them feel better about themselves and how they are viewed or ranked in society. Beavan quotes Annie Leonard, who in her Story of Stuff states, “We plop down on our new couch and watch TV and the commercials tell us YOU SUCK so we gotta go to the mall to buy something to feel better…. We’re on this crazy work-watch-spend treadmill. And we could just stop” (Beavan 101). …show more content…
The main idea Beavan expresses in his article “Life after the Year without Toilet Paper” is that change must start with oneself. Once a person makes a change, it can influence family, friends, and eventually the community. Beavan expresses this idea by saying, “We know we have to change the system, but we must also remember that the system is only a collection of individuals. … We have to stop waiting for the system to change and remember that every decision we make in our homes and in our workplaces amounts to the system” (Beavan 107). Hayes’ article “Meet the Radical Homemakers” agrees with Beavan. Hayes believes that one should begin to produce, recycle, and reuse as well as maintain. As a result of this change to a simpler lifestyle, one would be happier, and this happiness would spread to the family and community. Hayes shares this idea clearly when she says, “If we start by tackling our domestic lives, we will do more than reduce our ecological impact and help create a living for all. We will craft a safe, nurturing place from which this great creative work can happen” (Hayes

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