I am a strict believer in the philosophy of the four 'R's - Reduce, Reuse, Repair, Recycle. The story I had written a few days back about the death of a dear friend is proof for this claim. For that matter, that is not even the friend with whom I have shared the longest of my friendships :-). Humor aside the point is that it is possible to practice this philosophy. It might be a little difficult initially but it is just a matter of making up your mind.
The world as we see today does not have the amount of resources available to sustain the rate and the kind of consumption that our race has set upon themselves to. The sad aspect about this reality is that we are not even talking about the whole of the human population here. A vast majority of the people out there live in abject poverty and it is the 20% of the population that drives this consumption frenzy. Think of what is to come when the remaining 80% really starts looking to emulate this 20%. And to top it, we really need them to get to the other side of the poverty line and that would include crossing over this consumption divide also.
It is not that it is not possible to slow down and reduce our consumption patterns. It is just that the society is not setting the trend in the right direction. Corporates motives are not helping the cause either. The only way it can happen is, when people consciously start making decisions to put brakes on their consumption patterns. When people decide to reduce, reuse, repair and recycle what they can, then we will be able to slow down the consumption frenzy.
The simplest way to practice this policy is to start thinking. When you decide to buy something, think whether you really need what you are going to buy. Whether what you already have can be reused or if needed repaired. And when you indeed need to buy something new, think of whether you can recycle the thing that you are replacing with the new one. And finally abhor what is disposable unless it is unavoidable or warranted under special circumstances.