a quick observation: in the early years of American Jewish life, many Jews made their living, and some their fortunes, on waste. in those days, waste was mostly scrap metal and rags.
today, one hundred years later, more and more Jews seem to be entering the waste management field. not a sexy field, it nonetheless will form the foundation of a new environmental economy. someone is going to have to pick up, reclaim and recycle all that stuff that we no longer want to throw away but no longer want to keep either.
and hopefully, there are many of us also at the other end of the spectrum, creating materials and processes that allow us from the very beginnings of a design of a product to build in an environmentally sound method of recylcing, reclaiming and re-using.
and there is no question that many of us are there in the big middle: buying and using all this stuff.