I bring my own bag to the store, carry a refillable water bottle and shun unnecessary packaging on everything I buy. Sure, it reduces the waste from my household. But even if we could get everyone to do the same, the impact would still be negligible, because household garbage is only 3 percent of the waste produced in the United States. Tackling the remaining 97 percent means reforming and reshaping a global system of production, distribution and disposal – a goal that can’t be achieved through individual consumer action, but only by coming together as citizens to work for change.
Our real source of power to make a difference is through changing the polices and structures in which production and consumption happen, and we do that through civic engagement, not better shopping. So shop responsibly. Just be sure that’s where you start, not where you stop."