In the Amish world, ‘P’ comes before ‘C’.
Production is the ‘P’ in this instance. Consumption is secondary–even though some Amish have credit cards, they are used much less liberally than those of most modern Americans. No, the Amish are producers first–and what they produce has grown in scope in recent years. Classically linked with farming, the group has lately undergone an entrepreneurial revolution of sorts. Kitchen cabinets and lawn furniture are two examples of the wide range of products made by Amish wood shops. A steady stream of quilts, leather belts, toys, machinery, and books flow out of other Amish home-based enterprises. Amish wealth has grown steadily as a result of their industry.
‘Waste not, want not’ remains a way of life here. A drive through any significant Amish settlement reveals that not much gets tossed out. Wood shavings, a by-product of the aforementioned shops, go for two bucks a bale, according to one hand-lettered sign. Excess eggs and produce are staple tourist buys. Discarded tires are converted for cart wheels in the congregations that permit rubber coverings. The Amish are richer today than at any time in their history. Still, value is wrung out of each and every item.
What if we had the same dedication to avoiding waste? Might be useful for the environment. It would certainly be helpful to our wallets.