With the economy struggling people are trying to find ways to make their money go farther. Over that past two decades we have become a complacent in the land of plenty. Our lifestyle has become that of a "Throw away" society and not a conservative one. We have gotten used to buying new clothes, new cars, new homes and throwing out anything that is "out of season".
Today, there are more people that live alone, having an entire apartment or house all to themselves. Now, however, it may be more affordable to have a roommate to help pay the rent or mortgage. It may be more cost effective to keep your car for more than 3 years. We may be looking at a lifestyle change where people become more social and make better decisions when it comes to purchases.
Corporations have gotten wasteful. In rough times the typical response is to cut back on labor costs. But with the wastefulness being brought to light, we may see corporations opt to become more streamlined while retaining their workforce. It is estimated that the grocery stores throw away 30 billion dollars in food every year because it doesn't sell in time. They just throw it away. We may see a change in policy, possibly cutting back on the amount of inventory packed on the shelves. It would make more sense for the stores to be out of an item for a day or two rather than buying too much and throwing away what doesn't sell.
This may be the beginning of some much needed changes.