resource-wastage in scriptures
Food Wastage -: Here The Taittiriya Upanishad treats Food being the first gateway to the knowledge of Brahman, the śruti enjoins the contemplation of Brahman through the symbol of food. And advices us not to neglect /waste / abandon food.
अन्नंन निन्द्यात् | तद्व्रतं | प्राणो वा अन्नम् । शरीरमन्नादम् ।
प्रतिष्ठितम् । शरीरे प्राणः प्रतिष्ठितः ।
तदेतदन्नमन्ने प्रतिष्ठितम् ॥ २ ॥
Annnm na Nindyaat | prāṇo vā annam | śarīramannādam | prāṇe śarīraṃ
pratiṣṭhitam | śarīre prāṇaḥ pratiṣṭhitaḥ | tadetadannamanne
pratiṣṭhitam || 2 ||
Do not disrespect the food
अन्नं न परिचक्षीत । तद् व्रतम् ॥ १ ॥
- He shall not abandon food; that his vow. This vow is enjoined on him who contemplates life and the body as taught above.
That his vow: This, as before, is intended to extol food: when thus
one does not abandon food, without making any such distinction as good
food and bad food, food becomes exalted. The same interpretation
should be put on the succeeding passages also, beginning with “Water
verily is food.”
Further more Manu smiriti tells us to use our wealth with care and wisely and one should conserve it . Indirectly advising us not to overspend it.
अलब्धं चैव लिप्सेत लब्धं रक्षेत् प्रयत्नतः ।
वृद्धं पात्रेषु निक्षिपेत् ॥ ९९ ॥
alabdhaṃ caiva lipseta labdhaṃ rakṣet prayatnataḥ |
vardhayeccaiva vṛddhaṃ pātreṣu nikṣipet || 99 ||
He shall strive to obtain what has not been obtained; what he has
gained he shall preserve with care; he shall augment what has been
preserved and what has been augmented he shall bestow upon suitable
recipients—(99) See the Artha Shashtra commentary
Arthaśāstra (p. 32)—‘The science of Government tends to the acquiring
of what has not been acquired, to the saving of what has been
acquired, to the augmentation of what has been saved and to the
spending of the augmented in proper places.
There is a interesting story in Shreemad Bhagvat Purana where mother earth hides the resources inside her just because some people were over utilizing / misusing them.
पुरा सृष्ट्य: ह्योषधयो ब्रह्मणा या विशाम्पते |
दृष्टा असद्भिधृतव्रतै ||6||
purā sṛṣṭā hy oṣadhayo brahmaṇā yā viśāmpate
dṛṣṭā asadbhir adhṛta-vrataiḥ
My dear King, the seeds, roots, herbs and grains, which were created
by Lord Brahmā in the past, are now being used by nondevotees, who are
devoid of all spiritual understanding.SB 4.18.6
अपालितानाद्रुता च भवद्भिर्लोकपालकै: |
apālitānādṛtā ca bhavadbhir loka-pālakaiḥ corī-bhūte ’tha loke ’haṁ
yajñārthe ’grasam oṣadhīḥ
My dear King, not only are grains and herbs being used by nondevotees,
but, as far as I am concerned, I am not being properly maintained.
Indeed, I am being neglected by kings who are not punishing these
rascals who have turned into thieves by using grains for sense
gratification. Consequently I have hidden all these seeds, which were
meant for the performance of sacrifice.SB 4.18.7
Although there are immense potencies within the earth for the
production of grains, fruits and flowers, this production is checked
by the earth itself when it is misused by nondevotees, who have no
Moral of the above Story:
Food is not just something that we eat to satisfy hunger or satisfy our tastes. It is a gift from Bhagavān. Food is precious and holy. We should see food as a means of doing worship and for doing good karma.
We should take care of mother earth while growing food on her. We should not abuse or over-use our natural resources. Rather, we should conserve them as much as we can.
You can read the whole story SB 4.17 & 18