The principle of resource waste and humankind's eventual doom is pretty well illustrated, I think, in paperclips.

There's no reason, especially in the modern online society, that anybody should ever need to buy a box of paperclips. Think about it, a box has at least a million paperclips in it. Your whole life, maybe you need two boxes of paperclips. EXCEPT there's few things that are easier to MISPLACE than a box of paperclips, 'cause they're so darned small, and also if you're throwing out trash it's very easy to think, "I will rid myself of the burden of this box of paperclips."

And then eventually you need a paperclip again.

Somewhere out there is a factory manufacturing tons and tons of paperclips, just to replace all the ones that were bought, and then lost, or thrown away, because they were thought useless.

And that is how the world's gonna end.

I believe this principle also applies to the penny.