An old essay I thought I had published.
Are we a disposable society?
This though came to the forefront of my mind the other day when I took the trash to the dump. I took it before on Wednesday and again 3 days later. Now me and my wife live in a house in front of her friend’s house. 3 people there and 2 in ours. In this time we had filled 1 thirteen gallon trash bag, overall. Her friends had filled two medium size garbage cans that you wheel to the curb.
So this is the question, are we a disposable society?
Self-absorbed and looking for an easy out? Most everything is one use only and plastic. Breaks easy. Myself personally, I use things until they break, and then if possible, I fix them. Admittedly part of the reason is I am unashamedly cheap. Not a miser, but not a foolish spender. Think the big purchases through. Paper plates, cheap plastic products. If it breaks then buy a new one. Convenient.
But I wonder if this contributes to humankind’s lack of value in stuff?
My friend I visited this weekend, haven’t seen him in years, commented; “Still have the same truck?”
Well yeah, still making payments.
“Cool, when you’re done you can trade it in for a new one”
Why, it runs fine, and I keep up the preventive maintenance. Drive the wheels off of it, lots of old trucks still on the road. But it seems to be a pervasive mentality of instant gratification. I’m done with this, don’t want it anymore. Products, tools, friends, loved ones. Use them to meet your needs and toss them when your bored or it breaks or you have no use for them/it. On a more philosophical side, does this bleed over into the way we interact with people? Using cheap, easy and disposable products that are convenient; does this subtly train people to do the same with others.
To use other humans as accessories to look cool, or tools to climb the ladder of prestige, toys that are fun until you get bored and toss them to the curb? Without any thought or empathy for the other person. We could use the high divorce rate and single parent homes as an example, fun and cool, until life gets hard and then the “inconvenience is tossed to the side. This could be my self-reliant nature speaking to me.
Your thoughts to my question.