A Throwaway Society – Waiting For Today
A Throwaway Society
This week’s TRUTH: In 1000 Phrases or Much less was impressed by a drive by way of the mountains of the Colorado excessive nation. Touring by way of the small metropolis of Gunnison on our technique to Crested Butte, my girlfriend and I drove by a seemingly innocuous sight that someway sparked my curiosity….
“Hey, did you just see that television repair shop back there?”
Surprised by my full nonsequitur regardless of being fairly accustomed to my predilection for deriving each that means and amusement from the in any other case mundane components of life that others can simply go by, she circled to look out the rear window, and replied, “You mean Henry’s TV Repair? What about it?”
“Doesn’t it make you wonder how a television repair shop stays in business in a town this size? I mean, when was the last time you even saw a television repair shop?”
“Well, from the look of Henry’s store, it doesn’t look like he’s been in business for quite some time now.”
In equity, as I did analysis for this piece, it seems that Henry’s tv enterprise is doing simply wonderful, thanks very a lot, regardless of the dilapidated shit gap it’s run out of. However the cause for that comes not a lot within the type of the restore aspect of the enterprise, however reasonably the sale and set up of latest televisions units and residential theater system installs. That’s as a result of no-one takes their televisions or different electronics to get serviced anymore. We merely throw them away.
We’ve change into the last word disposable society, a tradition predicated on a pervasive consumerism that pushes us to purchase issues, use them for awhile, trash them, after which go proper again out to purchase them once more. It’s a perpetual cycle of waste creation pushed by company America’s insatiable greed that may solely be fed by us shopping for extra items and thus giving them more cash. They create substandard merchandise with an inherently quick shelf-life and promote them to us at remarkably low costs, so low that it doesn’t justify caring for them or repairing them. As an alternative, we simply throw them on the trash heap and go purchase one other one, preserving the cycle of consumerism alive and properly.
A few years again, my children and I went to a toy exhibit on the Colorado Historical past Museum. I used to be shocked to see the toys from the 50’s and 60’s that have been constructed from steel and wooden, meant to final a lifetime, or no less than till the child grew up. These days, every thing is constructed from plastic- low-cost and replaceable, which, in equity, is also stated of yours really. In the meantime, our planet is an increasing number of starting to resemble the dystopian wasteland from Pixar’s film Wall-E.
The common American creates 4.4 kilos of trash every day. That will not sound that dramatic, however on condition that there are 336 million of us, that equates to 254 million tons of trash per 12 months. And if you’re questioning how we might presumably have area for all that waste, properly, you’re lastly getting the concept.
Primarily based on information collected by Waste Enterprise Journal, over the subsequent 5 years, complete landfill capability within the U.S. is forecast to lower by greater than 15%. Because of this we at present have solely about 15 years of landfill capability remaining. Nonetheless, in some areas, such because the Northeast and Midwest, it may very well be solely half that. That’s some severe doomsday-type shit proper there, and but we proceed alongside the identical misguided path in direction of our personal confident annihilation.
Positive, we’ll most likely simply find yourself opening up extra landfills, sacrificing our valuable federal lands to create one more waste dump, however at what value? And much more importantly, how lengthy can we proceed to take action? Dystopian visions of the longer term like these in Wall-E and Idiocracy, the place overflowing mounds of trash kind the impenetrable panorama of the ever-stretching horizon, are starting to look much less and fewer like predictive fictions carrying ominous warnings about our future and an increasing number of like nothing aside from our inevitable future.
The irony, after all, is that each one these income company America is reaping off the very soul of the environment aren’t going to be price a rattling factor once we don’t have a planet to dwell and breathe on. Sure, we are able to proceed to boost our recycling efforts, however the unhappy fact is that we’re nonetheless falling far quick there as properly. In accordance with the EPA, of the 267.8 million tons of municipal stable waste generated by Individuals in 2017, solely 94.2 million tons have been recycled or composted. However much more than that, we have to to pay attention our efforts on the opposite two elementary R’s that comprise the three R’s of fundamental environmental stewardship: Scale back and Reuse. As an alternative of shopping for an increasing number of crap we don’t even want after which simply throwing it away as soon as it has a difficulty, we have to cut back our consumption by wanting much less and taking advantage of the merchandise we do purchase.
This, after all, will not be what company America desires to listen to. Their income have been maximized by promoting us an increasing number of low-cost crap. However as an alternative of being a throwaway society that pours by way of gadgets manufactured from plastic, we have to return to creating the standard merchandise that when outlined this nation. Positive, they might value a bit extra, however in addition they last more and benefit the price of changing them. As an alternative of simply shopping for new stuff time and again, we have to make the stuff we have now final.
And possibly then Henry can return to the enterprise of repairing televisions as an alternative of simply promoting new ones.
Steven Craig is the creator of the best-selling novel WAITING FOR TODAY, in addition to quite a few printed poems, quick tales, and dramatic works. Learn his weblog TRUTH: In 1000 Phrases or Much less each THURSDAY at www.waitingfortoday.com