Thursday, February 4, 2010

injaynesworld we reject "A Disposable Society..."

I’m not one to run out and buy the latest, fanciest, hippest must-have item that Madison Avenue tells me I cannot live without.   I’ve always found that if I wait a year, it’s not only half the price, but chances are I won’t even want it anymore. 

The late actor/activist, Paul Newman, once said that we live in a “disposable society.”   How true.   Everywhere we look we’re encouraged to “Use it once.  Then throw it away!”   Mother Earth is suffocating in our cast-off crap.  

I hate to throw things away and will use something up till it’s literally falling apart and held together by duct tape.  I find that “New and Improved!” is rarely either.   I remember when companies took pride in their workmanship and things were made to last.   They were actually embarrassed if their stuff broke down.  Remember the lonely Maytag guy?  

Recently, a friend was over and I was heating up some lasagna in the microwave. Apparently, the two minutes it took to complete the task was “too long.”   Yes, my microwave is nearly 20 years old, but it has served me well oh these many years and I see no reason to forsake it now.

My TV, a respectable 32” Mitsubishi purchased in 1993, had never once failed me, until just before Christmas.   Sound, but no picture.   When it first happened, I was in such denial that I actually sat there continuing to watch the blank screen for about an hour.  It cost me nearly $400 to get it fixed.  Sure, I could have bought a new flat-screen for that same money, but those things start breaking down within five years, plus I’d also have to pay the robber-baron cable company another $100 a month for an HD connection and God only knows what -- none of which I want or need.   My TV is now good to go for another decade or so and the local landfill dodged a bullet. 

Maybe I’m a little more sensitive to this whole “out with the old and in with the new” way of thinking as the years add up, but I refuse to succumb to the notion that everything is so easily replaceable.  Remember the days before “no-fault” divorce?   I’m inclined to believe people may have tried a little harder.

In 1987 I bought my first Volvo. When, in 2004 after a quarter of a million miles, it started coughing up oil, I traded it in for another pre-owned (the term “used” is so passé) Volvo, which I fully expect to have for the next 17 years or till the day I die, whichever comes first.  

To further spare the planet, upon my death I’ve signed up to be an organ donor – the ultimate in recycling.   And you know what?  I bet some of my old parts will still be kickin' ass.  

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