There are no upcoming events right now.
Why not post one?
- Justice for Indigenous Peoples is Long Overdueby Ryan McGreal, published June 30, 2021 in Commentary
- Third-Party Election Advertising Ban About Silencing Workersby Chantal Mancini, published June 29, 2021 in Politics
- Did Doug Ford Test the 'Great Barrington Declaration' on Ontarians?by Ryan McGreal, published June 29, 2021 in Special Report: COVID-19
- An Update on Raise the Hammerby Ryan McGreal, published June 28, 2021 in Site Notes
- Nestlé Selling North American Water Bottling to an Private Equity Firmby Doreen Nicoll, published February 23, 2021 in Healing Gaia
- Jolley Old Sam Lawrenceby Sean Burak, published February 19, 2021 in Special Report: Cycling
- Right-Wing Extremism is a Driving Force in Modern Conservatismby Ryan McGreal, published February 18, 2021 in Special Report: Extremism
- Municipalities Need to Unite against Ford's Firehose of Land Use Changesby Michelle Silverton, published February 16, 2021 in Special Report
- Challenging Doug Ford's Pandemic Narrativeby Ryan McGreal, published January 25, 2021 in Special Report: COVID-19
- The Year 2020 Has Been a Wakeup Callby Michael Nabert, published December 31, 2020 in Special Report: COVID-19
- The COVID-19 Marshmallow Experimentby Ryan McGreal, published December 22, 2020 in Special Report: COVID-19
- All I Want for Christmas, 2020by Kevin Somers, published December 21, 2020 in Entertainment and Sports
- Hamilton Shelters Remarkably COVID-19 Free Thanks to Innovative Testing Programby Jason Allen, published December 21, 2020 in Special Report: COVID-19
- Province Rams Through Glass Factory in Stratfordby Doreen Nicoll, published December 21, 2020 in Healing Gaia
- We Can Prevent Traffic Deaths if We Make Safety a Real Priorityby Ryan McGreal, published December 08, 2020 in Special Report: Walkable Streets
- These Aren't 'Accidents', These Are Resultsby Tom Flood, published December 04, 2020 in Special Report: Walkable Streets
- Conservation Conundrumby Paul Weinberg, published December 04, 2020 in Special Report
- Defund Police Protest Threatens Fragile Ruling Classby Cameron Kroetsch, published December 03, 2020 in Special Report: Anti-Racism
- Measuring the Potential of Biogas to Reduce GHG Emissionsby John Loukidelis and Thomas Cassidy, published November 23, 2020 in Special Report: Climate Change
- Ontario Squanders Early Pandemic Sacrificeby Ryan McGreal, published November 18, 2020 in Special Report: COVID-19
By adrian (registered) | Posted November 07, 2010 at 21:00:59
In a way, the focus on the "recycle" portion of the slogan has actually made the "reduce" and "reuse" parts less effective, because recycling serves as kind of a balm to the conscience. It's easy to feel better about consumption when you recycle, because it's easy to think that the waste you throw into the recycling bins will serve some good at some point, but this is hardly guaranteed: lots of stuff that you think you can recycle is not actually recyclable, and there are warehouses full of plastic that no one can find a use for.
Mass production of packaging in particular has made society a little bit weird. Today I needed to transfer three small pieces of chicken from my fridge to my father-in-law's fridge, to serve as my son's dinner (he doesn't tend to eat what's on the menu at papa's). I used a small, resealable sandwich bag as the container. I was using it for a 15-minute drive, after which point it would be thrown away.
But I saw it for a moment through the eye's of someone a few hundred years ago: a resealable, waterproof, durable, transparent and flexible container, really, a sort of miracle. A miracle that today I use for 15 minutes and throw away. In retrospect I should have used a reusable container but the thought didn't even cross my mind.
On the other hand, it's just a tiny little bag. Does it really matter?
I recently read a story about Japan's struggling economy. The problem, explained the article, was that Japanese people have stopped spending money. They prefer to save and as a result their entire economy is grinding to a halt. Similar concern is expressed about North Americans' "consumer confidence". We've created a situation where not purchasing stuff that we don't need has dire economic consequences.
Bizarrely, we even want people to buy stuff they don't have any money for: we lower interest rates in an attempt to make people more likely to take loans in order to purchase more stuff, and credit card companies fall over themselves extending credit. Does that ever end, or is the plant to just spend ourselves into a sci-fi future where cheap energy and resources are limitless?
Permalink | Context