Thursday, October 22, 2009

"Disposable" just means YOU don't see it anymore.

"Disposable: Made to be thrown out ofter use." Let's think about all the things we throw out. We have disposable razors. We used to have disposable cameras before digital came around. There are disposable forks spoons knives plates, napkins, etc. Some people think cell phones are disposable. And there's the big one that I hate: disposable diapers.

When something is "disposable", that doesn't mean that once you are done with it, it goes into magic garbage land far far away on another planet in another universe. It goes into the landfill over in the next county, or the next state, or the next country; and it especially goes into the ocean. ( http://www.greatgarbagepatch.org/) This is not OK. It's not OK for the planet and it's really not OK for your kids and their kids. Sure, when you throw that diaper out, it's gone from your mind, your home, your life. Right? Wrong. That little plastic poopie-bomb will be around for the next 3 or so generations of your family. At least. Nice legacy to leave for them.

Do we really NEED disposable things? Razors: nope. The replaceable heads on a non-disposable razor not only work better, they last longer and mean much less waste. Remember, waste doesn't just happen when you throw it away; there is the waste of producing the products in the first place. There's a whole lot goin' on there. Plates and utensils? Nope. These are next-to-never necessary. (Ever?) Some would argue that the water needed to clean regular plates etc. makes up for the waste caused by throwing the paper or Styrofoam plates and plastic sporks away. Nope. There is much more water used in the production of these products that we use washing the real stuff. Do you want to argue convenience at a picnic or time saved because you are too busy to wash? Nope. Not worth the price to the planet. Single-use plastic bottles? Covered that one in a previous blog! And as for the big one: diapers. NOPE. Disposable diapers should be the extreme exception, NOT the rule. Again, the water needed to wash cloth diapers makes up for itself in the water saved by not producing plastic diapers. Cloth diapers are made so well these days that there is no excuse. The smell, the gross-factor? Guess what: you had a baby. Babies poop. Babies smell bad sometimes. Babies need changing. You knew this when you signed on to have one. If you don't want to deal with the mess, you shouldn't have HAD a baby. Babies are messy. Deal with it. Remember the legacy I mentioned above? Is that really why you had a child -- so they would have to deal with the after-effects of YOUR wasteful ways? I hope we can say, "Of course not!" Do we want to leave them a nice clean healthy planet, or one where the Oceans are full of plastic and the landfills are taking over and cancer is everywhere because of what we've done to the planet?

Guess what: that's what's happening now. We have to change. We have to quit being so disposable. Because "disposable" doesn't mean it goes away forever. It just means it goes away from YOU.