Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Bring Back the Zippo

There are so many disposable things in our lives that we don't need to be disposable, it's mind-boggling. For example, take the easily-ignored lighter. There are a lot of smokers out there. I used to be one of them. How many times does it happen that they have lost the lighter? Constantly. How many lighters do we go through in the course of, say, a year? 3? 6? More? We have them left over from my smoker days and from when we have found them in the laundry room, etc. We use them to light candles and incense. They get lost or get used up, and thrown away they go. As I've said before, though, away isn't really away.

Cigarette lighters collected by volunteers;
 picture by D. Tsukayama,  Midway Atoll
Remember Zippos? Those awesome metal refillable things that just plain looked cool back in the day? Why did we abandon those in favor of plastic? Plastic lighters can be dangerous. I had one explode in my car once, as it sat too close too being in the sun as my car was parked at work. Plastic shards everywhere, lighter fluid smells. They go through the laundry. They end up in the ocean. They leak their toxic fluid into the ocean. They never go away. And for what? Convenience? Because we cannot be bothered to refill Zippos?

Here's what REALLY funny: It's very hard to buy the necessary lighter fluid. This I know because I was fond of using refillable lighters. They make it very hard to purchase that stuff. Because it's dangerous. I find that vaguely ironic, because I find the plastic lighters far more dangerous in the long run. Is that why people don't buy Zippos? Because it's too darn inconvenient to buy the fluid? That has to be the reason, because overall there really can be no other excuse. They have a lifetime warranty so it's not like it breaks and you are SOL. Pure, sheer convenience, I guess.

Look, almost all of us have need for lighters at one point or another. Lighting candles in the dark when the power goes out, camping, fireplace, pilot lights that went out... why not have something of quality that will last, rather than cheap dangerous plastic that ends up in the Midway Atoll of all places, in the stomachs of baby albatross??? What a great cool neat thoughtful green gift: a Zippo. I went to their site after thinking about this, and WOW! I have to say, I was even more impressed. What a great story they have, and what cool products. I don't get on people for smoking. It is what it is. I DO get on them for littering or for the plastic lighters. Matches are preferable, for that matter. But, yeah, let's please do away with plastic disposable lighters. There is nothing redeeming about them. We do not need them. The planet doesn't need them. They are bad-bad-bad. 

I will buy no more. When I find need for a lighter, I will purchase a Zippo and keep it forever. Better yet, I will find an older one and keep it forever. Those things rock my world.

I didn't intend this to be a commercial for Zippo, but it sure turned into one. HAH! This IS an indictment against plastic lighters. Please: buy no more. And think about gifting something to that candle enthusiast you know... a personalized pretty lighter is really a very thoughtful gift! Designed. Engraved. Whatever! They will think of  you every time they use it, too! Get one for the smoker in your life. Even if you do not approve of their choice to smoke, at least you can help them be a little better about it! Right? 

And when you go to Zippo's site, please tell them I sent you. Not that I'll get anything, just... well, they should know. Hah!