1000 Flowers for the Planet - #482 Get "Real" about "Reuse"
It’s all very well to come up with a plethora of ideas for recycling items into something ‘useful’ but maybe it’s time to get ‘real’ about what’s happening here. The Internet is full of fantastic ideas for turning rubbish into useful items around the house e.g. use the lid of your empty laundry liquid container as a scoop for pet food; staple old egg cartons to your walls to soundproof the room; break up old CDs, DVDs crockery etc and make mosaics; use an old coffee tin to store crayons or colour pencils; DVD spindles can be used as bagel holders for your lunch. But let’s think about this. Do you only go through one bottle of laundry liquid per year? How many cat food scoops do you need? How many pencil containers do you need? Are you even interested in creating mosaics and how many little tables or fancy mirror frames can your house handle? How many bagel holders do you need and don’t you already have a proper container to take your lunch to work in? And do you really want to staple egg cartons to your wall? Come on! Really?
The point is, whilst these ideas might be creative, are they practical? These types of solutions only deal with one piece of rubbish, not the multiples we generate every week, month and year. We don’t all limit ourselves to one tin of coffee a year, so what do we do with all the other coffee tins we’ve generated. Of course, it all ends up either in the recycling bin, or more likely in landfill. So let’s not kid ourselves that we’re doing something particularly wonderful by the planet when we recycle one coffee tin, or one DVD spindle, or one plastic lid. These are only temporary solutions. We need to get real.