We are a disposable society. From diapers to razors to relationships, we are use to tossing things out when they no longer suit. I am trying to change my habits. I want to toss less and repurpose more. The thing that is hard is not letting what I save just become clutter and refuse in my house as opposed to clutter and refuse in the landfill. For instance, saving leftovers in the fridge is only useful if I eat them in a timely fashion. Otherwise, I am just postponing the inevitable. There is no virtue in tossing the stuff only after it molds. Yesterday, I was throwing out a twenty year old sweatshirt that had finally had it. It had been through about ten kids and could not be mended again. It was not even good for rags as it was a synthetic blend. It did, however, have an actual metal zipper (I told you it was old). I removed the zipper and put it in my sewing notions. Now I have to use it. Otherwise, my kids will find it and toss it out when I die. They will have to suffer the inherited guilt that rightly belongs to me.
Clutter is a real problem for those of us who save stuff and I am not sure of the solution. I am trying to make sure I have a plan for what I keep. The jeans will be patches or maybe a quilt top. The leftovers will become soup. But what about the dead electrical stuff. I know I can not be the only one with a box of phones, hair dryers and VCRs that will never work again. Bruce can fix most things but the new electronics are so complicated that without special tools and the schematics the average person will never do it. I guess the solution is not to toss less but rather to buy less and to make sure what you do chose to spend money on has some real value. It is generally better to spend the money on something that will last for 20 years than it is to save money on something that is destined for the junk heap after 6 months. Maybe that is the problem with the economy. If it is consumer driven and the consumer is sick of driving, especially to the dump, the economy is doomed.
Bruce and I went hiking yesterday. We went to an amazing series of waterfalls called Tannery Falls. We stood in the damp, cool air and soaked in the beauty. In that spot, it was possible, at least for a few minutes to forget the problems that face our planet. There was no problem with climate or pollution or population or resource depletion or species extinction. It was just primordial beauty. We returned to the parking lot and were greeted by a waving plastic bag and discarded beer cans. Sometimes I wonder if there is any hope for a person who can leave their trash in a place like that. It felt like desecrating a church. Evil.