Do Not Replace

So much that gets broken seems to not be able to be fixed. Even if you have some skill, some electrical and electronic goods just seem engineered for obsolesce and replacement. Which is really cluttering up land fill. And even as we are exhorted to feng shui and declutter, a third of that stuff is probably non-recyclable plastic destined for dumping somewhere not close to home. Even recycling and up-cycling have limits. Because we have guests coming for Christmas…actually because Christmas’ consumer frenzy is on the horizon, this orgy of waste and disposal in the design is preying on my mind. Even people who don’t horde have so much STUFF! Me included. In some ways we are lucky to be able to compost our food and garden waste, but there is still a fair amount that two people send to land fill each year. We consciously try to minimise it, but still…this is one part we all play in climate change.

Do Not Replace

I hate that supermarkets cradle

organic pears in styrofoam.

What’s a bruise between it and me

(or my gut)? After all, it will

Eventually compost down

Except for the plastic wrap

Which won’t biodegrade into

the sort of crap that makes roses,

that feed the bees, who pollinate

the peas and corn, the olive trees.

You can’t eat plastic or gadgets

that break and are sealed so no one

can fix them. So the replacement

cycle goes on. Until we stop

pretending plastic doesn’t end up

in a dolphin’s gut, exported

to somewhere poor where people live

quite literally off waste dumps.

So if it breaks I want glass or

wood lemon squeeze instead of tat.

I won’t replace the next bust thing-

Microwave or coffee grinder.

Just do not replace. It’s not like

we are really doing without.

Copyright Bee Smith 2018

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One thought on “Do Not Replace

  1. I agree. We’ve taken consumerism to be highs (lows?). I purged around 22 bags and boxes of stuff a couple months ago (2/3 were donations) and I’m horrified by what I still have.

    As someone who makes things, mostly fiber based goods, but ceramics in the past and all sorts of odds and ends come Halloween, I’m aware of all the waste I generate by making a custom gift or other item. I try to buy only what I need, reuse and recycle, but there is ultimately waste that no one wants. I hope that changes. I recently read about a company that takes fabric scraps, grinds them down, and makes new socks from the resulting yarn. I had 3 big bags of scraps that no one wanted. I sent them to recycle and hopefully that was the right thing to do. It was the best I could do.
    Most years I make holiday gifts, but, just like with regular gifts, I don’t like to make gifts for the sake of gifts. Now if only everyone could understand that…

    Liked by 1 person

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