Here Today, Gone Tomorrow- Why The Throwaway Culture Is Bad!
Just a few decades ago, a 20-year-old radio or a 10-year-old refrigerator would assume a place of pride, not just in the house, but also in hearts of the elderly. Pens would be refilled, crockery used till broken and vehicles operated till they refused to budge. For them, having used the same unit for a long time indicated their level of care and maintenance for the product. Come back to the present times. Would you be so proud of your 10-year-old, box-type TV? Would you happily use a simple, only-phone handset for a good 5 years? Would you bother with refilling your pen and using the same crockery more than few times? You are probably cringing at the very thought.
Why? That is because today’s culture, unlike that in the times of our grandparents is the throwaway culture of convenience. We would rather throw away old gadgets and gizmos (even if they are working well) and buy the latest version than be content with the vintage items, say after a repair or two. Yes, this throwaway culture has a few advantages.
- It lets you possess the latest model of a commodity.
- It helps you exploit the latest advancement in technology that could be good for the environment.
- It helps you stay in tune with the times.
But if you look at its flip side, you will realize that the cons far outweigh the pros. With the world today thrashing about stuff, be it a simple plastic wrapper or a pile of e-waste without an iota of responsibility, people are only compromising the viability of the planet they live in. As convenient as the disposable culture may be that is stoked by capitalism and consumerism so rampant today, it only poses a serious threat to the delicate balance of the ecosystem.
Further, as an extrapolation, the one-time-use culture can be directly linked to the faster/cheaper/easier ideology of the present times. And if you have not noticed yet, it is this very ideology that lies at the root of the many pressing issues of today including, obesity, heart diseases and diabetes, climate change and diminishing biodiversity.
If we wish to live a healthy life and make Planet Earth healthy too, we must throw away the throwaway culture for it is simply unsustainable. And the best way to put the first step forward in this direction would be by not contributing to the culture. Recycling is a good idea. But hey what about bringing out the reusable crockery, minimizing the use of plastic, using more of public transportation, reaching out to the repairmen and donating, selling or freecycling your old stuff? When are you doing all these?
by Dr.Shubha Gulkotwar