Friday, August 17, 2007

There is no away ...

Catchy phrase, eh? Or does it puzzle you? Here is the full sentence:




I still had to think about it a bit, though. It was the headline to a magazine advertisement by Shell, offering "real energy solutions for the real world". It went on: "If only we had a magic bin and could throw stuff in and make it disappear for ever. What we can do is find creative ways to recycle." It then specified two ways in which Shell is doing this, but I didn't have time to copy them down - (I was in the hairdresser). Here is its website though

Since reading that ad I have found the phrase "there is no away" echoing in my head, and making me feel ever more conscious of the rubbish that goes into my general household waste, destined only for landfill. One way of being creative is through FREECYCLE.

This is an international recycling group on the internet hosted by Yahoo. I expect many of you have come across it. I think it started in America, but there are local groups in many areas in the UK now. If you have something you no longer need, you offer it to the group by email, and anyone interested gets in touch with you. You then pick one person and arrange for them to collect from you. You can equally post a 'wanted' email for something you need, though the idea is to give more than you ask for. You should be able to get in touch with branches all over the world by clicking here.

Don't be disappointed though if you are still left with some of your junkiest rubbish on your hands to be taken to the local dump. Which makes me think of an interesting experiment: how about offering something really rubbishy on Freecycle, and also for sale on Ebay. What do you think the chances are that a buyer would be found on Ebay, but no takers on Freecycle?

Afterthought :: Back in the 1970s, when I used to read a lot of science fiction, I imagined the worst waste scenario that I could: that for want of any further room on earth, mankind would start firing its rubbish into space, leaving it to circle the globe endlessly, reducing sunlight to the merest glimmer, so that we gradually became a race of pallid, peering, stunted creatures .......... urghh! I don't think I want to imagine any further ..... er, are we nearly there yet?


Avus said...

I think we get rid of stuff far too readily these days. If it breaks we do not repair, we throw away. There was a time when shoes were mended, socks were darned, wireless sets renovated, magnetos re-wound, a watch was for life (not thrown away when the (sealed) battery ran down and ditto a fountain pen (how many of those are still used, I wonder).
I suppose it all comes down to labour costs - we get it new and cheap from Chinese labour, so it is not worth repairing at the rate which we pay ourselves.
I get a real kick out of renovation and repair of items - not from any financial saving, but by the fact that through inquiry and labour I have been able to keep something going which was otherwise useless.

Judith said...

Avus, you are a man after my own heart. My father was brilliant at "make do and mend" during the war, and so was my husband, and it is deeply ingrained in me too.

Sharon said...

No throw aways here...things get repaired or kept *just in case*!

BTW, I see you like Post Secrets. It is a Sunday favorite of mine.

Sharon...who is an ancestor of a great grandfather born in Angus.