Disposable Nation

by Kat.illest

*Exam-A-Nation in Progress*

What exactly is a “disposable nation”?

At some point in time, Americans saw the onslaught of disposable products and goods, which would make their life (A) easier and less time consuming, by removing the process of cleaning an item for re-use; and/or (B) more sanitary, by eliminating contact with debris or germs when cleaning the item for re-use. This, for the most part, is a lie – constructed to further the profit margins of the corporate capitalists whom control world markets. Do I believe that all disposable items are problematic? No. I am totally for the use of disposable baby diapers, feminine hygiene products, etc. But there comes a point where we, the consumers, must take note of the items we are disposing that serve absolutely no purpose, or are less effective than their reusable counterpart.

Let’s, as my most obvious example, take a look at the lint roller conundrum. We all use them, and we all have experienced those moments when we’ve rolled, removed a sheet, rolled, removed a sheet, rolled, removed a sheet…it goes on for a while…and we’re still completely covered in lint, cat hair, human hair, etc. But, if you’ve ever used a lint brush (Yes, A REAL LINT BRUSH. You know, the one with the red fabric that goes in opposite directions on either side of the tool – versatile for lefties or righties, or opposing the direction of use), then you already know how much more effective this simple device is than the new-fangled (yeah, I said it) lint roller. Now, when was the last time you tried to purchase a lint brush? Try finding one in a store today…go ahead, I’m sure you’ll find it is not as easy a task as it would seem. I know that I could probably find one online, but that’s besides the point.

The real point is that there’s a whole slew of products like the lint brush which have been replaced by modern, disposable, and ineffective versions for the sole purpose of generating more money.

Now, instead of buying a lint brush once ever, or taking the one that was in your house from childhood and spending $0, we repeatedly spend a few dollars over and over and over again on a product that doesn’t do it’s job very well, and can be a nuisance to unroll if we buy the cheapest version of it (you know the ones that stick to each other and you end up throwing away like 6 pages that you never used just to get the roll back in order).

Just to list a few other items which can be noted for being rather ineffective and requiring constant refills or replacement parts; I’ll point to the the Swiffer Wet Jet (that helps you push dirt around), or the Swiffer duster (that’s supposed to “attract” dust to it – Right).  That toilet brush which you just pop off the dirty end and throw it away when you’re done. And how about those low quality food storage bins (which crack and break their seal shortly after purchase), by Glad or similar brands.

How about things that aren’t made to last, because the technology changes so quickly? The theory is that you’ll more than likely want to upgrade before a well made machine would break down, so why build it with quality materials anyway? Realistically, all of us could make a concentrated effort to use less paper towels, and more washable rags (myself included), among a variety of other minor changes in our habitual rituals, which would impact our pockets, planet, and personal health in a major way.

Ultimately, however, to address the bigger problem, we must first collectively address our addiction to buying “stuff” to satisfy some sort of illusion of need created by captain capitalism.

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