Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year, apparently got its name because of the massive traffic jams and crowds, and possibly the resultant headaches. Some years later, retailers, wanting a more positive spin on the important day, wanted to get the message out that this day could mean the difference between their being in the red or in the black for that year – in debt or with profits. This year, even more than most, stores and manufacturers are heavily relying upon us to buy as much as we possibly can.
Much of what is purchased will replace or simply increase things that end up in the landfill, things that are made from limited resources like plastics from oil, metals from mined ores. Our economic culture depends on this waste. Our planet is paying for it. In the future, it will be necessary for the manufacturers, in conjunction with us customers, to be responsible for their products at the end of their useful lives. This is beginning to happen, e.g. Apple and Dell offer take back programs for old computers, and even pay for the shipping. Europe is legislating towards more life cycle assessment as a standard business practice to lessen their waste load.
In nature, waste does not exist, All that dies, simply changes form, becomes food for more life. Could such a thing happen in human society? Hopefully!
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Barbara Hirsch, recording engineer, eco-person
“Unless someone like you cares a whole lot,
nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
– The Lorax, Children’s book by Dr. Seuss