Sunday, 23 June 2013

It's not about the elastic

Meet my current hair elastic.  I say current because I tend to only have one on the go at a time.  I put it on in the morning, it keeps my hair out of my face all day, and then it sits on my bedside table while I sleep until it is time to wear it again.  As you may have noticed it looks a tad ragged.  About 2 months ago it popped while I was putting it in my hair, the elastic had snapped.  Not having a spare on me at the time I made do with it until I realized that I wasn't making do, it was working as well as it ever had. Two months later and the elastic has broken in 7 different spots.  Believe it or not, it still works.  But, as the title says, this post isn't about the elastic.

This post is about the attitude.  I'm not going to calculate the savings that result from using a worn out elastic.  Quite frankly I don't care.  What I care about is the impact of it, or lack there of.  Imagine for a moment that you lived on an island.  For every new thing that you created a square inch of the island would become desert, and forever unusable.  Every time you abandoned an item, be it from boredom or  breakage, it would perpetually take up one square inch of the island.  And since this thought experiment is my own little game, the garbage isn't sitting in your otherwise useless desert area, it's in your backyard.

If this though experiment were true how quickly would you throw things away?  How quick would you be to buy or make new things?  Could you avoid running out of space?  The reality is that we are on an island.  An island in the middle of space, with no where else to go.  The exchange isn't one for one, when it comes to the making of new things or the disposal of old.  There is, however, and exchange.

This post isn't about elastics or hairpins.  It's not about toasters or chairs or supersonic jets.  It's about the utilization of resources, and the disposal of things no longer wanted.  This is about our island, and keeping it a place where we all want to live.

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