Like most of us nowadays, we have far more things delivered than we used to. If you’d suggested 10 years ago we’d have everything from cat food to screws delivered to our door, I’d have laughed. Yet that’s where we are today.
It can’t have escaped your notice that today is Black Friday. This morning alone
26 27 28 emails hit my inbox with Black Friday in the subject line. I suppose it must generate lots of business or they wouldn’t do it.
All this generates a huge amount of cardboard. We’re not immune, we sell our books online and they come in cardboard boxes too. Happily, it’s useful stuff as I wrote about here: Using Paper & Cardboard in Compost and here: Mulching with cardboard or paper and grass clippings
From an environmental point of view it may well be greener to buy online rather than driving to distant shops to collect. But wouldn’t it be better still to have a Green Friday where we didn’t buy anything?
We’re drowning in stuff in the west – so much so that there’s been a huge growth in storage units where people rent rooms to keep the stuff that won’t fit in the full loft. Stuff we don’t need or use – or it wouldn’t be in store.
I’m reminded of the skip that used to come to the allotments. People would dump their rubbish into skip but they’d also pick out things others had dumped that they could find a use for. Those unwanted plant pots went in and were duly fished out by someone who needed them. An unwanted plank of wood that could be cut down to make a shelf dragged off in triumph.
Time for a change?
Maybe it’s time for us to change our attitudes. We’re an affluent wasteful society of consumers yet many of our people are suffering in poverty. Maybe what we need to do is just give our unwanted stuff away. A warehouse where you can drop your unwanted goods and collect things you actually want.
Not a charity with all the stigma that attaches to living on charity to the recipients, just a way for people to share. Even if you’re well off, what’s wrong with making use of what others don’t want? Too proud to save the planet?