By Narelle Vogel, Suburban chook lover and recycler
I was so embarrassed as a child as I watched my Dad repair things around the house with assorted bits and pieces.
When the handles of his bowls case snapped, he replaced them with some chain from the shearing shed. His trousers were held up with bailing twine when his belt had broken. And perhaps the most embarrassing was that a part of the laundry wall was covered with a door, that led to nowhere, because he didn’t have anything else to fix it with.
Oh the shame.
And now I find myself slowly morphing into his twin.
Of course, I tell myself, I have a good and noble reason. My actions are all for the environment.
When the handles on my saucepans broke off after they toppled to the ground I chose to just start using an oven mitt to hold them. They are still perfectly good saucepans.
When my ironing board fell apart, I found all of the parts to the rusty old thing and fixed it. I had to fight the urge to get a new shiny one, and I do really want a new shiny one, but there really is nothing wrong with this one!
You see, this change in thinking started when I heard some information, or urban myth, about Japan. The recycling there, so I hear, is amazing. AND they think about how they will dispose of something at the end of its useful life. THAT was the Eureka moment for me. A completely new way to see that shiny new thing calling to me during a moment of retail therapy.
Where will it end up? Can I recycle it? Another bit of plastic that will take 100 years to go back into the earth?
So now I pause in front of any fabulous bargain and think about how long it will last, how I will dispose of it and then “Do I really need it?”
I don’t really care if the story about Japan’s recycling is true or not. I am enjoying being more thoughtful about my purchases and trying to reduce my load into landfill. Just one person I know but it has to start somewhere.
And if I ever take up lawn bowls and the handles on my bag snap, I will just find some chain from the shed.
Thanks for the inspiration Dad.