We Used To Get Things Fixed, Not Throw Them Away!
When I was young, we got the tv fixed when it quit working. This is the “Throw-Away Generation”
When I was young and the toaster would quit working right, my mom would take it to a store downtown and get it fixed. That was cheaper than going out and buying a new one. And back then we needed to go the cheaper way. Most people did.
I remember the tv volume quit working so we took it out to Gordon’s and he fixed it. That was where most people took theirs to get fixed in our small town. They had a little building beside their home where the husband would fix tv’s.
Now when the volume quit working on a tv we had for 3 years, my kids just automatically assumed we were going to get a new one. And the thing is, I wouldn’t know of anyplace to take it to get it fixed. Plus it’s a lot of trouble to find a place, take it in, then pay for it. I guess I’m a part of the Throw Away Generation now.
I remember a shoe store we had in town too, where people took to get their shoes repaired! I’d go in there with my mom and it smelled of old shoes and leather. There were hundreds of shoes in there! Everyone took their shoes and boots their, to get fixed or re-done. Like if there was a hole in the bottom or anything, he would fix it. I swear the picture above looks exactly like that store did!
We’re making so much trash by throwing everything away now. America produces an absolutely gargantuan amount of trash — so much that it’s difficult to picture. But here’s a shot: According to estimates from the Environmental Protection Agency, in 2008, each person in the United States created a daily average of 4.5 pounds (2.04 kilograms) of solid waste [source: EPA].
Since there were roughly 300 million people living in America at the time, together, they were generating approximately 1.35 billion pounds (about 612 million kilograms) of garbage every day. To put that estimate in perspective, the average blue whale — the largest mammal on the planet — can weigh more than 100 tons (99,800 kilograms) [source: American Cetacean Society]. Assuming we are dealing with only modestly sized, 100-ton specimens, the United States throws away about 6,750 blue whales worth of garbage every single day! Now that’s a lot of trash! The U.S. leads the world in production of waste!
Most of this trash is usually put into either a dump or a landfill. A dump is an exposed hole in the ground where trash is buried. Dumps have rats, birds and mice looming around. There are two types of landfills. A sanitary landfill uses clay liners to keep trash separate from the environment. A municipal solid waste landfill uses plastic liners to keep the trash isolated.
We should definitely recycle as much as possible! The number of plastic bottles we use in a week could circle the earth 5 times! That’s insane!
Electronics should be taken to a recycling center. In some cities, once or twice a year they have a pick-up or a certain place you can take them. Inside some stores, like Best Buy, you can take your small things there for recycling.
To find a recycler that will accept consumer electronics devices, visit the Electronics Recycling Directory.
With today’s advanced state of technological development, many consumers are replacing consumer electronics long before the items stop working. That’s opened up opportunities for charities that want to help bridge the gap between the First World and the Third World.
Organizations such as World Computer Exchange receive used computers and hard drives from individuals, universities and libraries. The computers and other items must be in good working order as they will be used by youth in more than 70 countries who want to learn computing skills.
In addition to helping others, the donations help keep computers out of landfills. The Massachusetts organization has chapters in many major cities in the U.S. and Canada, including Boston, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., and Toronto. Some chapters can even arrange pick-up at your home. If there isn’t a chapter near you, the organization accepts computers through the mail.
For more information on World Computer Exchange, visit the organization’s website.
Do you think we should try to fix things or just throw them away and get new ones?
Image Credit: http://advancedchemicalcompany.com/e-waste-disposal-trending-toward-recycling-with-less-dependency-on-landfills/
Image Credit: http://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/recycling/stories/electronics-recycling#ixzz33KCiizMq
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