Disposables, non-durables, soft goods, consumables

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Disposables, non durable goods, soft goods, and so-called consumables, are but different words, all of which have about the same meaning. They are words used to describe an item that is designed and manufactured to be used just one time and then to be thrown out into the garbage or, as for some items, they may be able to be used more than once, but having factored in an obsolescence of three years or less. That is to say that after three years or less the product needs to be replaced.

Examples of disposables, non durable goods, of consumables are:

Paper and paper products such as newspaper, magazines, paper towels, napkins, paper plates, wrapping paper, paper bags, post it notes, drawing paper, coffee filters, etc. The latter ones, however, with the coffee grounds in them, can be composted and make good compost, together with all other compostables.

Packaging and containers is yet another range of products that fall into this category. However, often there is little that we can do about it. But, and here is my but... there are many, many ways to upcycle such packaging materials, whether of paper (cardboard), plastic or what have you.

Office supplies also fall into the category of consumables for they are being consumed and then thrown out and despite the claims in years gone by that onc e we were all going to have computers paper use in offices would decline the opposite it true rather.

Other products that fall into this category of disposables, non-durables, soft goods, consumables are:

Personal products, cosmetics, diapers, feminine products, as well as razors. In the latter case that also includes razorblades and not just the disposable razors and refills.

Furthermore this category of disposables, etc., includes

Clothing, footwear, accessories, textiles and many, many other products. Even many types of furniture, electronic equipment, such as PCs, etc., are designed with a final date of use factored in. Often, in the latter case, due to the fact that the software, especially and including the operating systems, are written in such a way that, suddenly, in the case of Windows, they no longer cann be used with the hardware present.

And if you now believe that they are all in cahoots to get us to buy new every couple of months to years you would not be mistaken at all. That is exactly their game and aim.

Obviously food, drink and other perishables also fall into this group, in a way, as does individually wrapped foods, takeout food containers, cleaning products, trash bags, vacuum cleaner bags, fuel, oil, air filters for vehicles, toys and so much more.

This is all, in one way or the other, dangerous to our environment, to our hard-earned money and, in the end, to ourselves.

The continuous use of these type of products is dangerous to our environment by purchasing, using, and trashing, over, and over again. Natural resources continue to be used to make those products.

Manufactures continue to produce the product because people continue to buy it. This adds more pollution to our atmosphere and waste to our soil. People continue to purchase the product, use it, and trash it, filling up landfills and contaminating our soil.

The problem is, however, that manufactures make the products in such a way that consumers have to buy time and again.

With diapers there is a way out and that to use real cloth diapers even though that may get up the noses, literally, of some parents and definitely, in another sense, of the manufactures of disposable diapers.

The continuous use of these type of products is dangerous to your budget. You are forever spending your hard earned money on the same products over, and over again. We, the consumer, have the power to demand a change and demand products, once again, that are made to last and made not to have to be replaced within three years or much less.

The continuous use of these type of products is also dangerous to ourselves and that in more than one way.

When it comes to the use of paper, however, we are often told that we save so many trees, especially rainforest trees, if we would not use paper. That, however, is a blatant lie being put about by people who either have and agenda or who really not nothing at all, even though they are in the “green movement”.

Hardwood trees such as those from the rainforests, are entirely unsuitable for the making of paper pulp and thus the making of paper, as they are simply too hard to be turned into useable pulp.

Many millions of acres of trees would also not exist were it not for the paper industry as it is often their own forests that they plant. And those trees, thus, would not be there were it not for the paper industry.

The biggest problem is, as regards to the majority of disposable products, and those that often don't last long, is that (1) many people do not know any alternative way to live, or alternative non disposable products to use and (2) that industry and manufacturing is not prepared to give us products that last.

Some one time use products, in some way or the other can be upcycled and reused like card from packaging for a variety of things, or such as glass jars from produce or other such products while others, obviously, cannot and should not such as, for example, hygiene products, though real diapers are an exception and there are also reusable female hygiene products, as they have been before the disposable age.

Whenever buying anything, my advice is, to look for a product that is reusable and one that is repairable. Alas, the latter is rare in our current throwaway economy where almost everything is made to be thrown if anything goes wrong with it. We must demand a change and that is the only way that this madness is going to stop. It is in our hands.

© 2012