Recycling is dead!

Reuse is king and we must change our ways to rethink how we act and interact

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

The mantras and mindsets of the past have become obsolete. We must now throw them out and create space to develop new ones which will guide us into the future as well as in the future.

It is no longer enough to simply REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE the damage we do to the world we live in.

Instead we must RETHINK the very systems in which we function (do we really function in it) today which allow such damage to occur in the first place.

We must create new systems which allow us to REIMAGINE a world in which we are not separate from our environment but a vital, meaningful and integral part of it.

In this new world we will not only renew ourselves but also REGENERATE Mother Nature so that she may provide for not simply a few but indeed for all.

This means that first and foremost we must get away from consumerism and that includes greensumption.

Going Green is not about buying a bunch of new organic and recycled stuff and then feeling good and smug in the belief that you've done your bit. It is about reducing the amount that we buy and choosing to reuse. We must reuse because the Planet cannot be recycled but all too many think that if they but buy new recycled stuff they are really, really green. Well, they are not.

It is amazing how many people in the Green Movement even do not seem to be able to think past recycling, especially when considering that they are repeating the Three R mantra all the time.

There is, however, no need to reinvent the wheel. Reuse is almost as old as the hills and we need but look at the way our grandparents and their parents did things in the reuse department and then apply our mind to the new materials that they did not know.

We must also bring back the systems of reusing glass bottles and glass jars) as was in the past by using the incentives of then too; namely refundable deposits on the containers. It is hardly rocket science now, is it?

However, we are being conditioned and have been conditioned – brainwashed almost – into believing that recycling can save most of our problems.

As long as a product can be recycled at the end of its life we have been fed, for lack of a better word, it is OK to toss it and buy new when we desire a new version of the product. After all, we have to stimulate the economy; an economy that is based on ever more growth, which means the need for ever more consumption. This does not compute considering that the Planet is finite; it cannot grow.

Our economic system, as it stands today, is broken and we need to change it. That means replacing it and not repairing it or tinkering with it.

While I am always for repairing as far as things are concerned this system cannot be repaired and that also goes for our political systems; but that is a different story.

We cannot continue to consume at the rate that we do at present and it is not a case of “it's the economy, stupid” but “it's the stupid economy”.

Non-renewable resources of this Planet and even renewable resources are being depleted at a rate of knots and we have come to a point now where the global annual consumption of oil is 40% greater than the rate of production. One does not have to be an economist or mathematical genius to realize that that does not add up. Even the least brightest person will recognize that if you use more than you produce it is not sustainable, not even in the short run, let alone the long one.

This operation is only possible by using so-called strategic reserves and those reserves are going to run out in the not so distant future.

It can safely be assumed that the powers that be feed the reserves into the market in order to massage and manipulate the fuel prices at the pumps at a level so that people are not going to revolt and all that in the hope that more cheap oil can be found. That, however, is highly unlikely and that means that the shortage is only being delayed. But, oops, I digressed again.

Resource, especially non-renewable ones, be this oil, gas, minerals, etc., are getting short in supply and wars are already being fought about then and conflicts. Only a reduction in consumption is going to being sanity back and products that are made to last.

© 2012