Britain sees death of throw-away culture and is becoming a nation of regenerators

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Research that was launched to coincide with the start of Climate Week 2013, Britain’s biggest climate change campaign, has identified the rise of the ‘Re-Generation’. Instead of disposing of unwanted items, consumers are choosing to recycle, re-use or re-sell items they no longer want.

The figures reveal an overwhelming reluctance to consign used items to the bin. The Ipsos MORI survey found that 94% do not usually throw away clothes and 96% do not dispose of their old mobiles, with the majority of respondents (65%) recycling, re-selling or giving away their phones. Even when it comes to food, the most disposable of everyday items, there are five million adults in Britain who never throw food away.

Instead of taking the ‘easy way out’ and binning leftover goods, consumers are now trading online, swapping with friends and family or donating to charity as well as using more traditional recycling channels. In other countries, with some people in Germany leading the way, yet again, organizations are springing up that create a food sharing network on the Web, as in the case of

Unwanted clothes are predominantly donated to charity (61%) followed by recycling (12%), however, 25-34 year olds are looking for more enterprising options and most likely to sell their unwanted clothes (14%), above the national average of 8%.

Whilst re-selling isn’t an option for food, the research reveals that only 5% of people throw away food on a daily basis, indicating a nation that is highly resourceful when it comes to re-using food and making the most of leftovers. The age group least likely to throw away food are 55-75 year olds, of which only 2% dispose of food on a daily basis.

But, despite of the answers given in the survey indicating a low waste of food tons upon tons of food are wasted in Britain by households. And we do not even want to talk about the food that does not, for a variety of reasons, makes it to the stores or to the consumer.

Still, however, even those that consider themselves “green” are too much into consumption, even though it is greensumption, that is to say they buy recycled products and eco-products over ordinary ones. We must get back – and I mean back – to making do with what we have as long as it still works and does the job it needs to do rather than buying new every few months to a year or two.

Your cellphone works? Great! Then keep it for as long as it works. Your PC performing well? Good! Same as with the cellphone, that is to say use it until it no longer works. And the same for everything else.

The new cellphone with all the bells and whistles, or the PC, laptop or whatever else, with the new features often does not work as well as the old ones you already have and the bells and whistles often are just a drain on the battery and give you no extra performance or abilities. So, why bother?

Stick with what you have got and make do with less. Make things you want and need yourself as much as you can and the Planet will thank you. Especially if you make those things from scrap or other waste materials.

And yes, if you really are replacing something that still works then pass it on to someone else who can use it and who is not to fuzzed about the fact that it is pre-owned and/or an older model.

© 2013