Our friends at Treehugger recently presented us with a conundrum. How can you go green when your home is filled with items that cannot be repaired/cleaned/re-fashioned? This particular story centered on an outdoor gazebo bought at a big box store that was in need of a new fabric canopy. After two years of use (only two years! that’s like, only 24 backyard luau’s!) it was dead. After searching relentlessly for a solution (affordable and sustainable, natch) the party person gave up.
You see, in our current throw-away society we often give in to the pressure to just buy another one. But once you’re on your third iPod or fifth laptop you start to wonder a) Why can’t home goods last longer than 2.5 years; and b) Where have I been getting the money to spend on all this crap?
Treehugger asks how this business model can possibly work. While it does work for the crap-manufacturers it does not work for our planet, or our wallets. And while the BE gives lots of advice to make these non-recyclables, recyclable, it’s much better to stop the problem before it clogs up your square footage.
Here’s a test, a very unpleasant test that we ourselves failed miserably, but play along: Take one quick look around your living room. How many items can you see that once they are maimed, stained or otherwise useless will simply have to go in the local landfill only to be replaced by the exact same thing? Go ahead, count, we’ll be waiting.
9 + – Repeat after us: IKEA is not your “weekend shopping stop.”
4 to 8 – Time to take a class on how to create sculpture out of your old TV stand.
1 to 3 – Your Grandma would be proud.