Recently, after coming across a YouTube video and a Facebook video, I’ve become much more aware of a growing societal problem — disposable culture. Disposable culture is taking a progressively higher toll on the world we live in, everyday.
Disposable items offer immediate convenience but long term societal consequences. We don’t have to look after, care for, put away or wash disposable items. When disposable items started to “take off” in the 1950s, people felt liberated from chores they no longer had to do.
Since then, I feel like the novelty of disposability is wearing off. In an age of disposability, objects which have lasted us, have proved their durability. Durable objects have proved the quality of how an object was made and what it was made with. Also, we have a certain admiration for items we’ve had for a long time, because of the effort we’ve put into taking care of them and because they must be good quality, if they’ve lasted us this long. We don’t consciously acknowledge objects built to last are more fulfilling to use and own. We don’t really even own disposable items, we use them and then get rid of them.
As disposable objects have gained popularity, we’ve started to negotiate personal and societal limits of what wasteful habits are acceptable–or not. Because disposability used to be a novel thing, it used to be celebrated. The devastating effects of our wastefulness, has become more apparent in recent years. We are now starting to realize how lazy and reckless our disposable culture is.
Our generation grew up with disposability being a cultural norm. I believe this has affected our approach to relationships, self care and taking care of our own personal belongings. If we can always just “get a new one” what’s the bother in “taking care of the first one.” In a generation where we’d rather toss something in the garbage (metaphorically or literally) before putting in significant effort to repair it.
We live in a beautiful world we take for granted. Buying/ using plastics because of the status associated with holding a Zara shopping bag or a Starbucks cup give us temporary feelings of pleasure. The negative effects of the hundreds of millions of disposable shopping bags, cups, bottles and single-use plastics thrown in the garbage everyday are taking a big toll on our one & only Earth. I’m certainly not perfect by never using single-use plastics. Recently though, I am much more mindful of my use of single-use items and how they’re affecting the world we live in. Being mindful and doing your small part to make a change, can make a large difference in one’s life time.