What a waste

The Shed - - Editorial -

Don’t you reckon there al­ways seems to be a new fad, some­thing that sud­denly we are all meant to be into, or all of a sud­den do­ing and par­tic­i­pat­ing in?

Like drink­ing bot­tled wa­ter, in­stalling a heat pump, wear­ing Crocs etc, etc. I hate fads and run as far away from them as I can. I like to find or cre­ate my own fads. It must come from my dad who al­ways said to me, “Don’t be a sheep.” Looks like at least one tid­bit of parental ad­vice sunk in then.

One of the cur­rent fads do­ing the rounds is abol­ish­ing sin­gle-use plas­tic bags and this may be the first time I join in with ev­ery­one else and im­merse my­self in a cur­rent trend. Of course the sin­gle-use plas­tic bag is only the tip of the waste ice­berg (vague pun in­tended) as it is be­com­ing more ap­par­ent ev­ery sin­gle day that we all need to do more about con­trol­ling the way we think about and dis­pose of waste. The mo­ment re­ally has come when we all need to take re­spon­si­bil­ity and re­use and re­cy­cle, and ideally avoid ex­cess waste prod­uct as much as we can.

There was a time when I was ren­o­vat­ing houses and the amount of skips we filled with build­ing and de­mo­li­tion ma­te­rial from one house in par­tic­u­lar was mind bog­gling. When un­der­go­ing one 90-square-me­tre house reno we must have filled at least 12 of those or­ange 3m Flex­ibin dis­pos­able bags. Imag­ine those all on top of one another – that’s a big stack!

I’m not try­ing to come up with a so­lu­tion or dar­ing to sug­gest one, just shar­ing with you

www.theshed­mag.co.nz | my con­cerns and that the we need to give a lot more care­ful con­sid­er­a­tion to the amount of waste ma­te­ri­als we all dis­pose of.

Is it best to get a length or two more tim­ber than you need, or just enough, and grab more next time you are at the tim­ber yard if you need it. One bag ex­tra, or make do?

Friends have told me that in Lon­don they saw folks tak­ing items out of the plas­tic that the supermarket had wrapped prod­ucts in and leav­ing it at the check­out: “Your plas­tic, Mr Supermarket, your prob­lem. I don’t want the things I buy wrapped in so much plas­tic, thank you very much.” What a great at­ti­tude.

I’ve heard in Canada they have tool li­braries where you can bor­row tools just like books. I love new tools, can never get enough of them, and I never know what to do with the old ones. They’re not good enough to sell, but maybe I should give them to a char­ity to re­use.

This was all brought home to me when my grand­daugh­ter got me to take an old plas­tic bag to our favourite bak­ery so they could re­use it. She was so proud of our joint ef­fort. It hit me then that it’s re­ally the next gen­er­a­tion that we should be mak­ing real changes for. Any­way, let’s see what us re­spon­si­ble shed­dies can do to change. Let’s give much more thought to re­duce, re­use, re­cy­cle, and cre­ate less waste.

Greg Vin­cent Pub­lish­ing Ed­i­tor ed­i­tor@shed­mag.co.nz

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