First, I will let you know that this is a bit of a rant… but I am (almost) literally crying over spilled milk.
Before our daughter started school this year, I was very conscious to buy her plenty of environmentally-friendly lunch supplies so she wouldn’t have a bunch of disposable junk to throw away at the end of each day. Yesterday, she came home from school and announced that she spilled her milk at lunchtime. I assured her that accidents happen and not to worry, but she was mostly upset because “the lunch lady” threw away her bottle… yes, the one that I had purchased!
When our daughter asked where it was, “lunch lady” said she threw it away because “it was on the floor. Your mom will get you a new one.” Huh? Has she heard of soap and water? I’m wondering at what point it seemed appropriate to throw away her milk bottle when it was clearly not a ‘throw-away’ and had a large, blazing, hot pink, custom-made label with her name on it!
But this is what we’ve come to. Unfortunately it seems like we have become an increasingly disposable society. The knowledge that “things” are always AT our disposal leads us to assume we can always “toss and replace.” (Man, our great-grandparents would be pissed!)
I wanted to drive to school and whack “lunch lady” in the head, to be perfectly honest… then get in her purse to recover some money to replace it… (okay, not really, yet I AM really, really annoyed!). And I guess this was just an eye-opener and another reminder that we have such a long, long way to go.
I think far too much of what we buy these days is disposable, with a single-use purpose… we over-consume, we over-spend and it is horribly harsh on the environment as a result. Even with high-priced items (electronics, appliances, etc.) we are lead to believe that we should “just buy a new one instead of repairing it.” For pete’s sake, you can even buy an intentionally disposable camera!
When did all of this happen? I have no idea, but I know how… manufacturers and marketing, with an (un)healthy dose of consumerism! And now, we’ve become far too accustom to having “disposables at our disposal!” I doubt this will ever change… it’s already gone too far and it’s rolling like a freight train. All we can do is take control of our own decisions and choose not to be a part of the problem. And hopefully persuade others to follow our lead. Good luck to us… it sometimes feels like an uphill battle.
So, there it is… I feel much better now! Thanks for indulging me. Now I need to get back to making a new label that reads: “I am not a disposable bottle, LUNCH LADY!”