Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Throwaway world. . . . . .



Staying home today and doing a little 'housekeeping' here on my MacBook. Have had several issues with the printers we use and a techie came by yesterday, braving the bad roads at the end of the ice storm, and worked on things for a while. We are useless when it comes to computer issues. I'm able to print again on both our b/w Laserjet and the 4-in-1 Photosmart, but for some reason we still cannot get the Scan feature to work which is most frustrating. The HP Photosmart is only about 18 months old and should last longer than that, but he thinks something could be broken and we may want to replace it as repairs would cost almost as much as a new model!

Electronics are apparently now classed as throwaways rather than repairable items - from computer to microwave oven to the lowly toaster. Thoughts of horrific mountains of household detritus covering the landscape, or simmering underground in coming centuries, scares the hell out of me!  That amazing book by Juman Malouf which I wrote about here - The Trilogy of Twois set in a futuristic world which has been buried under trash, really makes one stop and ponder the horror we are producing in this now throwaway society.

So, this morning I took a lovely photo featuring old stuff. Roses made from old paper mixed with real roses I have dried. Vintage silver vessel. . . . . .I love it unpolished, taking on this dark mysterious shade of charcoal. Tiny French vintage glasses. China, always loved when crazed, chipped, stained, no matter - still pretty stacked or standing, usable, lovely to look at. To think all this could be in the landfill breaks my heart.



20 comments:

  1. You are unbelievably talented Mary. That photo, whatever or however, is priceless. I wouldn't have a clue.

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  2. Beautiful photo Mary. It is scary, how electronics are considered throw-aways.
    Hugs,
    Penny

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  3. I'm having scanner issues also. Probably thanks to a 10 year old grandson that gets on my computer on weekends! ;( I'm with you on heart break over discarded keepsakes. After my MIL passed away, my FIL sort of locked himself away for a few months & proceeded to clean out the house, preparing for a new home he had already planned for. Without letting any of his children have a chance to go through things, he took load after load to the dumpster. What might not have meant a lot to him, was treasures for his children...and now they are gone. It was a sad time...

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  4. Thus it has ever been, Mary. There are many places built upon those trash heaps. NYC comes to mind. Still it is so ridiculous that things are not built to last. That is what truly slays me...poor quality and workmanship.

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    1. Oh gosh Vee! I daren't even address the issue of workmanship. Sometimes I think it might be better if it was workwomenship - maybe everything would be better made then! A little thrill runs through me these days when I actually pick up something and find Made in The USA stamped on it. Sadly that happens all too infrequently.
      Mary -

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  5. Oh Mary how I'm with you. Living in France is even worse. We have just the ordinary run of the mill Epsom printer. that was still quite new in my eyes ( 3yrs old ) that wasn't working properly, took it back to the after sales service department for repair, and were told it would be cheaper to buy a new one. So we bought a new one, then later, looking at the receipt saw that we had and extra charge added onto the price of the new one to dispose the one that wasn't working, plus an extra charge on the new one to dispose the new one when it needed to be disposed. You can't win. The French authorities are recycling mad at the moment, after years & years of just dumping their rubbish anywhere they wanted. What else can I say except I like what you have shared today.

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  6. It really is sad how much our society has changed in their value of thing and the way electronics are made to be thrown away after only a few years of use. Our washer and dryer are both from 1992/3 and are still working but the washer is giving me some issues lately so we inquired at a box store about new washers. They are built to last 5 - 7 years we were told and then they would be tossed in the landfill. They have computer motherboards in them that cost almost much as the machine itself and are costly to replace. When we bought our over-the-range microwave 5 years ago we were told we might get 7 years out of it which I guess means we have a couple years to go on it. That aside, your collection of vintage things is lovely. Have a great week. xx Pam

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  7. I know what you mean. So many people don't think twice about just dumping an electronic item into the garbage. I always donate something if it's still working, otherwise, I've taken electronic items to Best Buy for proper recycling. Our printer isn't working right now at the moment and it's very frustrating. Ours isn't old either. I do not want to buy a new one, but hubby has been fooling around with this printer to no avail, so far.

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  8. Pam we looked at new machines/dryers last year as ours are older and dated, however when we saw the size (much too huge for our small space) and prices to match - I think over $2,000 - we are praying our old ones keep going! We did have the guy in to check the washer which seemed to have a drip, and thankfully he actually fixed it for a basic housecall charge!
    Life is becoming much too computerized and complicated for me!
    Mary -

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  9. I think it's a disgrace that electronics are made with built in obsolescence. And it doesn't matter how much you pay - they all still have an expected life span of no more than 8 years. Our kitchen appliances are 14 years old, purchased when we moved back to Canada and we'll keep them going for as long as we can. We did have to replace a washer and dryer and it's scary and frustrating to think of all that stuff in the landfill. It seems like my little efforts to minimize plastic and waste are barely worthwhile.

    Beautiful photo, Mary. Old things have stories.

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  10. Hang on, Mary. The problems could be caused by the weather. You are very lucky that someone could come to your house, but this is not the only computer wizard in the world. Hang on. Do a bit more research for yourself. See what advice you can find on the internet. You can learn some of this stuff. You are smart and you have a background in doing difficult things. And ... if all else fails ... just wait for the weather to change. Think about leasing or renting some equipment instead of purchasing.
    Yes, the throw-away world is hideous. Avoid it.

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    1. Hi Louise - wish we could blame the weather which has been very unusual here all Winter! Yes, techs make on-site calls here, at a price, and as none of our family want to help we are stuck when certain problems arise with the WIFI set up! Google is laying cable throughout the city, digging everywhere along roads and even across our front gardens - and seem to be messing up a lot of computers already receiving service from other cable company (the hated Time Warner in our case). The technical part of life is just too complicated for we older folk - it's all geared toward youth these days!
      Hope all is good in Darwin Louise.
      Mary -

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  11. Mary, Your post has been on my mind as I am purging and organizing. I hate just throwing something away. I prefer to donate or recycle, but I so much which is not accepted. Drives me crazy. I don't know what the answer is. I hope you are having a good week.

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  12. Landfill should be of concern for all of us. Your photo is lovely, my dear!

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  13. I so prefer 'old stuff' to anything new you can find in the shops. Vintage rules!
    Amalia
    xo

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    1. Oh yes Amalia, vintage is special and one can find such beautiful things which should be enjoyed and used, not thrown out!
      I have little pieces of china which belonged to my Grandma who died when I was 11 - I'm so happy my mother saved them for me, especially as I can recall seeing them at my Grandma's home on her shelves and dresser - I should write a post on them some day!
      Mary -

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  14. I hate to toss things but it doors seem printers only last a couple of years, and the cost to fix them is almost as much as a new one.

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  15. It is such a beautiful photo with muted colours and certainly not items there to be thrown away! But yes, electronics are so cheaply made overseas that it really is cheaper to buy new.

    As far as it comes to rubbish, my BIGGEST peeve are all the cigarette butts strewn along every pavement and parking lot! Why does it seem 9 our 10 smokers don't care about throwing away their non biodegradable butts on the street, even when standing near a proper dispenser? I remember reading a few years ago how one scientist figured out on a conservative basis the number of cig butts in China alone and said it was enough, put end to end, to go from the earth to the moon and circle back around 9 times at least! That is incredible! Then you add in the world's trash left by smokers and it is almost criminal, let alone the pollution and smell.

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  16. Lovely photo of your roses and pretty vintage plates. I like the look of old dishes too. Don works with developmentally challenged adults and one of his duties is to help them get jobs that fit their abilities and schedules. Several of his people work at a computer recycling company. The old computers, printers, e-readers, phones, etc. are donated. Those that can be repaired are, and the others are stripped of all recyclable parts - right down to the wires and the screws that hold them together. When they are done recycling a computer or printer there is only about 2% that actually goes to landfill. The ones that can be repaired are then donated to children who can't afford a computer, since kids really do need a computer at home to get on in school these days. It is a wonderful company - and there are several in our town that do this. We can drop off our old electronics for free at Goodwill and Value Village - by law they are required to accept them and send them on to recycling businesses so the landfills are saved from a large amount of rubbish that once was just tossed away.

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    1. That sounds like a wonderful recycling program JoAnn - hopefully there are more (and will be more) just like that in the near future, otherwise we are in trouble!
      Mary -

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