Monday, October 4, 2010

The wonder and horror of abundance

This morning, I wanted to make some boiled eggs for a salad. When I separated from my husband, I took none of the cookware with me, so I had no pots and pans to boil the eggs in. So I took my trusty dog for a walk, looking up and down the streets for a cast off pot. First, all I found was a dish drainer, but I needed one of those as well, so I took it. We turned around after 5 or six blocks and headed up another avenue back home. Sure enough, just two blocks from home, someone had set out boxes with "Free" signs on them and just as I had hoped (and to some degree expected) One was full of just the cookware I needed and more. After I took the dog home I came back and helped myself to a teapot with a broken handle and a missing lid for a pot, two different size frying pans, a crepe pan, three votive holders and two drinking glasses. I left behind four boxes of assorted cookware, children's clothing and other housewares. This morning I basically went shopping on the street, finding everything I was looking for and more, within the space of about an hour and a half.

The poor person in me is delighted. I got what I needed for free, easily. The environmentalist is horrified. It was too easy. we covered 10 blocks to find what was essentially waste. If you multiply that by the space of the city, the space of the country, the face of the developed world, and think of how much I left behind, its a terrifying comment on our society. Whats more, the bulk of the cookware was in bad shape, In all honesty, I'll probably put it back on the curb when I can afford better, and then where does it go? In spite of programs like freecycle, and all the second hand stores, even using things again, it all means we have just too much stuff, and it wears out too quickly.

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