Friday, December 15, 2006

Disposable

I can’t say that disposable wedding cameras fit in with my idea of conservation: like any throwaway items they seem more and more unfitted to the modern world with its sense that we should be throwing away less not more. Did the trend start way back with the throwaway ballpoint pen, or disposable razor? I wonder who first thought that it was a good idea to throw things away after only using them for a short time. I can remember when we used to receive things like fountain pens as presents, and you used to hang onto them. Now, I suspect, fountain pens barely sell at all. (We used to have a shop in town called Kens for Pens: pens were their niche. It couldn’t happen any more.)

I wonder if a kind of curse doesn’t hang over the head of the marketing person who thought ‘disposable’ was a good word to hang onto manufactured items. It’s become an epidemic in the retail scene now; not only are things disposable, they’re also made with a short life. It’s something our grandchildren, I suspect, are going to look back and puzzle over. How did we manage to think about saving the world when we couldn’t even save a simple ballpoint pen?
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