Thursday 1 August 2019

Don't Waste Our Resources

In 1986 one of my brothers came to our house with a microwave oven, which he gave to our mum. We both told him that it was a waste of money and that it would simply sit in the corner and never get used. Well we were wrong, about how much we would use it and about it being a waste of money. About three hours ago I used that exact same microwave to heat up some pies. Yes, 33 years after we got it, it is still working!

I wonder how long your last microwave lasted?

Because it's true that things do not work as well as they used too. Machines are made to break down, to last until the warranty ends. I remember buying a TV and buying a warranty with it, the next year they sent me a renewal so I bought an extra years warranty. The third year they again sent me a renewal, with worked out well as the TV broke. I took it in to get repaired and was told that I should not have been sent that third years renewal. Unhappily they repaired the TV.

Traditionalists should be concerned with waste. Resources are not infinite and we should be mindful of that fact, neither is money. We should try to buy quality and try to keep it for as long as possible. Many people want newer models to keep up with the very latest technology. Much of this is quite silly, advances that are minor. If you have a black and white TV and a colour TV comes out, now that is a big change in technology. But if the technological change is so tiny that no one will notice. Do you really need it?

When we have finished with it, what happens to that machine? Normally we dispose of it and never give it another thought. Out of sight out of mind. But of course it continues to exist in most cases. And while we are told about recycling, most things cannot and are not recycled.

The conservation of resources is important. I don't want to be stupid about it, we use resources and we should. But there is a difference between eating to satisfy hunger and gluttony. Just as with food we should not be gluttons with our resources.

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