I always wished that stores would take back the trash of their used-up products. Even when it comes to food-packages or worn out shoes with holes, I believe stores or at least the manufacturers should take their responsibilities for creating non-recyclable or non-biodegradable trash in the end.
I’ve watched a interesting talk a few days ago, from a man called Thomas Rau (you can watch it here, but it is unfortunately in Dutch). The man has an interesting outlook on circular economy. He believes costumers aren’t interested in the ownership of some products, he feels that people buy things to use them, not to own them. Therefore people should pay for the use of things and manufacturers should provide quality products to establish a profitable and sustainable economy. For example: a person who buys a lamp just want to have light in his room, that person doesn’t want to own a lamp but he simply wants to enlighten his place. Rau believes that companies should provide their costumers the service of the use of their appliances. In this way, costumers shouldn’t be concerned about quality or recycling, because companies would eventually provide their best possible quality as the product still belongs to them in the end. It’s an interesting theory I believe and I hope companies would listen to this man’s ideas to improve their ways.
During my decluttering journey, I really encountered my dread and loathing of throwing things away that sadly had to end up on a junk-yard. My respect for the environment really stood in the way of my personal progress, because for such a long time I couldn’t throw things away that were no longer loved and won’t be used afterwards. I have the perfect example, that is also a true story: I used to own a large teddy bear that I had to throw out eventually. I really wanted to find a kid who could benefit from this toy, but I also realized that this bear had been collecting dust for the last two decades and that this toy wouldn’t be safe to use. Sadly this bear was too large to go into a washing machine and it wasn’t made out of good quality either to even survive a hand-washing. When I was ready to part with it, mentally and emotionally accepting its fate, I threw it on a container and I was physically freed at last. I know I tried really hard to come up with a better solution, but unfortunately this was in the end the only thing to do. I couldn’t sleep well for the first few nights, my guilt really can’t be quieted down easily. I do know that I’m overly sensitive about this, because in the end nobody bothers this much about trash like I do. And I wasn’t even responsible for getting that bear in the first place. It was a gift at my birth I believe. At least I can ease my heart knowing that I learned some valuable lessons there. I will no longer buy compulsively stupid unsustainable products, I won’t gift someone a poor quality product and I must think ahead about the use and the longevity of a product before purchasing it.
In loving memory of the huge bear