How can we save the planet when we hoard so much stuff? | Blaise Tapp

You know that life isn’t as exhilarating as it once was when the highlight of your week is the arrival of a new cooker.

Friday, 5th November 2021, 5:31 pm
Updated Friday, 5th November 2021, 10:12 pm
Most of what we consume is destined for landfill

That’s precisely how I roll these days.

The shiny new appliance has taken pride of place in our kitchen and is currently being wiped clean after every use although I will wager a handful of unwanted Halloween sweets that this new practice won’t last beyond the end of the month.

Due to a combination of my ineptitude with anything resembling a tool and increasing bone idleness, we decided to pay the nice men who delivered the oven to both to install it and take the old, broken, one away.

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That doesn’t mean that this not-so-epic non-event was effort-free as I did have to empty the neighbouring cupboard that houses the oven plug.

Who knew that two shelves could house so much?

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I counted at least eight food containers, none of which had matching lids of course, several discarded lunchboxes, and a long-forgotten slow cooker which, it has subsequently been discovered, no longer works.

The beauty of doors is that once they are closed, the horrors behind them quickly become forgotten although I wouldn’t be surprised if I was struck by a giant boulder or poisoned dart, a la Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom, next time I am looking for something airtight to put my egg sarnies in.

Like most people I know, I have far too much stuff, most of which is neither use nor ornament, and my collection of useless or redundant tat only increases in size.

It’s a growing problem for millions apparently with one solution being a tool or utensil library.

That’s right, a place where you can hire gadgets such as bread machines or smoothie makers and they are proving popular with now 40 such businesses dotted around the country.

When you think about it, it sort of makes sense to rent when you need a pasta machine only once every three years.

For those who are really in a hurry, there are now giant ‘vending machines’ where you can hire household gadgets – they can be found in London by the way. Where else?

I’m sure that such businesses will continue to do well for as long as people like me can’t open their cupboards without a real risk of breaking a toe due to a falling saucepan.

Like everybody else, during the dark days of successive lockdowns, we bought plenty of new stuff for the house.

None of it was really needed but these impulse buys were all too common during a period in history when we were in danger of going out of our minds with boredom.

With the exception of those types who live in communes and make their own yoghurt, we are all consumers, with some consuming much more than others.

We are hearing much about the very important discussions up in Glasgow at the COP26, which has been described as the ‘last chance saloon’ for the planet by none other than Prince Charles.

Much has been discussed this week by representatives of 200 countries but the future of the planet isn’t only in the hands of politicians and leaders, every one of us has a role to play too.

Although there is an increasing awareness by many about how we can do our bit, there’s no point in us traveling by bus and eating pulses rather than burgers and bangers if we carry on buying stuff that we’ll use once or twice before it eventually ends up in the Great Landfill in the Sky.

While I am loath to mention the C-word before December, I am already worrying about what will be in Santa’s sleigh this year because our house is in danger of bursting.

I’m sure the kids will disagree with me but we don’t really need anything else apart from time to figure out how to work my new oven.

A message from the editor, Mark Waldron.

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