Friday, October 27, 2006
A Rant About Plastic Pumpkins (and more)
How can anyone get fired up against a simple iconic item of American childhood? What kind of curmudgeon am I anyway? Let me tell you.
What I hate about plastic pumpkins:
Every fall millions of plastic Trick or Treat pumpkins are produced and transported to stores all over North America. They are made of plastic, which is made from petroleum products. The are shipped across oceans and then on diesel-burning trucks to Walmarts, Walgreens, Targets and similar mass merchandisers. They are typically used for a season or two and then, discarded and replaced. Every year, I see hundreds of them in fine usable condition in my local thrift shops. I wonder why factories, probably located in Asia, are cranking out more of these when there seem to be enough already in existence to last us several years. Further, I wonder why so much energy and plastic is used making items which we do not need. Any kid can tell you a pillowcase makes a fine trick-or-treat bag.
This is a prime example of the American approach to life. We spend money on this stuff in order to throw it away. We thoughtlessly consume a dwindling resource, create pollution, and contribute to global warming in order to do this. The item does not cost any one individual much money, but collectively it costs us all more than we know. They are so ubiquitous that folks have come to see them almost as a necessity. And this is just one small example of our messed up values with regard to the planet and its resources.
If you call yourself an environmentalist; if you have any concern for the future of the planet, stop and think about items you buy. Could you live without it? Could you buy it used? The less we need to consume, the more enriched our lives will be.