//
you're reading...
Psychology, Sustainability, Uncategorized

Throw it away

Much has been written about the consequences of the phrase throw things away. The fact that “away” seems to eliminate the problem, and visibility, of waste has been accused of contributing to our typically consumptive lifestyles. However, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of research that addresses the psychology of away.

One link I have found online (although there is no research listed to back it up) is the marketing machine that first linked affluence with disposability. This isn’t just about people who can afford more being wiling to buy more, but that the idea that you could waste was indicative of your economic status. “Washing dishes takes so much work, just throw them away instead.” Certainly, it could be argued that this has continued with the planned obsolescence in so much of our technology today. You must have the newest technology because you want to be seen as up-to-date.

Another one that is commonly mentioned is the idea that “away” is some sort of magical place where waste won’t impact us. This makes me think a little bit of Not In My Backyard (NIMBY), where people will fight against something if it is destined to be within their backyard/community/living space, but don’t care about it anywhere else. Nobody cares where “away” is, so long as it isn’t in their backyard.

So, with Christmas in the recent past what are some of the solutions to Throwing it Away?

Food

  • freeze it. With all the safety and legal concerns (real or imagined) it is hard to give away left overs, so pop them into the freezer (in a reusable container of course) and save them for a day when you don’t mind eating a little more turkey.
  • have a leftovers party. Get everyone you know together and share your leftovers. Perhaps you make something someone else has never tried. Or together you have a full meal, while on your own you’d just have to make more to make a complete meal.
  • Drop unopened cans and packages at you local foodbank.

Wrapping

  • Store it for next year
  • Donate it to others

Random Stuff

  • Find a local charity that will take the items you are getting rid of. Places to consider include women’s shelters, youth shelters, reuse centres, habitat for humanity, etc. You may even be able to donate some old toys to a local animal shelter. Keep in mind the Syrian Refugees as well.

We often forget that recycle is the last of our “R’s”. Make sure you reduce and reuse (or enable someone else to reuse) first.

 

Advertisements

About Peyto

I am passionate about making science, sustainability, and sport accessible through engaging information and activities. Peyto is a reference to Bill Peyto who was an outfitter, trapper, and eventually a park warden in Banff National Park. Peyto Lake and Peyto Glacier are both named after him. He is also a distant relative of mine.

Discussion

One thought on “Throw it away

  1. Hey Peyto! 😉 I really liked this article, it was very insightful and really got me thinking about my perception of value. I write posts too. Hope to see more of your stuff! 😉

    Like

    Posted by Allan | December 29, 2015, 1:21 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 264 other followers

Follow me on Twitter

%d bloggers like this: