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Thread: Daily Bread

  1. #421
    Williamsmith
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    Quote Originally Posted by razz View Post
    WS, you are introducing me to singers and music that I have not truly appreciated or even heard before like this one. I treasure each one and the intro to each.
    Razz, Netflix has a superb documentary with an interesting twist about Sixto Rodriguez called, “Sugarman”. I highly recommend it. He might have been as well known as Bob Dylan had he not been Hispanic, who knows but his life story is profound and has relevance to happiness in simple living.

  2. #422
    Williamsmith
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    Lots of discussion about and concerning plastics. I’m not trying to rehash it here but lately I’ve become aware of how plastics (throwaway) one use items undermine my capacity to appreciate things for creating an easier lifestyle for me. I never look at a plastic water bottle and appreciate it. I know it’s going to get tossed as soon as I’m done drinking the water inside. So there is no “relationship” value to the plastic. Now if some of my friends heard me speaking like this they’d likely chuckling but those same friends wouldn’t want to hunt with a disposable rifle, or use disposable wrenches to work on their autos. And they are distinctly, as am I, emotionally attached to tools which have been with them or even handed down from a previous generation.

    So what? Well, I’m gradually warming up to the idea of say reusable grocery bags, bamboo toothbrushes, local pottery drinking cups and bathroom accessories that aren’t plastic. Those household items that have become throwaway perhaps mostly because the industry which produces them needs them to be disposable to meet their business model. How is a Dixie cup in the bathroom more convenient than a ceramic cup? But mostly, I need to relate to the items I use on a more personal level. If I do that, I find that I can enjoy the more mundane events of my daily living. Like, using a goats milk peppermint soap that is make by a local artisan rather than a mass produced product. That soap is even wrapped in such a delightful way that I don’t even want to discard it.

    In the end, it also reduces the clutter that is so much a necessity of living with plastics. You can discard it, but it becomes someone else’s clutter to deal with. I have tried to think of a plastic item that when I hold it makes me want to keep it. I have become so accustomed to ditching plastic that it has permeated my thinking process about other more important relationships. There’s plenty of appropriate uses for plastic but I don’t think I’ll ever respect it. Well, I do love me some Tupperware.

  3. #423
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    I love that way of thinking! Being in touch with the intrinsic life of an object. Thich Nhat Hanh says that when you eat an apple you are eating the sun and the soil and the rain because those things created the apple. You are also one with the farmer who planted and cared for the tree, and the workers who picked it. This sounds similar to what you are saying about having a "relationship" with an object.

    When I think of the fact that plastics were only invented and widely used in the middle of the last century, it motivates me to understand that in many cases, we don't need them. People certainly lived without them for a long time.

    Getting back to the relationship thing, I do understand what you're saying. How can you respect something you know from the get-go is intended to be disposed of? It's like a one-night stand.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  4. #424
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    I don’t buy disposable stuff for every day use. I carry a travel mug in my car to fill with water and use a regular cup in the bathroom. WS, I too hate all the disposable stuff. I carry a cloth bag in my car. The only time I use paper plates is when I have a big outside barbecue in the summer. I invite more people than I have plates for.

  5. #425
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catherine View Post
    When I think of the fact that plastics were only invented and widely used in the middle of the last century, it motivates me to understand that in many cases, we don't need them. People certainly lived without them for a long time. Getting back to the relationship thing, I do understand what you're saying. How can you respect something you know from the get-go is intended to be disposed of? It's like a one-night stand.
    I think we can respect design and fitness for purpose. For example, those thin plastic containers for bottled water provide clean potable water in locations where it may not readily be present or where it is difficult to manage the logistics of accommodating everyone's not-necessarily-clean container. If I am at a public gathering, I could bring my own container for water, but I may not know what water sources exist. If they're usable (e.g., not out of order or the mixed warm-cold taps in the men's restroom) it could be helpful if my container has a restrictive lid on it so spills are minimized or prevented (goodbye ceramic cup). Those are purposes eminently suitable for bottled water. That people now drink bottled water at home rather than fill from the tap/filter pitcher/refrigerator is not the fault of the technology but of people's behavior. Similarly, plastic food packaging became popular because it avoids vectors for contamination from open storage, unclean serving containers, and so on. I'm not saying we should love as much plastic as has become prevalent in our world, but it has its place, even if it's temporary, and fitness for purpose is effective. Remember glass syringes and baby bottles?

    And plastics can be incredibly durable compared to other materials. Most trash cans are plastic now because the metal ones (even the galvanized ones) rusted pretty readily. Plastic bumpers on cars resist more dings than metal bumpers and present less weight for the vehicle to carry around, improving fuel mileage (a worthwhile goal, eh?). Children's furniture and toys often are plastic because it is impervious to water in a way that wood isn't and is lighter (to ship, move around, etc.) than metal of equivalent strength. There is an economic element to it as well.

    And then there are Williamsmith's beloved LPs. Plastic. Now those are plastic objects a person can love. But they're still plastic.

    I'm not saying we have to love plastics or use as much as we do. But they do have a place and, often, can do things few or no other materials can with the same ease and economy. Now, if we could ever get serious about considering the cradle-to-grave costs of all the materials we use in our lives the equation would differ. But as the world has evolved, plastics -- even the short-term kind -- have had good reason to become ubiquitous.
    Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. - Booker T. Washington

  6. #426
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    We use plastic travel mugs with lids so not a big mess if they get knocked over. I never have a problem finding somewhere to fill it up.

  7. #427
    Williamsmith
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    I’m certainly not questioning the usefulness of plastics. I’m exploring the variable relationships we have with inanimate objects based on their relative ease of disposal and comparative replacement costs. I generally value an item more when the replacement of it will get my financial attention. But it occurs to me that the type of relationship I have with say my guitar can be applied to a simple item like a wooden spatula.

    I can choose to care for both in the same careful manner or I can rationalize ignoring it with the knowledge that it is easy to replace. I’m just saying that we have become conditioned to distance ourselves from true appreciation by their relative ease of replacement. And plastic is just the most obvious example of that. And I can’t help but wonder if this expectation doesn’t translate into our interpersonal relationships. As irrational as it seems to be, could some of our seeming ambivalence to our fellow man come from our gradual lack of appreciation of more things that are easily replaced? Some circuitous thinking I’ll admit.

  8. #428
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    Yes I think it can spill over into people. Look at the way people treat animals disposing of beloved pets once they are old or inconvenient. I can’t work the front desk at the humane society when I volunteered because I will totally lose my shit!

  9. #429
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    It might be circuitous thinking but I think it has credibility.

    I was standing watching a local garbage collector pick up his bin on loan at a home undergoing renovations. The driver was careful about how he backed up, lined up the tow cable carefully and slowly pulled the bin. At a particular point, the bin slowly tipped up a little and slid into a special slot on the truck. He checked and double-checked every step of the process. It was slow, efficient and soundless. I was admiring the care of the driver, the engineering in design, the convenience and how neatly everything was arranged.

    A couple I had not met came by and looked around to see what I was watching. They saw nothing noteworthy so stopped to ask what I was looking at. I explained my enjoyment of the care, the design etc of the whole garbage collection process at the that home. They looked amused at me and then considered the truck as it drove away. Every time we met thereafter about 2-3 times a week, I was asked what interesting item had caught me attention. Over time, they started telling me of some interesting items that they had encountered and we became casual friends.

    The conscious awareness is what is lacking. We take so much for granted and don't see things for the thought, care and effort taken in their production and use. I am grateful daily for so much and find life is enjoyable as a result.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  10. #430
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Williamsmith View Post
    I’m exploring the variable relationships we have with inanimate objects based on their relative ease of disposal and comparative replacement costs. I generally value an item more when the replacement of it will get my financial attention. But it occurs to me that the type of relationship I have with say my guitar can be applied to a simple item like a wooden spatula.
    Fair... My response was addressed more toward catherine's suggestion that we don't need plastics.

    I guess I take a different tack than most people in that I believe craft applies to both one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry and red Solo cups. Items do not typically get placed in my trash with a Marie Kondo-esque reverence but I appreciate a well-wrapped (or, ftm, a poorly-wrapped) product or the ingenious design of something as simple as my razor (a 1961 Gillette Adjustable). But I've been like that for a long time.
    Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. - Booker T. Washington

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