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Never Mind

Our camera stopped working yesterday, a terrible thing to happen to a family of bloggers. This image is one of the last shots we took of our pile before it flipped out.

This morning we biked to a service centre from where we are hoping to hear good news. The technician we spoke to said she would do her best, though she was hesitant to say she could fix it, because it is six years old.

“Why spend money fixing an old camera when you can spend less getting a brand new model?” She asked. A valid question. If you are talking about the cost of things in dollars.

“Because we subscribe to the Repair Manifesto,” we told her.

“I’m glad there are people like you,” she smiled. “Otherwise I’d be out of a job.”

As we left the service centre and pedalled towards the beach, we all agreed that that Repair should be added to the Reduce. Reuse. Recycle trinity. We can definitely see the merit of the first two actions, but the third? It’s no wonder it features so far down the waste hierarchy:

When people choose to buy bottled water instead of soft drinks, the individual health benefits may be high, but the energy spent and pollution created to drink (or eat) anything from disposables has a great societal toll, regardless of what the vessel holds.

Every day as we bend to pick up forlorn plastic bottles on whichever beautiful beach we are on, we marvel at the complete lack of care exhibited by those who litter. But today on the beach, as we collected we talked about people, ourselves included, who buy packaged drink or food and then put the waste in a recycling or regular bin, thinking we’ve done the right thing.

Lest we feel too hopeful that we can properly process the waste we have collected over the last 12 days, here’s Donovan Hohn to set us straight:

Never mind that only 5 percent of plastics actually end up getting recycled. Never mind that the plastics industry stamps those little triangles of chasing arrows into plastics for which no viable recycling method exists. Never mind that plastics consume about 400 million tons of oil and gas every year and that oil and gas may very well run out in the not too distant future. Never mind that so-called green plastics made of biochemicals require fossil fuels to produce and release greenhouse gases when they break down…