How would you sum up the year 2018 in one word? I feel like I aged about 200 years since January, there’s got to be a good single word out there word that would basically summarize our the year. Collins Dictionary picked their Word of the Year for 2018 and they went with . . . “single-use.” The definition is “made to be used only once,” and it’s come up a lot in discussions about how we’re destroying the environment.
Keurig cups and Styrofoam containers are single-use . . . but the term was coined a lot this year when cities, states, and businesses started banning plastic straws.
This particular topic is a sensitive one for me. One would say it’s where my “old soul” starts to show it’s ugly face. I was watching the movie “The Founder” other day. It’s about the guy that helped franchise the business we call Mcdonald’s now. He just had to invest and help this little restaurant grow with their revolutionary system called then the “Speedy-System” that changed the way people order and get their fast food. Which in turn highlights the paper bags the cups and wrappers all for single use. As I watched this movie with in the first 30 minutes it felt like I had traveled back in time to see the birth of the “Single-use Society” we live in today. This was in the mid 50’s the “Single-use society” still had a long way to go and wouldn’t really kick till later on maybe a few growth spurts in the 70’s and 80’s.
I’m not saying the 1950’s were perfect. In fact I, think in 2018 we have it better then ever. Look around at what we have, it’s amazing. But one thing I wish our time in the world still had was the “built to last” mentality. By no means were cars safer in the 50 or 60’s but man did they built those cars in a way so they could run forever. If they broke down you just get a few tools and fix it. They were designed to draw your eye every time to see them roll down the street or sit in someones drive way. Can we say any of that about our cars today? It might be too soon to tell. But think about it, how long till the car I drive with all it’s computer’s censors are obsolete. I can’t even use the same iPhone for more than 4 years before it starts glitching on me because they stop doing updates.
Car seats for our kids. Being a parents is more expensive in a “single-use” society. Disposable diapers have been around for some time and are a huge parenting luxury but like I said, it costs money. There was time you only needed one car seat and use that same one for every child you had. Now you basically keep one car seat for a few months and then buy a new one to fit your child’s age and weight for safety ratings. Necessary and the law now but almost seems like a waste of a perfectly good car seat.
I can’t help feel a little guilty in this “Single-use Society” as good as we may have it 2018. People proudly look back 40 50 years and say “Yup things were build to last and we knew how to take care of our things” What will we say of our time now 40 to 50 years from now? Maybe I’m over thinking it a little here. But make no mistake, we do live in a world of where we need it now and need it right away. With no regard of whether or not how long something lasts or how many times we can use it”