Disposable Society

This bugs the heck out of me.  I consider myself to be pro-environment.  I recycle everything I can.  I turn all the lights off whenever the sun is shining.  My AC is set at 80 during the day and 78 at night.

On the other hand, I am not made of money.  I can’t buy solar panels (man I wish after the summer Texas had).  I can’t afford a wind turbine or an electric vehicle.

I do what I can, but sometimes, you just have to accept that we live in a disposable society.  Case in point…

We bought new home phones when we moved three years ago.  We hadn’t had a home phone in the preceding 5 years, but with us being away from the majority of the family, it was cheaper to have a free long distance land line than try to keep under 700 minutes on the cell phones.

Now, after several years, the batteries on those rechargeable handsets have died.  [Yes, there are many valid reasons we needed portable handsets, otherwise I wouldn’t have gotten them.]  In a one hour meeting while working from home, I have to switch phones two or three times because the batteries can’t hold a decent charge.

OK, so I go to look for batteries.  The phones are perfectly serviceable.

Unbelievable.  New batteries (which are essentially AAA ni-cads in shrinkwrap) $23 a piece plus shipping.  Locally, I couldn’t find the right size at all, but the nearest equivalent at Radio Shack was $25.  I needed three battery packs.

While at Radio Shack, preparing myself for another unplanned expense, I turned around and there were the actual phones.  Three new handsets, including rechargers, batteries, and base station… $43.  I checked on my store of choice, Amazon, and found a two handset phone set (base station, batteries, 2 handsets, and charger) for $29.

Now, again, I’m all about the environment, but I just cannot justify spending $75 when I could spend $32.

Fortunately, I live in an area with a good electronics recycling program.

I’ve noticed that even businesses consider customers to be disposable.  Just try to talk to your telecommunications provider about getting a discount that they offer to new customers.  I’ll bet you anything you won’t get it.  So customers bounce back and forth between cell phone providers every two years.



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