I miss my parents. I lost both of them many years ago, before I had an inkling of a clue. I know them - though the information is translated from a sort of teen aged perspective.
As I remember them best, they're about the age I am now. Once in awhile, I have an interesting conversation with them in my head. I can make reasonable guesses at what they'd say, but without the surprises, which was where the laughing came from.
There was always laughing. Yeah. I'd like to talk to them now. Not who they'd be after another 30 - 40 years here, but as they were then, in the seventies.
They grew up with mechanical gadgets - some marvelous and some already unrecognizable to many of us.
My coffee maker died today,finally, despite many attempted cures, surgery, some pleading, threats and a couple of resuscitations. It was a long, protracted death. Probably would've been kinder to shoot it.
I kept the filter. I put a candle in it. As a maker, I might use it for something else. However, Mr. Coffee will go to where all the other complex electronic appliances go to be 'recycled.' Even in the best case scenerio, at least some of it will become poison. Humans might find a better way. Something like manufacturing beyond the outdated mechanical object d'art, and the short-term-designed-to-break electronics that humans are epically failing to dispose of.
I imagine a world where little is wasted. Where fewer possessions are fine and cherished. Where knowledge is valued over material wealth. It's a world where basic needs are met and acquisitions are made with forethought, for lasting quality and enjoyment.
A few humans embrace this life already.
More often I imagine the waste-free world as one where humans struggle on the edge of survival, where nothing is wasted because nothing can be. Where acquisitions are hard to come by.
Many humans live this life already. Right now.
Technology is changing faster and faster. In a short time, my coffee filter might be obsolete and eventually, unrecognizable.
It might be recycled, ground up as filler. It might be buried to slowly break down into the soil. Or it might be found and up- cycled, or kept as a novelty.
We look at objects through filters. Filters of history, imagined futures and assigned values. Sometimes though, we hardly look at all.
I was in a chain store recently and overheard a conversation:
So many goodies!
I want them all.
I'm running out of closet space.
Humans absentmindedly gather trinkets the way we absentmindedly snack on empty foods. Neither nourishes past the fleeting satisfaction of gathering. The trinkets and the snacks accumulate as fat and clutter.
One way or another, this will change. Because this behavior creates an untenable situation. It has to change.
I don't think it's going to be an easy process.