Exploring what life could be like if we weren't buried in clutter, burdened with too many possessions, and surrounded by chaos.

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Collectivitis combined with the ecological mindset

March 18th, 2013 · 1 Comment · Collecting, Consumer Issues, Disposability, Philosophy, The Packrat Mind, Trash Disposal

You might think it’s dumb that I write about things like pen caps and sock hangers — but that would mean you were missing my larger purpose. My assignment (call it a compulsion if you must) is to scrutinize each and every little item and ask the big questions — go all the way back to its source, examine its life, and predict its eventual destination.

The real issue is disposability and waste. Why do we manufacture all this disposable stuff out of the petroleum that we’re running out of? Why do we march out like sheep and buy it? And why aren’t we worried?

Where do we think all this stuff is going, people? To the landfills, that’s where.

So don’t look at ME and make swirly motions toward your head with your index finger.

What, just because I’m unwilling to throw things away willy-nilly, I’m crazy? Just because it hurts me to see something used exactly one time, and then thrown in the garbage? Ow!

My innate sense of order (and I do have one) prevents me from collecting everything that I see, piling it onto a shopping cart, and combing the streets for more (i.e., hoarding). Collectivitis works differently — Instead I’ll choose one seemingly random item that comes my way with some frequency, and squirrel it away — gradually amassing it in large numbers. Collectivitis is the compulsion to acquire multiples of a certain item.

“One of these alone seems so useless,” my eco-logic goes, “but surely if I had dozens I could find some role for them in the world.”

Look at these cute empty matchboxes I just found in a drawer. I’m not sure how they got there — though I do go through a lot of candles, and it’s not too likely that Lindi put them there. [Note to elf: Quit trying to get me in trouble!] But they could easily be used as carrying cases for insects collected by school children on a science field trip. I’m going to donate them to SCRAP and surely some teacher will buy them. As I was saying before, it’s a good thing there are many, since one would be useless.

And by the way, if you doubt the sense of order that I claim, you might note that I keep my sock monkey in my sock drawer. How much more orderly can I get?

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