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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Spontaneous Post-Carnage Shrines: Dead flowers and wet teddy bears

May 2nd, 2013 · No Comments · Decluttering, Disposability

I’ve become so obsessed with the waste stream that even in the midst of tragedies, my mind goes to to the garbage issues. By now the explosion debris at the Boston Marathon has been cleaned up, but I always wonder: what about these mountainous offerings of flowers and stuffed animals that accumulate in the outpouring of grief and support? People need to do something. And yet…. then what? 

Eventually it has to be dismantled. I wonder who gets stuck with the odious task of taking away all the mementoes? What becomes of them all? And who wants to be the unpopular person deciding when it’s time?

Do it too soon and the mourners feel slighted; too late, and it morphs into a pile of soggy rubbish. Which choice looks more disrespectful? Clearing it away, or leaving an increasingly ugly pile of weather-ruined stuffed animals among the rotting remains of dead flowers?

If it were just the flowers, they could be separated from their non-recyclable  cellophane wrappings and composted. But the stuffed animals, made up of synthetic materials, will have to be taken to the landfill, along with all the crinkly cellophane.

I don’t have a good answer for this stuffed animal tradition which has sprung up in recent times. I think we’re stuck with it unless it fades out over the years and people find another way. What are you going to do, put up a sign at a shrine site saying “no teddy bears”?Even posting about this is probably going to get me nominated for the Scrooge award.

PS: If anyone sees anything on this, do send me a link via the comment box.

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