“The next step after cheap is free and after free is disposable.” Bill Joy

This week, we are seeking alternatives to disposable.

The other day, a post selling “non-disposable” diapers caught my eye in a local group on social media. Curious, I clicked through and discovered that uber-trendy, modern, millennial moms are discovering very old-fashioned cloth diapers.

I was taken back to all those hours I spent changing my baby sister’s diapers when I was the six-year-old oldest daughter charged with her care. A few short years earlier, Mom was raising food and caring for three babies in diapers along with two older boys. She was famous for her year-round laundry — visitors were given the following directions: if there are rows of diapers hanging on the line, you’re in the right yard.

She heated water on the wood stove for the ringer washer and hauled out ashes. There was no hot running water or indoor plumbing in our farm house.

My mom’s seventh and last birth happened in 1968, just in time for all the modern conveniences in our new house. I remember the luxury of packing a couple of Pampers when we went out and the value we both placed on this extraordinary convenience. These plastic creations weren’t great for baby’s skin long term and they couldn’t be burned with the rest of the garbage so they were handled with care in my world.

From my early days, I learned they were toxic but useful in small quantities.

I recall back in the 80s when my friend Kim told me how she got all defensive when her doctor said, ‘you’re using cloth diapers, aren’t you?” and she replied with, “yes, how did you know?” and his reply says it all: “I haven’t seen such a healthy bottom in a long time.”

I wonder when we reached the turning point and I am still shocked when I walk down that aisle of the supermarket, unable to not see where I know they will end up by the billions of tonnes, even though the tide is slowly receding with the next generation of moms who recognize the value of reusable.

With systems that function upon consumption, our ideas around disposable income must change if we are to think twice before we make a decision to toss it correctly or toss not at all.

Durable is the goal. Reusable the norm. Our little blue planet has an abundance of ready renewable resources to share fairly with everyone, including our most vulnerable who aren’t given the option of quality in the midst of this plastic pandemic.

With my new little shop that has been a dream for decades, it is not my intention to sell more or to sell only mine but to provide some options for everyone who shares my interest in searching for services arising from love and products that don’t cost the earth. Anyone with something to offer is invited to plant seeds with me and watch how our little venture grows.

Beyond selling stuff and ideas, my approach is assist with decisions by publishing some basic background information. Having picked up an average of 2-3 masks every time I venture out in this little remote fishing village I call home (yes, I gag a lot even when I do manage to find a stick), disposable masks have been on my mind and it’s been months, now.

So, it was an easy ‘yes’ when I was asked to help bring a new concept to market, so much so that it made sense to dedicate some time and teach myself something new in order to set up the online store while encouraging everyone to mask with care when we must go out.

We’re still in early days and there’s plenty of time to ensure we don’t add masks to our culture of disposables. We can do this by promoting durable resuables to our friends and colleagues and customers.

It’s going to be interesting to balance editorial with the urge to advertise the shop and I will do my best to be transparent and continue to encourage everyone to shop local and support your favorite small businesses in Hong Kong as we face uncertainty together by being well and taking action.

When do you reconsider disposable?


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“The next step after cheap is free and after free is disposable.” Bill Joy

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The NextGen mask

On my morning walk down to the beach recently, I noticed a startling new trend in this quiet, remote, tiny fishing village – used surgical masks discarded into the river, ready to be swept into the sea with the next rain. With three rubbish bins within a one-minute walk, the senseless of this insensitive behavior left me incensed — read more.

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Author: love

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