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The true cost of imported goods

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default The true cost of imported goods

Post by Chilli-head on 3rd September 2013, 10:37 am

I have long believed that our capitalist economy is a very efficient system for turning raw materials into landfill, driven by human greed. Now. according to [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] BBC story, it is worse than we thought !

I have become fed up of the prevelance of imported goods, which seem at a glance like a great bargin, but are of such low quality as to be scarcely fit for purpose. I think of cheap tools made in China with a design lifespan measured in minutes. Toys that fall apart if a child should actually attempt to play with them. All those resources wasted to make goods that are next to useless. I've resolved to either buy quality stuff if I need it and can afford it, or just say no.
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Post by Dandelion on 3rd September 2013, 12:12 pm

great 

(Interesting about South Africa BTW)

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by freebird on 3rd September 2013, 12:30 pm

We are out the same stable on that one, CH. I find the whole thing utterly, utterly depressing. I try to live in a way that my conscience finds acceptable, but anything I can do isn't even a drop in the ocean. I have come to the sad conclusion that things will only change when people are forced to change, either by law or by circumstances.
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Post by Chilli-head on 3rd September 2013, 1:22 pm

I once heard it said that MPs will act on global warming only when they need scuba gear to enter the house. It is probably about right !
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Post by Dandelion on 3rd September 2013, 3:54 pm

Chilli-head wrote:I once heard it said that MPs will act on global warming only when they need scuba gear to enter the house.  It is probably about right !
yes - they're probably more insulated against the 'slings and arrows of outrageous fortune' than the rest of us are

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by Ploshkin on 4th September 2013, 5:38 pm

I'm on the same hymn sheet on that one too.  (for some reason I can't see any link to a BBC story).  I think it is particularly sad that so many children never get the opportunity to know what good quality is - not just toys but TV, books, clothes.  I try to do my small bit, whenever I give anything to children of my acquaintance I always make sure that it's something well made in the hope that they might learn to realise that everything is not cheap, plastic trash.
A very minor, personal bugbear of mine is elastic.  What has happened to it? It never lasts more than 2 or 3 months before any vestige of stretch has gone.  It's a good thing we no longer have to rely on it to keep our knickers up!
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Post by Chilli-head on 4th September 2013, 8:20 pm

I guess we are all of the same mind on this one, which is not surprising on here ..

Ploshkin, if you click on the "this" of "this BBC story" you'll get there. The links are in a very, very slightly different colour - it is a pity they are not more obvious !
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Post by freebird on 4th September 2013, 8:57 pm

Ploshkin wrote:A very minor, personal bugbear of mine is elastic.  What has happened to it?  It never lasts more than 2 or 3 months before any vestige of stretch has gone.  It's a good thing we no longer have to rely on it to keep our knickers up!
Mine have elastic - how do yours stay up then!!?
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Post by Ploshkin on 4th September 2013, 9:50 pm

They're pretty much stretchy all over these days not like the old navy blue gym knickers with elastic threaded through the top hem.
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Post by Ploshkin on 5th September 2013, 2:01 pm

Thank you CH - that's a very subtle distinction for the link.

When I read .... 'if we only look at one indicator we get the wrong information' it reminded me of something that I heard in a radio programme some time ago. It was about destruction of rain forest & it had become a particular problem in this place (I forget exactly where) because forest was being cleared to grow sisal. The reason for the increase in demand for sisal - making 'bags for life' for the environmentally conscious!
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Post by Chilli-head on 5th September 2013, 2:59 pm

Argh !  It is remarkable that people even try to be green in a consumerist way.  Avoiding wasting plastic bags by buying a resuable sisal or cotton bag, produced using vastly more energy than the plastic one.

To me it is more about thinking "Do I really need this"  before buying something new,  and "What could do / make with this" before throwing something away.
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Post by freebird on 5th September 2013, 3:21 pm

When the supermarkets first started promoting 'bags for life' and trying to reduce the plastic one-use bags, I bought a couple of nylon bags that pack away really small - they cost 79p each. After a while, the handle stitching came away on one bag. As I was sewing back together, the man asked what I was doing. I told him and said, I'll bet there're not many people that would bother to sew the handle back on a 79p bag. He replied, No, but I bet that most of them that do are in your family!
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Post by Dandelion on 5th September 2013, 4:37 pm

In that case we must be distantly related, as that's just the kind of thing my mother would have done - she was a great mender and sewer (as in sewing, not the pipes which take waste water away!) Sadly she can't hold a needle easily now because of arthritis.

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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