Thursday, December 27, 2007

So Tired of Reactionaries

I posted part of this as a response on another blog but thought I would post it on my own as well.

I feel weary of all the controversy we are creating in our lives today. I am tired of trying so hard to find "good" foods, organic, etc. I have stopped worrying about whether or not a toy is plastic or wooden. Here is a thought for those concerned about lead. Many of the recalled toys were WOOD. The only things we had on the recall lists were a couple of Thomas the Tank Engine pieces. Wood is painted; with plastics the colors are often a part of the plastic itself. I just don't think there is any magic answer. So I try not to worry about it too much. I have enough things to worry about as a parent. Sure, I will be a bit more worried about what I let a baby play with (since they put stuff in their mouths more often) but my 3 year old? Haven't seen him sucking on a toy for awhile. If he happens to get a toy with lead paint, I hope I will be told so I can return it, but I somehow doubt it would be the end of the world. But hell, I wonder how many of the toys we grew up with had lead paint in them? And our parents? Houses back then had lead in the paint. Whole rooms. And lead pipes?

Don't get me wrong. Lead has no business being in anything I can think of today. Xrays are done digitally now so we don't even need to wear the lead aprons at the dentist, but I think everone has just gone over the top with this.

You know what really burns me when I shop? All the packaging. And what to do with items that have outlived their usefulness or no longer work. I have 3 huge old monitors, 3 old TVs, old VCRs, old bicycles not worth fixing, old cell phones, far more yogurt containers than I will EVER be able to reuse taking up space in my cupboards. I am thankful many of our Christmas gifts came in cardboard packaging but my LAND we have a lot of recycling that needs to go to the transfer station now! (Although we have garbage pick up, we have to haul our recycling separately to the transfer station ourselves.) And our transfer station doesn't take a lot of stuff that other recycling programs do. Like plastic that is not a bottle with a NECK. Plastic toys? We have bought a lot of toys from Craig's list and ebay and we have and will continue to relist them. But some get faded and broken and then where do they go? They are plastic. They SHOULD be recycleable!

My great hope is that this time around we elect a REAL president and that we finally start regulating this stuff. Let's create some incentives for manufacturers and retailers to reduce packaging. Let's start penalizing those who don't. Let's start making retailers accept merchandise back and be responsible for recycling it. And I am not just talking about electronics here. EVERYTHING.

Until then? I am not going to be overly worried about whether a toy Jaxon gets is plastic or wood, or whether or not it comes from China. Ok, I will worry some, but I am not going to let it take front and center. When I am presented with a choice at the store? Yes, 9 times out of 10 packaging and recyclability will factor into my choice. The "made in" label? Notsomuch. "Made in" means "assembled in". Doesn't mean that the paint used on the product, or the fabric used to make the shirt was not made in an entirely different place.

And food? We are hoping to get more and more of our food fresh and local. THAT I buy into whole heartedly!


nengaku said...

You reminded me of something we used to do when I was a kid. For some reason toy soldiers were made of lead in those days and we used to love to suck on them to get that strange metallic sensation in the mouth. Hmmm - maybe that explains several things about me.........
I agree - we need to lighten up a bit. And I do appreciate your ideas on localterianism and recyclability.

The Milk Maid said...

It's all relative- Everything has SOMETHING bad in it... how far will we go with this thing?

I just love your blog! :D

Amy Barry said...

Aww thanks for reading and commenting. You guys put a big grin on my face!

Kelly said...

I just found your blog by way of the milk maid's blog, and I'm so glad I did. I agree totally about laying off the obsession with where toys are made and instead focusing on what we can do to recycle them. This is a concern of mine every gift-giving occasion. Thanks for such an awesome post!

Gunfighter said...


You can send the old VCR's, Cell phones, and monitors to me... I'll use them for shoot 'em up friday!