Tag Archives: observations

Can we stop buying trash?

Every time over the last few years, since I moved to the US, I go shopping, especially for groceries, household cleaning supplies or beauty products I feel that I buy trash. Another plastic bottle of dish soap or shampoo, another pack of batteries for my daughter’s toys, dozens of packs of paper towels… and all of this pretty soon completes its life cycle and finds itself in the trash bucket. For our selfish (and yes! so comfortable and so needed in our busy lives) convenience modern industry offers disposable things for each our smallest move. Just think of a very existence of a disposable floss pick! Isn’t it crazy?

Every time I hear the word “disposable” in an ad of a product that is supposed to make my life better, I feel almost physical discomfort. Yes, we can’t really stop using diapers and feminine pads. Our parents at our age would be so jealous for us having these advances of civilization so easily accessible. But the industry of household products is making the most out of the disposable trend squeezing in disposable elements everywhere you could imagine. Swiffer keeps our houses clean, but what it does to our bigger universal house with its disposable mopping refills! This is the craziest irony I can think of in this regard.

San Francisco is doing a really good job giving us an opportunity to recycle a lot of things that could elsewhere find themselves in the landfill. I wish Moscow would give its residents the same freedom to add another reason to be proud of our beautiful city.

There are companies that inspire me with their mission to disrupt the harmful disposable trend, like Thinx or Zero Market. I would like these eco-friendly alternatives to become real and mainstream for mass audience, but not only for socially consious creative class!

floss

Observations

Some observations about American middle class suburbia aka Southern part of Silicon Valley 🙂

Every time I drive past a beautiful multi-family building that I really like, with large windows letting just enough sunlight inside, buried in shady sighing trees and surrounded by quiet and wide but cozy sidewalks, and I think to myself: “what’s that?” – this building ends up being a senior living housing??! Every time, I swear!! :)))

It’s kind of ironic. I can see why these buildings are built this way, but I can’t understand why other buildings can’t be as cozy. Neat and clean American middle class townhouses always seemed too fake and even abandoned to me. And the “cozier” they were supposed to look, the faker they felt. Yes, someone’s towel flattering on the balcony apparently makes the whole complex look “cheaper”. And the complete absence of signs of life make the place look almost uninhabited. At a result it looks fake. One lady in our complex has so much flourishing plants and statues of ducks in her patio turned garden overlooking the internal pathway, that she immediately drew my attention and I ended up meeting her. She turned out to be a very nice lady with six grandchildren living all over the US.

Yes, the reason of all this is the idea of commercial value of everything. But if you dig deeper and start talking to people, you will find out that they actually feel the same way as you 🙂

I love speaking with elderly americans. Especially with those who’ve lived in the same neighborhood for many years. It’s amazing listening to them telling things like “Oh! I remember times when all these fancy technologies like computers and cell phones didn’t exist… and this area looked nothing like today’s Silicon Valley…” To my young immigrant mind born into the turbulent post soviet era this sounds almost amusing as if the consumption-driven economy never went through the “pre-ever-connected” stage.