Monday, September 17, 2012

Make Do and Mend: a dustpan

It was almost bedtime, I was walking to the kitchen and then I stepped on... something... and heard a crack. I turned on the kitchen light to investigate (I usually just walk through my house in the dark) and saw that I had cracked my dustpan. It wasn't just a little crack, though; the actually pan part was broken almost completely off. I thought to myself, "Great. Now I have to get a new dustpan. I will put it on the list in the morning." Then I went to bed.

In the morning, I saw the broken dustpan, and remembered my thought from the night before. I was horrified with myself. A new dustpan? I didn't need a new one, I just needed to fix the broken one. I was especially surprised that my first thought wasn't to just fix it, because I had fixed a crack in the dustpan before. When did I become someone who just throws things away when they get a little dinged up? Or thinks about it, anyway?

The duct tape was the first fix, the packing tape was the second.
From an economic standpoint, it doesn't make sense. I could pick up a new dustpan for a dollar (more, if I don't go to a dollar store), or I could use a few cents worth of tape to fix the crack. From an ecological standpoint, it doesn't make sense either. If I threw the dustpan in the garbage both times it had broken and replaced it with a new one, I would be on my third dustpan since moving to Kentucky. That would mean I would have used 3x the resources for my dustpan needs, and also put 2 dustpans into landfills. I don't know the breakdown for making a dustpan vs. making a couple feet of tape, but I am pretty sure fixing the dustpan is a better option.

*The "Make Do and Mend" movement came about during WWII, when not only food but also clothing was rationed. You can read more about this here and here. I was inspired by Cast-On series 8 to work on this theme for the week.

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