Is your reusable better than disposable?

plastic pegs versus stainless steel pegs

Last Friday I was lucky enough to snatch a few hours to myself and decided to catch up with my sister.  Chatting over our favourite brew at my local coffee haunt the topic of stainless steel products came up – pegs, lunchboxes, water bottles and more. In particular the idea that an eco-friendly, sustainable product had to be one that could return to nature when it reached the end of its useful life.

At first glance you’d think a bamboo peg would be a better option than a stainless steel peg because at least at the end of its life the bamboo will compost back to nature. Hmm!  Once we started to really unpick the detail of the conundrum it was hard to go past the fact that my stainless steel pegs are guaranteed for life. And while I can’t compost them they are guaranteed not to break which means my three boys can use these same pegs long after I’m gone. What a WONDERFUL gift!

So are we not better off making a peg that will last forever rather than a peg that is ‘eco friendly’ because it’s compostable but may not last a lifetime.

I remember my Mum talking about buying a washing machine that would last you a lifetime, not fifteen years (if you were lucky). And in today’s market not even that long!! Would you be prepared to pay a little more for something and know you’ll never have to replace it? It’s an unusual concept in 2019.

Built-in obsolesce is causing the planet to be overwhelmed with waste that simply can’t be recycled!!! This has HUGE implications for the future.  So for me - while it feels expensive to buy my kids stainless steel lunchboxes and water bottles or to take the leap of faith and buy 100 stainless steel pegs  - I remember that I’ll never have to buy these things again.

I feel relieved that if I make the best decision now – not one made on short term influences like the initial cost – then in the long term my choices have reduced landfill and the bonus is  it really is the most economical choice.