Jan 20, 2006

What About Wiper Blades?

Hey there compactors -I've been enjoying all the "chatter"We are the kind of security threats that Bush should be spying on - if our movement grows we could take this country down.But on a more realistic note - I need new windshield wiper blades. Does that count as a consumable item like shampoo?


katie said...

yes, okay for safety.

Rev. Dr. said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
David said...

Why not just reduce consumption instead of loudly and obviously proclaiming how cool you are just for not consuming anything at all? It seems like a much quieter way to make a larger difference is to urge people to reduce instead of an all-or-nothing cult. Just saying.

Rev. Dr. said...

Someone clearly has no appreciation for dramatic flair.

(note: in reply to David since my post for some reason appeared above his rather than below)

james said...

take the bus
take the train
ride a bike

Nutmeg5 said...

Someone I know just immigrated here from Chile. He is astounded at how much stuff we Americans waste.
To make this public and dramatic may be the only way to get people to understand that resources are finite; that we don't need all the shit we think we do.

stomv said...

katie and james are both right. Be safe, but also reduce the amount of driving you are doing.

And may I recommend using ethanol or biodeisel when possible as a way to make your energy sources more local, since a farm in America is closer than Venezuela, Alaska, the Middle East, or Russia.

Paige Dayspring said...

It has be big and it has to be public-how else are other people going to be inspired?

scott said...

You can probably get wiper blades, like any car parts, from a junkyard. Maybe someone should look into this and start a relationship with junkyards for the things one might need the most.

You can probably also get them from chop shops... but I hear that is illegal.

P said...

>> You can probably get wiper
>> blades, like any car parts,
>> from a junkyard.

You're not likely to find good ones there, so there's still a likely safety issue.

Maybe there should be a rule for the purchase of parts necessary to make repairs to existing items? IE, if your shoe sole separates, you can buy glue...much better than throwing a pair of shoes into a landfill!

BTW while I sympathize with the 'absoluteists' here, I think there'd be a LOT more benefit from getting everyone to reduce waste 10% than having the small hardcore group reduce 99%.

Anonymous said...

This from Mary Hunt's Cheapskate Montly newsletter - "ROUGH TO RENEW. Instead of spending time and money to replace and install new wiper blades, renew them: Hold a piece of sandpaper between your thumb and forefinger. Now run the sandpaper along the edge of the rubber blade, first on one side then the other. This will renew the surface so it efficiently wipes the windshield. You can do this two or three times before a blade is completely spent and requires replacement. Walter H., Oregon"

I haven't tested this out yet, but plan to in the very near future.

clem said...

Yes, but anonymous, I never throw away my wiper blades until they've actually separated from the arm, which is then scraping against my windshield. Guess I'll have to find a better way.

And: I think a few people doing the Cold Turkey is cool and good publicity. I love the picayune little things that come up--makes us think!

Eric said...

I decided to dip my toe in the water and not buy anything but food, medicine and toiletries for a month after reading about the Compact in USA Today this week.

How do you all feel about expensive consumption of services? My wife has never bought much stuff but she thinks nothing of spending $10,000 on a trip to France. My mother-in-law frequently takes friends out to dinner and spends $1000 in one evening, although she too is not a big shopper for hard goods. I go along for the ride on these adventures. Comments?

Anonymous said...

I'm like you, eric--just happened onto a newspaper article, and here I am. Have already been active in freecycle.org (I'm betting most people here already know this one--if not, make sure you go to .org -- not .com) and our local version of a similar thing, a buy/trade/sell listserve (in response to the no money changing hands rule on freecycle).

I wanted to respond to a few things in this conversation.

I agree with p, that it's (well, maybe not better, but more do-able) to have "everyone to reduce waste 10% than having the small hardcore group reduce 99%." It makes me think about what Sandra Ahten says about dieting--that you really need to figure out what you're *willing* to do, not what you *should* do. Maybe by being willing to make a smaller compact--say go on a buying fast for one month rather than one year, I can then foster better habits and realize that it's not so painful to do a longer time.

eric, you asked for comments, and I have a couple:
A few years ago we went skiing with my in-laws (who also drop quite a lot of money on trips and stuff) and I was really amazed at how many people were up on this mountain, how much equipment we all had (though much of it was rented, like mine was) that is used for only one, very specific action, and how much waste we all generated just by consuming food up at the concession stands and restaurants. I can't remember if I actually saw the garbage truck go down the mountain (seems unlikely), or had it described to me by my brother-in-law who used to work in a ski lodge, but I can well imagine that many tons of trash are generated each day by all the skiiers. The garbage cans were overflowing with those plastic bottles for water, styrofoam and other stuff inappropriate for landfills.

Anonymous said...

zero waste has to have an inspirational target of 100% or else it just won't work - you don't motivate football teams by telling them 'just give me 50% of your effort today, that's ok, we will still win the game!' we will all undoubtedly have to make compromises and will fall short, but 100% remains the target!

Anonymous said...

I like people to be reasonable and recycle, but after reading many comments I just can't agree with the majority. One comment is about how skiing is too much waste....This guy should just sit Indian style in the forest somewhere meditating, no craping either; that is wasteful. Yes there is excess and I appreciate those of us who are reasonable, but if you think that a population of the current magnitude would preserve the earth better if we were nomadic people and therefor less inclined to consumerism, you are silly. Technology must progress and that means an economy must flourish. Give your old stuff away to others in need.

Anonymous said...

Just a comment about ethanol/biodiesel. As it turns out, it's no more environmentally friendly, and probably just as corporate. First of all, corn/soybeans have to be refined, which takes a lot of energy. second of all, it takes a lot of field-space (polluting with fertilizer, depleting and eroding topsoils, etc). thirdly, the farms that produce corn/soybeans for fuel are mainly large, corporate farms, trying to crown out small, locally owned farms.

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GirlPaint said...

Most oil-change places (local included) will give you wiper blades free when you get your vehicle's oil changed. Getting your oil changed every 3-4 months is better for the environment, too, if you must drive a traditional gas-sucker (like me). Until I can afford a hybrid/electric/whatever green technology comes next kind of car, I still have to drive my '91 Isuzu Trooper and take good care of it.