I appreciate the internet as much as anyone else. It is a treasure trove of information that simply has no rival. The internet also gives voice to people who otherwise would have no voice. Yet the internet does have its downsides, including the fact that it invites constant complaining about what is wrong with the world.
No doubt the modern world has its problems. We are more aware of those problems thanks to our digitally enabled ability to instantly communicate around the world. Not only that, but our greater awareness has also led to more complaints about everything from plastic to politics.
Here’s the thing: solving problems requires more than just complaining about them. We can all spend the rest of our lives registering complaints on social media. We can ‘like’ others’ complaints. too. But complaints do not actually do anything. As long as we are content to merely complain, problems will not ever get solved.
Complaining About Plastic Pollution
Full disclosure requires I mention that this post was motivated by several articles discussing the pitfalls of plastic. The articles offered plenty of complaints about plastic pollution, the confusing nature of plastic recycling, and the supposition that recycling actually produces even more plastic pollution.
More than 90% of the plastic humanity produces every year ends up in landfills or incinerators. We recycle so little of it that it is almost laughable. Effective recycling takes effort. It requires work. It requires changing the way we do things. It turns out that complaining is a lot easier.
Fortunately, there are companies like Tennessee-based Seraphim Plastics capable of successfully recycling tons of industrial plastic waste annually. Seraphim Plastics makes good money buying industrial scrap plastic in seven states and transforming it into regrind. But there aren’t enough companies like Arkansas industrial plastic recycler Seraphim Plastics. Moreover, there are very few companies doing similar things with post-consumer plastics.
Plastic Is Never Going Away
I’ll be honest and say that I’m not a big fan of complaints – even when I’m the one making them. The most disheartening thing about the plastic complaints is the realization that plastic is never going away. That means the complaints will not ever stop, either. So I have to either live with the complaining or choose to not consume content that brings such complaints to my attention.
Moving beyond plastic, I hear lots of complaints about the price of gas. I agree that it is far more expensive than it needs to be. I also know that I could go stand at the entrance to my community every morning and watch thousands of cars go by, each one carrying just a driver. A lot of those cars would be large SUVs and pickup trucks that burn gasoline like I drink coffee.
I used to be in the retail gas business. Here’s what I can tell you: gas prices are based largely on supply and demand. If we consumers are willing to pay a lot, gas stations are more than happy to charge a lot. The best way to bring gas prices down is to stop driving unnecessarily. It works every time.
Problems Are Part of Life
The grand summation of this entire discussion is as simple as acknowledging that problems are part of life. We all face them. Some of us have more problems than others, and some phases of life seem to be more problematic. But every problem has a solution. The trick is finding and implementing that solution – something that is difficult to do if we are content to sit around and complain. We need to get beyond complaining if we want to solve our problems.