In a world of hyper-individualization—in which we each have our own phone, musical play lists, privately bottled water, and cars—sharing our stuff with friends or strangers can be a political act.
Elizabeth Royte, OnEarth Magazine
This article is made possible with the generous contributions of all reader supported Evergreene Digest readers like you.
Photo: Ben Grey
Monday, January 20, 2014 | Years ago, perhaps after I served them a rustic-looking crème broulee, my in-laws gave me a miniature blow torch, the better to caramelize future desserts. It’s a neat tool—efficient and exciting to use—but I can’t say I’ve precision-melted sugar more than four times in the last twelve years (crème brulee leaves behind too many egg whites for a household that doesn’t love angel food cake). And so the gadget sits above my refrigerator, a slight risk for explosion but mostly just taking up space.
If you live nearby, I’ll happily loan you my blow torch. Or my shiny red pipe wrench—a full 24 inches long—or my shop vac, none of which get nearly enough exercise. Take me up on my offer, and we’ll be part of a growing national trend. It’s called sharing.
OnEarth Magazine contributing editor Elizabeth Royte also writes for the New York Times Book Review, which called her "no stranger to the pleasures and perils of chasing errant pieces of plastic and other castoffs to surprising (and often disgusting) places." She's the author of Bottlemania: How Water Went on Sale and Why We Bought It and Garbage Land: On the Secret Trail of Trash.
The poverty that Paul Ryan ignores, Ed Gray, Salon
- The leader of the crusade against poor Americans, Paul Ryan, has said that the social safety net is at risk of becoming a “hammock”; one that, one presumes, would have accommodated so-called freeloaders unworthy of government assistance.
- While Republicans use poverty as an ideological weapon, one writer sees its consequences firsthand.
- The new face of food stamps: working-age Americans