Service of Waste

January 19th, 2012

Categories: Fundraising, Waste

A comment to a post by Nenaghgal last week inspired today’s post because it set the stage for my reaction to a recent development that struck an off note with me in this economic environment.

Nenaghgal wrote: “In general there is very little waste at the company I work for here in Ireland, Nicholas Mosse Pottery, in fact, I’m incredibly impressed with the way this place functions. We are highly eco-friendly so we recycle, reuse everything, and I mean everything so I won’t go into specifics but I am proud to work with a company that has such high standards. More companies should take heed.”

I add that more people should take heed as well.

You no doubt heard that Elin Nordegren, Tiger Woods’ ex-wife, bought waterfront property in Florida for $12 million and bulldozed the six bedroom house [photo below, left]. It’s her choice and her children aren’t hurt by her decision as she has millions more where the 12 came from. And it is nobody’s business what a person does with his/her money.

Nevertheless I wondered why she couldn’t find a house she liked better that needed minor nips or tucks or a piece of waterfront property with no house. Flattening a house seemed like a waste when money might be better spent to feed hungry families, educate wayward children, inoculate little ones who would otherwise be exposed to contagious diseases or provide clean water to towns and villages around the world where there isn’t any. The real estate agent claims the house was in disrepair according to The Daily Mail‘s mailonline.

I fundraise for a foundation. We cheer when we find partners to sponsor events and initiatives. The volunteers don’t calculate the hours spent to bring in the welcome money against the total which isn’t near $12 million a year. So you can see why I appreciated Nicholas Mosse Pottery’s frugality and picked up on Ms. Nordegren’s extravagance. For all I know she gives twice this amount to charity and we don’t hear about those checks. Wouldn’t it be grand?

8 Responses to “Service of Waste”

  1. David Reich Said:

    Flattening houses and building bigger ones on the property seems to be a common thing in some places — south Florida, the southern Calif. coastal communities, and even out in Montauk and the Hamptons in our neck of the woods.

    People with means buy the location and then bulldoze and build what they want. As in many real estate deals, it’s location, location, location.

    And, wasteful as it may be, it does provide employment to builders, decorators and others.

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:


    True–there’s a charming neighborhood I used to visit on the Main Line in Pennsylvania. Drive around in spring and you’ll see lush azalea bushes and giant trees with charming houses well off the road and suddenly the enchanting scene is scarred by enormous houses that take up an entire lot, bereft of anything green except maybe a thin patch of grass in front. The structures would look awful on acres of land, but in this setting are out of proportion with the space they have and sure, they gave a builder and crew some work but at what cost and in my opinion, causing horrendous waste.

    I coveted a brownstone in Brooklyn Heights years ago. What was special about it was that the original molding and all architectural elements were intact. I subsequently saw the house on a house tour. The owners had ripped out all of what was valuable and that distinguished that house. In my opinion, they should have picked on another house where the charm was already gone.

  3. Lucrezia Said:

    It’s easy to see Nordegren as a dumb broad who is out of touch with reality. The destruction of a home which could be used for any number of good works does not qualify as waste, but rather as an abomination reflecting either stupidity, contempt for society, and most likely, both.

    There are a number of businesses to be compared to the pottery firm, which appears to be a jewel in its field. Let’s not insult it by measuring its operations to that of a human disaster. It’s akin to comparing apples to oranges…..rotten ones at that!

    One last shot: Wood’s catting around becomes all the more understandable. Living with that empty shell must have been a nightmare.

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Tossed rotten apples and oranges accepted.

    I was comparing sensibilities–or lack of same–and didn’t take literally the differences between a company and a person but if it seemed far fetched or off the wall to you, you are no doubt not alone. I meant no disservice to the wonderful pottery company.

  5. Nancy Farrell Said:

    We have so many resources in this country that we tend to waste and take for granted. A relative visiting from England was shocked to see how many lights were left on at night in office buildings in New York City. He is from a fairly large city himself so he is not a country cousin and yet could not imagine that people were not working in those well-lit offices even though it was 8 o’clock at night. My husband has an aunt in Ireland who owns a clothes dryer but uses a clothes line instead–why waste the electricity? As far as buildings go, Grand Central Station here in New York was nearly torn down. No doubt a hideous structure would have gone up in its place–again, Penn Station comes to mind.

  6. Jeanne Byington Said:


    We don’t respect our history for the most part and think new is always best. There are central cities across the US that are crumbling. Countless square blocks look like wars have happened. Remaining in empty spaces, like a Jack o’ lantern’s kookie, toothless smile, are a few bricks, some garbage and a few weeds.

    One city I don’t care to name because I know many who live there and don’t want to insult anybody, left a few older buildings on one block and that’s where Starbucks, a good restaurant and a boutique opened up. No surprise. They recognized quality and charm when they saw it.

  7. Hester Craddock Said:

    It is all very sad. One reads about Nenaghgal’s sensible company, and then Tiger Wood’s ex-wife’s extravagant waste. She must be both extraordinarily unhappy and not very bright.

    Tiger, like many prodigies, had to be a terrible marriage risk given how driven he was by his parents. He probably doesn’t even like playing golf. Anyone marrying such a misfit had to be a fool, albeit now a very rich fool. And what did doing so get her? Money, sure, but also a heap of distain from those who condemn her for mimicking so many others who flaunt their sudden wealth.

    I’ll bet that she is so unhappy that she doesn’t even stay in the new house more than a year, poor thing.

  8. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Reading your comment made me think of the old saw that went something like, “I’d rather be nouveau than not riche at all.”

    And were I riche….what fun I’d have!

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