If you can't reuse or repair an item, do you ever really own it? Do you ever really own it? Do you ever develop the sense of pride and proprietorship that comes from maintaining an object in fine working order?We invest something of ourselves in our material world, which in turn reflects who we are. In the era of disposability that plastic has helped us foster, we have increasingly invested ourselves in objects that have no real meaning in our lives. We think of disposable lighters as conveniences -- which they indisputably are; ask any smoker or backyard-barbecue chef -- and yet we don't think much about the tradeoffs that that convenience entails.