Cardboard beds in the land of high technology

by Robert Moorehead

I don’t know whether to be impressed or depressed. A cardboard manufacturing company has come up with a way to keep tsunami refugees warm when they sleep in their temporary homes: bed frames made of cardboard boxes. Instead of laying their futons on the cold floor, refugees can now lay them on a bed made of overturned boxes. With their bodies off the cold floor, the refugees can stay warmer when they sleep.

Is this a case of private sector ingenuity? Of concerned citizens filling a gap left by government incompetence? Of people pulling together to help each other in a time of crisis? Of a manufacturer looking to sell more boxes? Instead of a cardboard manufacturer stepping up to the plate, why aren’t Nitori and Ikea donating a bunch of beds?

On the one hand, this is a low tech, environmentally friendly solution. It uses items that are readily available, and costs very little. On the other hand, be careful you don’t spill any liquids on your bed, or it will disintegrate. And sexual intimacy with your partner on a bed made of cardboard? Now that’s romantic. More importantly, why are the temporary houses so cold in the first place? They also leak when it rains. How long will refugees have to endure such a standard of living? And in a land of plenty, why are refugees forced to to emulate the homeless when trying to stay warm?

What’s next? Newspapers make good blankets, so when you’re sleeping on your boxes, cover yourself with newspapers you find in the trash. Is this glass half-empty or half-full?

“Cardboard Beds to Keep Quake Victims Warm, Comfortable in Winter.” Mainichi Daily News, Oct. 27, 2011.

One thought on “Cardboard beds in the land of high technology

  1. Wow …
    now that is something very interesting. Because at first glance it seems to be a very good idea, that they at least don’t have to sleep on the cold floors anymore.
    But just as you state in this post, i was wondering, why the floors are cold in the first place … probably because it is supposed to be only a temporary home until the victims of the tsunami can start up new.
    And then again … when will they be able to return to their old living place? Probably not very soon. Because I’m from germany, I know that 20 years after the catastrophe in Tschernobyl, the whole area there is still contaminated. And even though they buried the radio active substaces with thick concrete, nobody can actually live there without consequences anymore … and it will shurely be the same with Fukushima!
    So shouldn’t the refugees be able to have comfortable temporary homes that can become their new homes?

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