Tuesday, October 16, 2007

4 R's: Reuse

Up today, Reuse.

Reuse: reusable cloth napkins. Reuse: thrifted teacup and saucer. Reuse: estate sale fabric [brown flowered], using up the leftovers from someone else's stash for new projects.

Reuse: reducing our footprint on this earth by reusing items for other purposes, by reusing other people's stuff, by making the switch from disposable to reusable.

Probably the most powerful lesson I ever learned about both "Reduce" and "Reuse" comes from my dad, who once said to me:

If we reused everything just once, we'd use half as much.

Which, if you think about it, is quite powerful. Half as much garbage. Half as many plastic bags.. If everybody on this planet used half as much, think how much less would be in our landfills [or in open sewers or smoldering towering garbage heaps that children scramble through to scavenge a living, if you're unlucky enough to live in a developing country].

And since some people will probably never reuse even once, the more environmentally-minded probably out reuse things more than once, to compensate.

That's one of my new goals, at any rate. Like those plastic bags you put produce in, on the way to being weighed at the cash register. Don't use them if I can help it, and if I have to [so many potatoes they overflow the eight fingers two thumbs and two palms! Oh dear] I reuse old bags [old bread bags work nicely for this too. Apparently they're also good to carry sandwiches if you don't have proper-sized tupperware, but I've never tried it].

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