Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Revisiting the topic of Reusing

I read a book recently called "Going Green" that has me really thinking about reusing. I checked the book out from the library, not really reading the description and just figuring it was a new "green" book I hadn't seen before.

When I got home, I realized this wasn't really a "how-to" sort of book. It was a book of essays. I was a little put off...sometimes environmental essays get preachy, and I can't stand that. But I was pleasantly surprised. The essays were about how different people reused things (or "gleaned" as they say in the book). The writers of the essays intertwine their own philosophy of recycling, reusing and life in general in the essays. I found myself really enjoying the book.

Many of the essays discuss "dumpster diving", and while I can't say I've ever gone through an actual dumpster, I do have a couple of pieces of furniture that had once been sitting out with someone else's trash. I figure I'm cutting the middle step out of Freecycling.

Now I will say there were one or two essays that I didn't relate to. Call me squeamish, but I draw my reusing habits when it comes to roadkill. Yes, one essay discusses a man out west who cooks roadkill. No thanks. But overall the book focuses on how much Americans buy and throw out...things that are perfectly usable. I think the popularity of Freecycle has really helped eliminate a lot of this waste.

So, after reading this book, I was really motivated. I was excited when my mother suggested going to the Goodwill store with her. I've always loved the Goodwill Store. While you're not getting used items for free, they're cheap, and you're helping a charity. So what did I get there?

I found some great things. A pair of boys' Old Navy Jeans for $2, an Abercrombie & Fitch shirt for $1.25, a pair of Doc Marten boots for $10, and my son got numerous VHS movies and books. Besides feeling good about reusing something, I love the feeling of hunting for and finding treasure.

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