|Image from here|
Instead of a short-term, throwaway attitude to 'stuff' I am developing one that considers extending the life cycle of goods, thereby maximising their embedded costs and resources. I really had no idea how much goes into the production of one thing. One thing that I probably took for granted when I handed over my hard-earned money at the counter of a random retailer.
I think I am slowly getting my head around all the movements for 'green' purchasing; recycling, freecycling, up-cycling, buying secondhand, and 'swishing'.
Here are some ideas for you:
- Got lots of clothes that you don't wear/can't wear/don't want to wear? Consider either giving them away to a friend, donating them to a charity or swishing them (clothes swap)
- Need a power tool for a DIY project? Instead of buying one from a store, why don't you try borrowing one from friend or neighbour or purchasing one secondhand (go for a local seller so you can reduce your transportation costs)
- Need a bed for your child? Why not check out freecycle to see if someone has one they no longer need or get one secondhand from an online store or local retailer (get a new mattress though)
- Why not upcycle some timber and bricks into a shelf or photoframe or chook pen or raised garden bed? This guy has literally 100 ideas for upcycling that he claims anyone can do.
- Got a cupboard full of platters and barely a salad bowl to your name? Why not talk to friends and see if they would like to swap a platter or two for a new salad bowl? Or visit your local charity shop for a cheap and cheerful retro number.
- Got a bookcase full of already read books? Keep your faves and give the rest away or swap them or sell them online or gift them to someone for Christmas. There is always the local library for free books that you can exchange after you have finished them.
- Need some rainy day activities? Instead of buying new colouring books, search the 'net and make your own craft activities (there are hundreds of sites specialising in paper-based kids activities) and print them out on recycled paper or, better still, use up the back of scrap paper
- Use your children's paintings as wrapping paper, cards, framed artworks or, something we did this month was create a bunting out of the twin's paintings and decorated their wall with it. They love it and it is such a fun way to enjoy their creative urges.
I look forward to hearing ways that you have found to recycle, upcycle, freecycle, buy secondhand or swish. What secondhand purchase are you secretly very happy about? What conundrum have you overcome without the need to buy something?