On The Importance Of Being ‘Green’

There has been such a big drive lately to go green and everyone has their idea of what that means and how to do it. There are lots of ways I try to be mindful of what I throw away and what I reuse. I’m a huge supporter of places like Thrift World, CCA ReSale, Goodwill, and Salvation Army. Most of my first apartment was furnished from second hand stores and garage sales. It drives me up the wall when I see people throw away perfectly good furniture and possessions just because they bought new ones. Of course on the flip side it makes me a bit upset when people donate broken or incomplete pieces like those of us who shop in these places deserve that kind of stuff.

Personally, whether I can afford the best of everything or not, I think I’ll always duck into a thrift shop from time to time. You can find the most interesting pieces and sometimes even snatch a moment of history if you’re lucky. At some point or another people prized these possessions as much as you currently cherish your desk, favorite serving dish, or set of salt and pepper shakers. I can almost feel that love when I am around them.

Another way that I’ve tried to be more mindful of what I throw out is with reusing cardboard where I can. It saves me, in a lot of cases, from having to go out and buy card stock or poster board. For selling my jewelry I need a nice, professional looking display and that is where my card board pieces come into play.

I made a template (from card stock) for the myriad bracelets I made a month or so back and then traced it on my saved pieces of cardboard.

Fitting them as close together as possible I was able to use 80% of the card board without wasting it. Before cutting it down to its shape I cut them into small rectangles and glued scrapebook papers on to the other side for a more finished look, then cut down.

Other things I use the cardboard for is book binding, strengthening my printed gift tags, and sometimes even incorporate it into my art. 12 packs, Girl Scout cookie packaging, and instant dinner boxes are a great source for thin but durable cardboard.

I recently recycled something I had intended to throw out by making my own ribbon holders. I’ve always wanted the neat (and very fancy) looking ribbon rack that I see all the time at Michael’s. It’s just a shelf that holds a rod and you slid the rolls onto it through the holes in the center. I never can justify buying it because it would be so easy to make, plus I am currently low on wall space and every bit left over I want for shelving when I have the funds.

So instead I fashioned my own ribbon holders that I could store in the closet of my shared work space.

Now I can easily pull off as much as I need without having to shift through tons of boxes to find the right ribbon. This even freed up more storage for me and I did it all with two metal clothes hangers. It hangs nicely in the closet and I can readily see what I have.

I like when I am inspired to use stuff I already have around the apartment to better my crafting. It helps me save money and at the same time forces my mind to always churn and think of new ways to use something that would normally be discarded. I try not to let it make me a pack rat and instead use it to help me de-clutter.

Being green means something different to each person and for me it means being aware of the value of what is around you and mindful of what you simply toss. Recycling is great, but I feel there is still more I can do so I donate my still usable possessions, reuse my cardboard waste, and cultivate new ideas on how to keep waste out of land fills as much as possible. How are you green?

2 comments

  1. andrew says:

    The best way to be green is to follow the Waste Hierarchy[1], in short (and in order):

    1. Reduce – The best to way be green is to do more with less, but this is often the most difficult.
    2. Reuse – The next best way is to reuse/upcycle, such as your use of cardboard.
    3. Recycle – The laziest way to be green. Not everything can be recycled, and some things are better at being recycled than others.

    1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waste_hierarchy

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