Monday 4 April 2011

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

As a somewhat still newlywed couple, my husband and I experienced all the struggles of a new household.  Mortgage payments, cell phone bills, heating bills (in the land of the true, NORTH, strong and free the heating bills can really ding you in the winter!) and other things you never thought of budgeting for when you were a young, fun couple (life insurance, house insurance, insurance, insurance, insurance).

What I have learned is a way of making the old mantra "reduce, reuse, recycle" save us some money, while helping to save items from the dump.  While we would all love to buy brand new "green" "eco-friendly" products, at some points in life this isn't always feasible.  Who says reusing someone else's cast-offs isn't saving that product from a likely end at the dump?

When summer rolls around and yard sales and garage sales are in full swing, it is amazing the kind of gems you can find.  If you took a stroll through my house, or my mother's house, you would find a treasure trove of interesting items.  Sometimes saved from a garage sale...sometimes even saved from a dumpster.  My siblings and I used to wander the alleys on garbage day, looking for treasures, while my parents would sometimes do the same.  On more than one occasion my parents would come home with some rickety piece of furniture for my father to refinish and reuse.  Some of my kitchen chairs ended up coming into being this way.  One of my prized possessions, my old, record playing radio cabinet which doubles as a side table was also saved from a garage sale, to the tune of $15.

Clothes are also something that can be easily "recycled and reused" by visiting your neighbourhood second hand store.  Many of these clothes are in great condition, and amongst the old lady pattern dresses sometimes you can snatch up a name brand piece for a fraction of the price!  All this while recycling something that someone else felt the need to get rid of.

Christmas is a time when there is a lot of waste.  Wasted money, and wasted paper.  Why not save boxes you accumulate through the year and decorate them, and reuse them as long as they hold up?  I had some leftover plaid material lying around this year, so I used it to wrap up gifts and tied it with twine!  All in all this was a cute little "wholesome" looking package that created no waste, as I took the fabric home with me after the unwrapping was all said and done.

All in all, we need to stop being in such a panic to consume the new, best thing, because there is a plethora of items surrounding us that need a home.  So today's message?  Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.


  1. I'm still part of a young, fun and unmarried couple, and I would like to say that we have tons of insurance (home, car, life). ;P

    I thought of some other things you could write about - Refresh Organic Bistro
    They have that monthly five course raw organic dinner, which is amazing.

    You should do a write-up about all the different farmers markets in down. Maybe compare them and talk about the strengths and weakness of each one, helping people determine which one might me the most worthwhile to visit.

    TOMS Shoes! I think this falls into the realm of being good to the world in general. Not only do you get an adorable (and fashionable) pair of shoes, but with every pair you purchase, TOMS will give a new pair of shoes to a child in need.

    Royal Bison Craft & Art Fair! Help support good, honest, local people who handmake things themselves! I love picking up amazing gifts for people here - gifts that I feel good about giving.

  2. I thought of another thing. I'd be REALLY interested to read about what makes the Green Party so "green." With the election coming up, this would be a really relevant topic!