One Man’s Trash
There’s an old adage that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and we know that’s true, otherwise flea markets, yard sales and antique stores would not enjoy the popularity they do, but trash or treasure, the benefits of reuse and recycling are grand, and Craigslist has the statistics to prove it. In fact, areas where Craigslist is active have seen a decline in “the volume of consumer-generated waste” of between 3 and 5 percent.” Clearly, Craigslist is a forerunner of a circular economy where “the goods of today become the products of tomorrow.”
Imagine if we reduced our waste stream to such an extent that we didn’t need landfills anymore. That kind of pie-in-the-sky thinking may get you laughed out of a boardroom, but there’s money in recycling and an entirely new business model developing around circular economies and upcycling. One of my favorite EPA slogans is “reduce, reuse, recycle,” and upcycling is the epitome of that. Waste, what waste? With the right mindset, we can convert almost anything into something useful.
Here are a few examples of what my sister and brother-in-law are doing with the old wood they find in their backyard and the odd outdated, yet convertible, treasure. (To be clear, she’s the mastermind of their upcycling foray, but he’s the creative genius.)
Cool, right? All of it was reclaimed, even the metal rectangular blocks inside the table which were once CD holders. New life all around!
It’s December, the season of over-consumption in the early part of the 21st century, the era of “take, make, dispose.” How about taking stock of everything you desire and finding a way to acquire it that results in a smaller carbon footprint. The planet and future generations will thank you for your efforts.
[photo reproduction of a pack of napkins my friend gave me for my b-day, sold at www.erinsmithart.com]
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