Friday, October 3, 2014

New... {7 for 31}

This month I'm writing a new post each day about my own version of Jen Hatmaker's 7 experiment. For more posts and an introduction, head hereToday's 7 topic is waste.
Also, it's Five Minute Friday! Each week, bloggers internet-wide gather to write for five minutes flat (no stopping, no editing) on a prompt provided by sweet Kate, then link up and share a little comment love. For more posts, more info, and/or to join in, head here!

New and improved. Our western consumer culture is constantly telling us that what we need to make us happy is just something new... and we've believed it. As soon as the shine wears off, we're trained to start looking for a replacement - and advertisers are quick to point us in the right direction. The 7 jackets (plus 5 hoodies - seriously? I live in the South. Just because cute new styles come out every season does not mean that I need one) currently hanging in my closet attest to the fact that I've (literally) bought into the lie.

So we buy, we store, we stuff, we complain about needing more room, we give away (if we feel like packing up our car and driving to some donation point), we throw out - and then we repeat the process. And even if we do pause to mentally applaud Coke for recycling their bottles, we rarely take the time to re-recycle them. So many of us look at secondhand and even consignment stores as a good place for people who have either too much time or not enough money as we drive by on our way to the mall (I will confess to having complained about the "funny smell" secondhand clothing seems to carry - when a spin in the washer is a quick solution to my supposed "problem"). Upcyled is in right now, and carries a certain eclectic charm, but the recycled aluminum foil that's tissue-paper thin (as compared to the heftier ecosystem-damaging water-supply-poisoning Reynolds Wrap) and the recycled paper towels with their unbleached flecks draw little more than a disdainful sideways glance as we reach for something "better."

But really, it's not the things themselves but my perspective that needs to be made new. When the shine wears off, I need to repolish my lens and see with grateful eyes the gifts I've been given - and when I truly no longer have a use for them, I need to ensure by recycling, upcycling, donating, or passing along that they continue to live on as gift to someone else, instead of enduring as a permanent layer of our Earth's crust in a landfill.

Click over to yesterday's post to share your ideas for recycling/upcycling paper and plastics bags, and to be entered in a giveaway!


Patricia Pitterle said...

I like to buy used things. Put them in the washer with fabric softener and hang them on the line. We get our sheets and many of our clothes at thrift stores. There is just something so satisfying about getting a good price and using something that still has so much use left in it. Good for you. I have found some pretty amazing things and the girls love thrift stores. They have learned the money goes so much farther when they are buying used. Halloween costumes are absolutely amazing and they get so creative too.

Beth said...

I appreciated this post. I am dealing with more is newer and better situation, so I could really relate to this. Thank you.