R is for Reuse
O.K. Deep breath. Here come step 2. Reuse. This next R gets lumped in with reduce an awful lot, so this week I would like to give it the proper respect it deserves. A gold star for you if you have a reusable mug for coffee, and have a canvas bag for reuse while shopping. Both of these things I have talked about in the past. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are tons of organizations that would love to get your items.
The goal is to think before you throw. Could someone else use this? For example, back in my school days I was a bit of a drama geek. Nothing on stage (your welcome), but I did a lot of crew work. I picked up valuable skills during this time, like how in less than 2 minutes I can make it look like you have a broken nose, or a bruised leg. With a mere lip liner pencil I can give you a goose egg on your forehead. Like I said, valuable skills. Another thing I spent a lot of time doing was gathering up furniture, paint, and random crap for sets. This always was a huge part of the play’s budget. If you have some extra paint or old furniture, consider your local school or drama club.
Another example of how this works really well for businesses is how U-Haul makes the idea of reuse work. U-Haul now has a box-trade program. According to this January’s Waste News (the speed in which publications get circulated to my in box is astounding!) box sales at one store actually increased 26% because customers would come in for free boxes to reuse and then realized the wide variety of sizes that U-Haul offered.
For other local organizations that take donations, consider Goodwill, St. Vincent de Paul’s, and Purple Heart. These organizations accept a wide variety of home goods, clothing, and furniture. US’Again has red containers scattered throughout the greater Milwaukee and Waukesha areas for collection of dry clothing and shoes. While some are reused, lower quality items are also recycled. Homestore, associated with Habitat for Humanity, has a new store in Waukesha that takes donations of unneeded building supplies. If you are in need of building supplies, check out the Homestore and know you are keeping things out of the landfill while supporting a great cause. Last but not least, check out the Waukesha County chapter of Freecycle. Think free version of Craig’s list.
That lil list is about all I can come up with right now, but I bet you know of a bunch of other ways to reuse items – so why don’t you share? Post a comment with some of your favorite ideas.