The Second “R” – Reuse

See entire August 17, 2011 newsletter

It just made sense to me that if I wrote about the importance of remembering the first “R” and some tips, why not do a quick “re-fresher” for all of us about the second one – Reuse. The reduce part came easily. When I took a serious inventory of what we honestly reuse around here, the list came up shorter. Could that be because we are taking the reduce part so seriously? Maybe I am on to something.

So here are my top FIVE, “what you will find if you conduct a surprise inspection at Mrs. Green’s house” reuses:

  1. Gift bags & tissue paper – Please notice I did not say wrapping paper. I have post-traumatic stress from seeing the same Christmas wrapping from my parents for over a decade but if it works for you, kudos! I do, however, reuse every gift bag ever given to me. I have been known to put a bigger label over a smaller label if someone actually wrote ON the gift bag. And I love it when I receive a gift from someone in a gift bag that I gave them that they gave me that I gave them. Following me? At times I do have to enforce some quality assurance when the tissue paper looks like it needs ironing, and I use some new paper.
  1. Plastic bags – there – I wrote it! Cross my heart, they are usually brought into my home by friends and family members. I do my best to maintain my composure, not gasp, and then quickly stuff them in the closet – all with a smile on my face. If those guests leave with anything, trust me – the plastic bag goes with them. Remember you can always take them to a grocery store, or simply throw them out of your car window so they fly in front of my car. I have witnesses.
  2. Glass jars and bottles – We still buy things from the store in jars occasionally. And we actually buy things at the Farmers Markets that come in jars. They are great to store leftovers in as well as dry goods – like quinoa – my new best food friend. If they are small jars, we store things in them like buttons, rubber bands, loose change, and yes – nuts, bolts and nails. The latter are not in my department but I had to reveal. And, no, I did not forget using wine bottles for candle holders. Cut me some slack. Age has to have some benefits including pretty candle holders.
  3. Paper Bags – Since I do not feel the need to hide these for some reason, I will bring one out to transport items for a potluck or other outing. They are in very short supply in our house now because we take our reusable bags for all of our shopping. Since this newsletter has become the “tell all” column for Mrs. Green, when I made fried chicken last Sunday (my cooking quota for 2011), we had to scour the house to find enough brown bags to put the chicken on. I am sure this is not the most sanitary of practices (my mother did it for 50 years and we are all okay) but it sure soaks up that fried chicken grease. DISCLAIMER: I make fried chicken once a year. Swear.
  4. Miscellaneous – Weird category I admit. But even after consulting with Mr. Green, the both of us agreed that we have made quite a bit of progress with making changes in our lives overall. Best we came up with: big brown envelopes, card board boxes, tin foil if it doesn’t touch raw food and pretty wine bags – even though they fall more in the re-gifting category.

What are you reusing? Do tell…

Author’s note: if you are on Facebook and actually use it, I highly recommend following the ReUse Connection. Join about 75,000 other people who look forward to reading about some of the most creative, innovative, artistic and sometimes downright wacky reuse ideas on a daily basis.

Gardening Tips for Your Reading Pleasure!

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– Brought to you by Sea of Green

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