I admit it, I'm a tree hugger, or at least a hugger to the extent that I think it's stupid and irresponsible for people to chop down the forests that supply the oxygen that you breath, those very forests that probably have a huge impact on these strange and violent weather patterns that folks are suddenly so worried about. But I'm a tree hugger without much opportunity to practice doing my share of recycling since there is nowhere close enough to accept the fruits of my labor other than a scrap yard that'll take aluminum cans. I think there are places in NW Arkansas but I'd be wasting about a barrel or 2 or oil on that round trip drive and that kinda makes you feel like you're defeating the purpose,,ya know?
So what I do is save boxes, bubble wrap, plastic shopping bags, gift boxes, bows and ribbon, etc,,, reuse what I can, and eventually, after I can't see the forest for the stacks and hills of boxes and stuff, toss or burn it (hanging head in defeated shame). This a very difficult thing for me to do because I come from a combination of old European and Native American stock, and not of the aristocratic kind, so being wasteful, if there is even the remotest possibility that something can be useful to someone else,. is sort of like committing an unforgivable sin. My Grandmother is probably shaking her head over me in Heaven right now,,,for sure.
My Grandmother had a back room (that's what she called it, "the back room") that served as a storage area for anything remotely recycleable. She saved all the scraps of cotton fabric from our clothes, every button, and scrap of ribbon, piece of lace, and if and when time allowed, she'd make quilts or blankets from the scraps. My sisters and I even wore dresses she'd decorated with a few of these leftovers and felt as fasionably attired as anyone wearing those store bought duds. My kids had the best time sorting and playing with her collection of saved buttons during many a visit. Paper grocery bags (I'm old remember) were used for wrapping packages, covering school books, drawing surfaces, and even for making out the shopping list before going to town.
A pencil was never thrown away as long as there was enough left of it to hold on to, Grandpa would whittle that lead point as good as any manual pencil sharpener could. I remember how he used to tuck those little pencil stubs behind his ear when he was out in the barn designing something from left over scrap metal or wood.
We live in a land of plenty and there is plenty of overflow so I don't understand why it's so difficult for us to make good use of the leftovers. Is there anyone out there who wouldn't sort and recycle if there were places that wouldn't take 2 days and 3 tanks of gas to take it to?
Raise your hands.
And remember, a 3ft. high stack of newspapers = 1 whole tree.