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Eight days of happiness: five

My town has a lot of antique shops. One of them has a sign in the window that says "Going green? Buy antiques!"

Why does that make me happy?

I used to read several "green" blogs. Eventually I stopped because I got really sick of the blogs advertising all these green products you could buy, mostly for very high prices, and rarely ever reminding people "But actually, buying new products, even green ones, isn't as good for the environment as not buying new products."

So I think the sign is a good reminder: "Hey, if you buy this thing that someone already made, it's better than using up even more resources to buy something brand new."

And it's a clever form of marketing. (Well, in theory. I haven't actually bought anything in that shop, and I don't even remember which one it is. I just smile when I drive past the sign.)

While I'm on the subject of reusing things, I'll put in a plug for http://www.freecycle.org/ — another way to get things that someone already made into the hands of people who will put them to use. It's an organization that supports a lot of local mailing lists where you can post that you are giving something away or that you want something. I've had both good and bad experiences with my local groups—mostly reasonably good.

Some of the folks on my friends list talk about barter, which also seems like a good thing. I've never done it myself except for informally with friends.

What are your experiences with freecycle / barter / other ways of redistributing things?


Dec. 15th, 2008 05:33 am (UTC)
Freecycle *rocks*! I've got many many wonderful things from my local freecycle list - a giant wall of bookshelves, an A3-sized Wacom tablet (the expensive kind) in perfect working order, a huge library of dressmaking patterns (all neatly stored and catalogued), a lovely wood-and-iron queen-sized bed base, and much more. And I've managed to get rid of all sorts of old rubbishpre-loved items such as a wooden sailboat in need of much restoration, assorted finds from garage sales that somehow didn't seem quite so fascinating once I got them home, old electronic equipment, surplus-to-requirements books and craftstuff - the list goes on. Oh, and when my guppies were breeding like mad, I palmed off a whole pile of baby fish to happy new recipients (screened for fish-keeping skills).

It can be a bit irritating when one offers something and folk leap up immediately with an "Ooo, can I have that?" then are tardy in actually working out arrangements to collect 'em (or even don't show at all, which happens from time to time). But those folk are by far the minority of freecyclers that I've dealt with. Most of 'em have been pleasant, courteous and delighted to take my old unwanteds off my hands (or to have their old rubbish removed, alternately).

I adore freecycle!
Dec. 15th, 2008 07:04 pm (UTC)
I wish Freecycle had been around when I had madly breeding guppies back in the 70s. :)

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