by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
A National Reuse Week or an International Reuse Week is what we need.
June 16 to June 22, 2014 saw another National Recycle Week in the UK though not that the majority of the population would have known about it that silent the media was with regards to this event; it did not even rate it a single column, nay, not even a single paragraph.
However, the focus is far too much on recycling and the mantra has become recycle, recycle more and then recycle more still, without considering the reuse option even.
This is a proposal to put reuse (repurposing and upcycling) firmly on a pedestal and center stage and make it into one of the main players in, and pillars of, waste management, as it should be.
Reuse, and its derivatives, repurpose and upcycling, is the most important part, as far as we, as individuals, are concerned, of (personal) waste management (and no, I am not talking about personal waste) as we have little to no influence on the reduction front, bar in the realm of food waste, and that also, predominately, at home.
However, it is in reuse that we, as individuals, can come into our own and shine in the realm of waste management. All it requires is to rediscover the ways of reuse of our ancestors. They are not rocket science and many of the old ones that are still alive can tell us a story or two from that front.
As it would appear, though, the reuse mindset and the skills that our grandparents and their parents had and took for granted have sadly gone missing today, the aim – or one of the aims – during the proposed national or even international Reuse Week would be to teach those by means of media, workshops, road shows, and such.
Reuse has become the stepchild of waste management never to be mentioned almost while it, in truth, should be one of the beloved children rather and kept close. Thus, let's give the child a home and give it some much needed love, which it deserves.