Reuse & Upcycling instead of Recycling ...

... and not just in the home and on the homestead

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Reuse and upcycling can be found in the home and on the homestead* now more and more again as people finally realize again that throwing tin cans and glass jars and such into the recycling bin may mean throwing useful resources away.

The same is true also for so many other things. And also the found things from along the road and such always find reuse and upcycling role in environmentally aware and frugal homes and on the proper homesteads; at my place for certain.

Building materials, such as bricks, have been salvaged and reused for centuries and in some cases building lumber has also been recycled by reusing it.

However, in industry settings, in general, materials are generally wasted, and that also goes for much of the building industry.

The amount of nails and screws and other materials that are allowed to fall and is never picked up is just amazing and I have been told that it is not financially viable to collect nails that are dropped and other such materials.

It would appear that the same goes for building lumber, which is thrown into landfill by tens of millions of tonnes a year in Britain alone.

A lot of reuse could could also be done in the office, such as turning the back of letters that are not needed into notepaper and small notepads rather that sending it immediately to recycling.

I do this with every press release and any other letter or paper that is blank on the other side and make my notebooks and small notepads from them.

Thus, while not having to buy such notepads and such for note-taking I not only save money from my budget but also do not have to use new (whether recycled or virgin) paper for this. It works and is not rocket science.

There was a time, some twenty or thirty years back, when offices routinely used the backs of no longer required photocopies and such on which to print telephone message pads, memos, and such like.

With the advent of the computer, proper, this is some much simpler still – you do not need the printers that they needed to do this – but it seems to be done less today than it was then.

Think! Do you really need to buy that pen/pencil bin for $5 or more, made from metal? Would a clean tin can not work equally well. Yes, even in the chief executive's office.

And I am sure that there are literally hundreds of such things that one could think of, whether in the office, on the farm, or elsewhere, where reuse and upcycling would work equally well to bought (new) and maybe even better. And the Planet and your budget will celebrate.

© 2010