|Photo: Brian Chase via Facebook|
It's hard to find people who have the skills to repair things today. For that reason, we've become a throwaway society. Too often, buying a new television, electric blender or watch is cheaper than fixing an old one. It wasn't always the case, and we are creating a lot of garbage in the process. According to the Center for Sustainability And Commerce at Duke University, the average person generates 4.3 pounds of waste per day. Much of it ends up in landfills.
That's way I admire savvy individuals who start groups that give us a way to recycle and get more value out of our stuff.
1. Sandra Goldmark and Michael Banta started Pop Up Repair - a traveling team of handymen-and-women who repair worn and broken appliances, jewelry or toys that might otherwise be tossed. Look for Pop Up Repair at greenmarkets around New York City.
2. GrowNYC - sponsors recycling with free Stop 'N' Swap events - You bring portable things you no longer want, such as clean, reusable clothing, books, appliances and toys and swap them for items you do want. You can even show up empty handed. But, unless you're in need, don't!
3. Freecycle Network - is a grassroots movement of local groups: You get rid of stuff you don't need and/or find stuff you do want, including computers, furniture, clothes and a myriad of practical things. Effort is made to hook up people (who have broken things) with people who can repair things and, if desired, donate the thing (example a printer) to a 3rd party. Marked "wanted" people can post for specific items; or labeled "offer" list their giveaways.
4. PaperBackSwap - lets you trade books you have read with other readers. You mail a book and get a book.
5. SwapaCD - allows you to exchange a used CD, or you can SwapaDVD.
Even merchants are helping save Mother Earth:
6. H&M will accept clothing in any condition - You bring a pile of clothes to the store that you no longer want and are rewarded with 15% off a single item for not letting fashion go to waste. H&M sends the garments (or fabric) off to be recycled.
I am proud to live in a progressive age with a green focus.
A majority of New Yorkers take recycling and safeguarding the environment very seriously, and the city is always looking for ways to be more eco-friendly.
A municipal law may soon pass. It would charge customers 10 cents every time a plastic or paper bag is needed to bag groceries. If it passes, it will effect my pocketbook, not because of my inability to bring a canvas bag to a shop, but because years ago, I bought a trash receptacle designed to use those plastic bags as garbage bags, so for the first time in my life, I will need to buy kitchen trash bags. But if the big picture means less waste going to a landfill, I am willing to adjust. Perhaps, there's a green solution I don't know about yet?
You may also enjoy:
The Story Of Stuff: A Review
Celebrate Earth Day
Waste Not Want Not ... When Less Is Enough
Greenmarkets, Community Gardens And CSA's