Archive for the ‘recycling’ Category


Resale Corner Is My Favorite Part Of Town

January 14, 2008

About a mile from my parent’s house in central Ohio is a small 90s strip mall that remains entirely occupied, although newer and more “attractive” strip malls continue to be built around it.  This success is the result of patronage by a series of resale franchises that run the spectrum of the resale gamut: Once Upon a Child, Plato’s Closet, New Uses General Store, and Play It Again Sports.  For years I have visited these stores, most recently New Uses as I begin to acquire household goods in anticipation of my upcoming graduation from college.

Resale stores like these are a valuable stopgap in a consumer economy.   By purchasing high quality used items from the local community, they provide incentive to recycle.  The items in these stores are the creme de la creme of used.  I’ve often found their purchasing standards so high that some items I bring in get turned away, meaning the Kidney Foundation and Salvation Army still get plenty of donations. Selling at far lower prices than name-brand retail, they encourage the same community to reuse the goods, adding a second-life to the cycle of cradle to grave without transit costs and minimal carbon emissions.

That resale stores succeed in so many subject areas is testament to a willingness to recycle when the opportunity is there.  Everyone from 5 year old soccer players to notoriously picky teenagers to 50 year old househusbands shop at these stores.  Many of the above titles are large franchises with locations all over North America.  If any resale outlet is in your area, I encourage you to utilize it.

Have any noteworthy experiences (good or bad) with reselling?  Let us know about them; my own experiences are far too narrow to be taken for granted 🙂


Recycling Dreams

December 18, 2007

Tonight I helped my mother drop off the recycling at the local middle school.  The glass bottles and jars made satisfying clashes as they landed in the receptacles, shattering the residential darkness in such a legitimate manner.

I was surprised to learn that my mom has to time her drop offs with the pickup schedule to make sure there’s room for her contributions.  Apparently the bins used to be filled to overflowing on a regular basis until they started putting out twice as many on the weekends.  That’s a problem more people should have: having such a desire for recycling that the demand almost exceeds the availability.


Daily Paper Challenge

November 3, 2007

In response to my comment, PlanetTrash has challenged herself to give up her subscription to a daily newspaper in favor of the online version.  If she manages this for a year, she will have saved:

  • 366 (2008=leap year) plastic bags from the landfill
  • $200 in subscription costs
  • having to recycle 71.1 cubic feet of newspaper.  That’s an average 2’x4′ coat closet full-to-the-ceiling of newspaper.
  • maybe $$ from a couple visits to the masseuse?? I know I would need a few if I had to carry that much to the recycling center!

How did I get that paper volume?  Here are my assumptions:
Daily Paper Size= 12.5″ x 23.5″ x 1″ =293.75 in^3 x 314 days = 53.4 cubic feet

Sunday Paper Size=  12.5″ x 23.5″ x 2″ =587.5 in^3 x 52 days = 17.7 cubic feet

I am joining PlanetTrash in her challenge by giving up my campus newspaper.  While the impact will be much less (it’s a free 6-page news), it’s still something, especially since I usually pick it up just to rip out a Sudoku before a boring lecture.  Instead I can invest in a $2 pad of Sudoku puzzles that will take far less paper and can last me through even the longest class.

If you ever wonder about giving up your daily subscription, now is a great time to really consider it.  Even if you recycle, there are still environmental impacts from printing, transport, binding (rubber bands or plastic bags), and the recycling process.  Most papers now offer an online version with all the major articles, and if you’re online enough to be reading this, you probably have time to read your news online as well.   If you’re bound to your circulars, color comics, and garden sections, get a Sunday-only subscription.  You’ll still save around 3/4 of the amounts listed above, and can spend the whole week reading each section thoroughly.

On Monday I’ll explore where online you can find all the parts of your newspaper, from local and national news to the puzzles and comics.