Sunday, October 21, 2007

Re-use-apalooza

Last weekend, HA and I went to visit Dame Wendy to drop off some of the multitide of packing materials that we've received along with our wedding gifts. We had 5 shopping bags of styrofoam peanuts and 3 shopping bags of paper. And we already have almost that much again already.

I could show you a picture of the piles of bags, but then you'd see what a mess my apartment is, and that ain't happening.

I'm a firm believer in Reduce - Re-use - Recycle. In that order. It takes less energy to re-use something than to recycle it and so on. Since I'm not going to be able to convince Macy's to start using cardboard boxes that aren't so much bigger than the gift boxes insides, reducing is out of the question. You can't recycle the styrofoam and the stuff takes something like 1,000 to decompose, so re-using it is. I have too much to worry about with the upcoming wedding to wring my hands over how mch styrofoam we'd be throwing into a landfill. And this is the sort of thing I fret about regularly.

(We also have loads of cardboard boxes, and we could Freecycle them, but it was such a hassle to Freecycle our moving boxes, that we're just tossing them in the recycling this time. Though HA has to do it because I can't be trusted not to hide them all in the back of a closet for possible future re-use.)

So Wendy has taken a big load off of my mind along with the oodles of packing materials. And really? I think everyone should be finding someone to re-use their styrofoam peanuts, etc. If you know someone with a home business, or who sells on etsy.com or eBay--offer them your old packing materials. That stuff ain't cheap. Just drop it off at a Mailboxes, etc. when you get a chance. Civilizations will rise and fall and future archaeologists will have to sift through tons of styrofoam to find stuff to study. Hell, they'll probably study the styrofoam itself, trying to deduce what was so important about the stuff that we had to have so much of it.

Plus, Wendy was nice enough to give me some of her wonderful tarts and my apartment, though cluttered and messy, smells awesome. Seriously--go buy candles. The holidays are coming and she's rocking some pretty creative scents.

And speaking of re-use, while we were in Wedny's neck o fthe woods, we past 2 thrift shops. Where I scored 5, count 'em 5 sweaters that I'm going to unravel and knit into new sweaters for me, me, me!




I've made a few sweaters and none of them are in regular rotation--a couple are a little too big, one is made with itchy yarn so I have to handwash it in shampoo and conditioner, and so on. What I need is more experience knitting sweaters. Doing that without spending $50 or more on the yarn for each sweater would help me feel like I wasn't wasting money while I'm learning (though I have high hopes for the 2 sweaters I'm working on now).

I spent $40 total on the 5 sweaters pictured above. That's $8 a sweater.

I've done this before and have a sweater that I wear in the office all the time. It started life as a Ralph Lauren sweater, so you know the yarn is decent quality. It cost me $4. It's a bit shlumpy, but it does the job and if I make myself a new office sweater and just toss this one into storage, I won't mind. It was a quick knit and cost me 4 freaking dollars.

If you want to stretch your yarn buying dollars, here's the tutorial that I learned from.

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