It's think green thursday! Woo hoo. Time to live on the cheap, rethink, reuse, recycle. Find your inner hippy. Who's a cheap skate out there? Raise your hands. Who looks at brown and shrunken bananas and thinks Banana Bread! or Ice Cream! Rotten banana ice cream is such a treat and SOOOOO farkin' easy it's not funny. Just peel and toss your rotten bananas in the freezer. When you've accumulated 4 or 5, drop them directly into the blender to mash them up and WAA LA! Creamy sweet 100% banana "ice cream". Yum yum.
But my focus today is REUSE. One of my shameless joys is finding something good for free. I've always got a raised eye when passing other people's trash, assessing if there's anything good in there. In grad school I hauled home a leather lounge chair that I happened to see near the dumpsters on my way home from class. It became the best seat in the house for the remaining four years in that apartment (then promptly when from the curb into some other lucky student's apartment). Heck, the comfy leather chair I'm SITTIN ON AT THIS VERY MOMENT was rescued from the trash heap. We have a pair of them. Nice bouncy springs in the seat, brass buttons, worn wooden arm rests. You can find great things that have been kicked to the curb, often with a lot more character than anything new. AND FREE!!!
Even here in Italy, where such activity seems to be more strongly frowned upon, I've stumbled on a few things I couldn't pass up. Especially around season changes, when shops update their look, you find all sorts of great containers just headed off for the landfill. For instance, I picked up a pair of large square baskets and gave one to each of the punks for their treasures (the key is to get to it before it's been rained or peed on).
The flip side of this is to not put your reusable stuff into the trash. Haul it off to the goodwill instead. They make it so easy, some charity/second hand shops even schedule neighborhood drive thrus... all you have to do is leave what you want them to take outside your door. Poof! It's out of your life and off to a better, more useful exhistence. I really wish this was more popular in Italy. I really miss the second hand, co-ops, and goodwill shops. I found it so cleansing (literally and figuratively) to haul off all our outgrown clothes and shoes two or three times a year. These shops also provided a thrifty way to satisfy my occasional itching to do some shopping. What an adventure to weave your way through a good second hand store. I especially love great finds like hand-stitched napkins, dish towels, and table clothes. Pillowcases too.
So that's my pitch this week. Reuse. And don't be too proud to do a little dumpster diving. ;)
PS... Another great blog that lives and breathes the spirit of thinking green, Consciously Frugal.