“Make it Do” is better than recycling, International Buy Nothing Day, and homemade Christmas presents all put together.
Our daily infrastructure makes it so hard to recycle. It’s better not to buy in the first place.
The Baton Rouge Recycling Office has an excellent link to the Center for a New American Dream. The Center promotes anti-consumption, with loads of resources about cutting down on trash. The actual link about “reducing junk mail” is buried on the site. Someone at the Recycling Office is very clever. The Center’s clear anti-capitalism message will turn folks away and their junk mail will continue to clog Baton Rouge’s trash bins.
The Center advertises the “Make it Do” project. The tagline is “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without.” The project creator, Meg Hourihan, made this her New Year’s resolution and blogs about her efforts.
Living up to that challenge is…a challenge. Given my frequent rants about consumption, it’s a “put your money where your mouth is” thing..or…don’t put your money where your mouth is thing. Erm.
For example, I am remodeling my kitchen. My cabinets are deteriorating. The remodeling process began when I started getting my house “market-ready” in order to sell it. This would be a bad year to try the challenge, plus, it’s already mid-May.
On the flip side, this would be the perfect year. New carpet, new paint, a new kitchen, a new look, all these things just scream, “BUY MORE STUFF!!!” The challenge just might provide the perfect mechanism to say NO to all that impulse shopping that accompanies redecorating.
Let’s see if, along with the mantra of “Reduce – Reuse – Recycle” (which I’m slowly improving), I can
Use it up
Wear it out
Make it do
With this new mantra in mind, yesterday, I got so frustrated with the newfangled fat caps of the toothpaste. They look super cool but prevent you from squeezing out every last drop of paste. The lid on this tube doesn’t twist off either. All that extra plastic. So 2010s. So un-1970s. So much plastic. That toothpaste is off the shopping list! Instead of throwing it out and ripping open the box waiting for me in the bathroom closet, I cut the damned thing off, and there’s probably a week’s worth of toothpaste in there. That packaging design is a double whammy of decreasing the availability of the product and increasing garbage. So frustrating. Still, make it do is a valuable idea.