Saturday, May 31, 2008

Reduce, Reincarnate, Recycle?

One of the great things about blogs are they are as much a conversation platform as they are a publishing platform. Doug left a comment on my blog post about bags, bags everywhere, where he brought to our attention a project called Rejavanate that sells bags made out of old coffee bean bags. So the coffee bags get reincarnated in a new life as grocery bags. So may the mantra of the recycling movement should be "Reduce, Reuse, Reincarnate, Recycle"

The Rejavanate project speaks on fairness an opportunities not just in the form of resource efficiency, but also human capital efficiency since it is my understanding that part of the proceeds go to the ARC that works to unlock the capabilities of the developmentally challenged. Back in Colorado, the ARC ran most of the thrift shops which also gave a second life items no longer needed.

Another thing I really like about the Rejavanate bags is that they are made out of burlap, comprised of hemp or other vegetable fibers. This means the bags are biodegradable and when disposed properly will close out the carbon cycle. The same cannot be said of the poly-ethylene bags.

The rejavanate effort also touches upon the power of our trash, we tend to look at our consumer goods as individual objects when they are actually collections of items that can be useful. I think this is something our Depression surviving grandparents understood that just because something broke doesn't mean it's not useful. There are plugs and cords in most appliance that can be cut away and used elsewhere. Those old shirts have buttons that can be used when one is missing on another shirt, that old particle board desk has casters you can put on something else. If you start thinking about your stuff as combinations of stuff you realize how much value might be there.

As to my last post, I should also clarify, while I'm amazed by the trend setting power that the Whole Foods reusable bag has had on the culture, and they should be commended for being ahead of the curve on this. (I just wish they could democratize earth and people healthy food, and not make it just a yuppie thing) I glad to see that the re-usable bags are widely available. I hope it's just a start of the reuse movement not just a fad. Lots of people still don't have reusable grocery bags, so if you have extras pass them on.


At 7:14 AM , Anonymous Cool Grocery Bags said...

One of the easiest ways to be a little more earth-friendly is to bring your own grocery bags. According to The Wall Street Journal, the U.S. goes through 100 billion plastic shopping bags every year - and that is just one country.


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