I love playing around with as many Rs as I can come up with.
We all know the three Rs – reduce, reuse, recycle and hopefully by now you know that they are in this order for a reason…
Recycling comes last on the list because it saves more resources and is less energy intensive to firstly REDUCE the things you consume i.e. separate your wants from your needs, then REUSE items you already have instead of landfilling them and buying new.
An ‘R’ that seems sadly forgotten in our modern 21st Western lifestyle is REPAIR.
As a child I remember a TV repair shop in our town; it was there as long as I could remember. As a teenager I had my favourite pair of Doctor Martens resoled goodness knows how many times because I couldn’t bear to part with them. There was a tailor in our town who I frequently visited to get my clothes altered.
All these make me feel, as Little Miss Green puts it so eloquently, that I’m from the ‘olden days’.
Now we’re taught that a good consumer just buys more stuff! If your TV doesn’t work properly, just throw it away and get a new one. Shoes with holes in? It’s time for the new season fashion anyway. Clothes that don’t fit? Throw them in the bin and go to a disposable fashion store where you can buy new clothes cheaper than second hand ones from a charity shop.
So yes, maybe Mr Green and I value some of the ‘olden days’ ideas. My Granddad’s answer to everything was a bit of solder, and Mr Green isn’t far off that idea himself.
Which brings me nicely to a story about a saucepan lid. I remember Grandma Green buying a set of saucepans when I was still living at home. I thought they were exceptionally cool – they came with their own stand I’ll have you know and had copper bases for great heat distribution.
When she decided to update her kitchen I inherited these saucepans (complete with groovy stand) and they are finally, (after 20+ years) starting to look a little worse for wear. One of them is out in the garden being used as a planter and recently the wonky lid handle finally fell apart on the smallest saucepan.
Did I have to throw it away and buy a new set? Of course not. Mr Green rummaged around in the garage one Sunday morning and rose triumphant with an ‘as good as new’ saucepan handle in his hand.
Take a look at Mr Green putting REPAIR into practise. Ok, it’s not pretty but hey, it works, right!?
What about you; what ‘R’s’ do you practise at home?