There’s a vast middle ground between brand-new and broken, between useful and useless. If we allow ourselves to reject the notion that new equals better, we open up a world of possibilities in every facet of our lives. There is wonderful potential in scratched furniture and old cars and re-purposed plastic food containers. This is on my mind because of abandonment of the recycling program where I live due to budget. It was costing more to operate the program than it garnered in revenue.
We were happily carting old newspapers and junk mail and plastic bottles and tin cans and cardboard and so forth to the recycling center until the program ended. But now, we’re faced with either treating the stuff as trash or making a much longer trip to a county recycling center. We’ll adapt and figure out a convenient process to get our recyclables to the alternate site.
But as we think of it, it occurs to me that much of what people buy is a replacement for things that are perfectly usable. In fact, a lot of things that are “used” are, in my opinion, better than new. Like jeans. And t-shirts. And some ideas.