There is Another Purpose for Everything Under the Sun


Can I reuse this?

I ask myself each trash day.

Single use? No way!

I am not a hoarder, and yes, I do recycle most glass jars, or plastics these days mainly because I have saved and repurposed enough for my needs.

I look around my home and I see former instant coffee glass jars now filled with dried beans, or bulk spices. A large Quality Street candy container now holds dishwasher detergent cubes. Empty peanut butter jars give new homes to rubber bands or paper clips, much sturdier than the packaging they came in, and the zippered bags that bore comforters now store my Christmas gifting supplies. Boy Scouts popcorn tins hold rice and flour, and I keep cookie cutters in a Cadbury Christmas Cookie tin.

I picked up this habit unconsciously from childhood. The words reduce, reuse, recycle were never used but were practiced in daily life. Not so much recycling because there was not much left to recycle.

Old newspapers lined market baskets and were good for wrapping fish and lining shelves. Cans that once bore biscuits (or crackers) were used to store rice and flour, and these, along with 5-lb margarine tins were often cut down to make baking pans. The jute bags that held enormous amounts of rice were fashioned into hammocks, and the large flour sacks made the softest sheets and coverlets, and even hammocks.

I read an article on how flour manufactures in the United States, during the Great Depression, when they heard that desperate customers were making clothes out of their flour sacks, started imprinting colorful designs on the sacks, . They were labeled in washable ink so the entire sack could be used. It was a heartwarming read.

I am not sure how many people repurpose items anymore for it seems that products are made specifically for predetermined uses, and perhaps customers use them mainly according to their labeled function. I was tempted at times to get those canister sets that are supposed to hold flour, sugar, tea etc. because of their attractive designs, but upon closer examination I saw that they could never function as well as my repurposed containers.