For a number of reasons, recently, I've made an effort to think about my consumption habits a bit more lately. Becoming my own boss has encouraged me to become a bit more frugal with my spending. By putting a recycling box in my office, I've realised how much paperwork I either piled up in folders unnecessarily or threw out without thinking. That was recycling tackled, but clearing out some cupboards and boxes made me realise just how many birthday, Christmas, house move, anniversary and other cards we accumulate.
So this is my call to friends and family to reuse, or let me reuse, old cards this Christmas. If you live nearby, I'll happily take them off your hands. If you're further away, drop me a line. I want to try to give magazines, cards, photos and material a new life, however it ends up being used. It also hopefully means I can avoid buying tacky cards, pre-filled with a meaningless Hallmark holiday greetings and write the cards myself. (Oh boy, I'm going to be annoyed I said this when I run out of time and ideas for the cards three days before Xmas...)
There are so many feel-good reasons to reuse stuff wherever possible. It's less stuff to throw away, and occasionally, there's the sentimental value of reusing something that otherwise would have had a short-lived lifespan. So that's the "Reuse" element (sort of) ticked off.
And then there's the "Reduce" factor. Well, I've curbed my buying-of-random-stuff to an extent, but developing an addiction to crafts means that while I'm buying less expensive gadgets, I'm spending on new crafts material like a Cuttlebug and a bunch of embossing goodies. (As an aside, there's a definite trend in arts & crafts websites being utterly horrible and unusable. I would love to help them make their sites fun to use, and as good looking as the products they sell!)
So I'm not doing well at reducing the amount of stuff I own, but soon, I'll write about someone who was more successful at not buying stuff (for a whole year!) than I was. [Card on the right not by me, but by Paperminiskirt on Etsy.com, one of the best sites for cute handmade stuff. Like eBay for hippies and artists.]