Remember when you visited an antiques store and saw something that brought back a flood of memories from your childhood and you just had to buy it? Perhaps you shopped for a specific item that was just like the one your grandmother had. That’s what we call ‘nostalgic’ shopping. Have you considered shopping for your home and gift giving as a way to recycle? Have you ever thought about purchasing antiques and collectibles as a way to reduce your contribution to the waste stream? That is “green” shopping. (The green ideology places a high importance on ecological and environmental goals.)
According to Stanford University Recycling Center the average American discards 7.5 pounds of trash a day. Durable goods (tires, appliances, furniture) and nondurable goods (paper, certain disposable products, clothing) account for several million tons of the solid waste stream. As stewards of the planet, recycling is our responsibility and makes good sense. For instance every ton of glass recycled saves the equivalent of nine gallons of fuel oil needed to make new glass from virgin materials. Modern glass takes 4,000 years or more to decompose – and even longer if it’s in the landfill. Burning plastic in an incinerator uses twice as much energy as recycling it does.
Recycling has gone beyond just newspapers, cardboard, glass and plastics. Making use of durable goods from yesteryear is a form of recycling. You can help reduce the waste by purchasing existing goods. When you give new life to existing antiques and collectibles it reduces new manufacturing waste, greenhouse gas emissions and reduces pressure in our landfills. It conserves our natural resources and our environment. The more we recycle, the less garbage winds up in our landfills and incineration plants. By reusing aluminum, paper, glass, plastics, and other materials, we can save production and energy costs, and reduce the negative impacts that the extraction and processing of virgin materials has on the environment.
In addition to the recycling aspect, another benefit of purchasing antiques and collectibles is that you can often find these goods at bargain prices. One other advantage is that many antiques and collectibles may increase in value from year to year.
Reduce waste and do some nostalgic and green shopping your local antiques store.