Thursday, April 3, 2008

Shopping at Your Neighbor's House - A Great Way to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

My five year old asked if we could buy a carrier for his baseball bat. I told him no. Which never goes over great with a five year old. I had my reasons. He didn't need it. He doesn't have to take a bat to baseball practice; bats are provided for the kids. His baseball bat goes from the shed to the back yard and back to the shed again.

In the past, I may have just bought him a bag because he's really into baseball right now (it's spring - most kids are really into baseball right now). But I'm working really hard on trying to curb our purchases. Not for monetary reasons, but because I'm trying to get my whole family into the mindset that needless consumerism is bad for the environment.

Enter my neighbor. Five year old tells her over the fence that I won't get him a baseball bat carrier. A few minute later, he has a baseball bat carrier. Not a brand new one, but one that was once one of her now grown son's. Five year old was thrilled. Packed it up with all of his equipment and hung it on the inside of the front door so he won't forget it on opening day (which is April 12th).

I got to wondering. When there is something that we need, why don't we just ask our friends and neighbors if they have that item and are no longer using it. Borrow it or perhaps even keep it for good. Is it just because we never think of it? Pride? The awkwardness? What if everyone in my neighborhood brought all of their unneeded stuff out onto the front lawn and we all ran back and forth across the street and down the block picking stuff that we need. Get rid of something; get something you need. A big ol' neighborhood swap. 

What a great way to reduce, reuse, recycle. I don't know if I can make it happen, but now that the weather is getting warmer and we're all outside in the evenings a lot, perhaps I can suggest it.
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