Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Garbage Guy probably thinks I’m nuts

Sometimes, I look at what goes into my trash and/or recycling bins and wonder what a stranger would make of me.

For example.

I do This Thing where I will buy one (1) small plastic bottle of something; in the most recent case of bottle-replacement, cranberry juice.

I then proceed to wash and reuse that original plastic bottle, refilling it with juice I either buy in bulk and freeze or reconstitute from frozen. There are two reasons I do this (well, three, if you count ‘crazy’): I like the shape of the ‘single use’ fruit juice containers better than most of the Rubbermaid versions, and, if I leave the labels on it I don’t have to constantly inform friends and family that the red one is, this week, cranberry juice. Just as it was last week. And the week before. AND ALSO THE WEEK BEFORE THAT. (If it is a red, juice-like liquid in my fridge, it will be sugar-free cranberry juice. It will never be Kool-Aid. Continuing to ask me if the ‘red stuff’ is Kool-Aid is pointless. It is not now, nor will it EVER BE, Kool-Aid.) (But I digress.)

Some months later, when the original ‘single use’ {ahem} bottle finally develops a fatal crack or loses its lid or whatever, I finally toss the worn-out bottle into the recycling bin.

I’ve done this with water bottles (putting water from our reverse osmosis system into bottles that formerly held ‘real’ bottled water), apple juice containers, dish soap, you name it. Buy one (1) small, ‘single use’ one, and then refill it endlessly from my bulk or frozen or whatever source.

Sometimes, by the time I decide that by golly, that’s an ex-container…it’s really shot.

As I put it with due reverence into the recycling bin, I wonder: Does the garbage guy ever glance at what is going into his big old truck and say, “Whoa. What the HECK?! HEY JOE! Come check THIS out...this is vintage stuff, right here...”

And I surely hope nobody has ever caught me patting the sad, worn little things and saying, “Well, that was a good run. Thanks for a really awesome eight months of service, little plastic bottle…”

Because if that became public, it would be really embarrassing.

…um, wait…


Sheila said...

Actually that is great recycling! I reuse my water bottles. Especially at work. The plastic doesn't shatter into a million pieces when it falls on the floor. I wish St. George would have mandatory recycling. We need to be kind to the earth.

Anonymous said...

I do this with the little plastic pots from the supermarket delicatessen- even though I have a cupboard full of tupperware with sealing lids.

I re-use plastic juice bottles to store, water-down and give away the worm juice from my worm farm too.

I just can't bear the thought of these things being used only once!

Anonymous said...

I do this too. I don't actually own any official Tupperware I use old sherbet and wonton soup containers.I've had the same pancake syrup bottle for five years. I wash it and refill it from an enormous unwieldy jug. It's almost a collector's item now.

21stCenturyMom said...

I re-use water bottles in spite of a guy telling me with great concern and excitment that it was a bad, bad thing to do. He saw a special on it and everything! Whatever.

I also re-use the deli containers primarily becaues if what is in them turns into a science experiment I can just throw the whole thing away - no guilt, no smell

PipneyJane said...

My favourite re-use has to be soup containers. My supermarket sells soup in either 500ml or 600ml plastic pots with resealable lids. They're very tough and fit perfectly into the baskets on the inside of my freezer door. I use them for homemade soup, sauces, breadcrumbs, etc. Even better, they're microwave proof so I can re-heat soup straight from the freezer.

- Pam

PS: Did you know you made today's Yarn Harlot. Way to go, Tama!

froggiemeanie said...

You can always claim you are being "environmentally conscious". It sounds so much better than 'crazy'.

If it makes you feel any better, I've been known to buy products I absolutely don't need just for the container. I always figure the container makes a great holder for whatever homeless thingamabobs are living in my home. A couple of years ago I bought DH a wildly overpriced chocolate Easter bunny because it came in the perfect sized tin can for knitting notions.

P.S. I am so glad other folks share some of my oddities. People always looked at me like I was nuts when I told them about my "uncomfortable TV" thing.

Very Herodotus said...

I wash and re-use straws and plastic utensils. My husband thinks it's gross, but he never uses "sissy sticks" anyway.

Marianne said...

Too Funny!

Our in-laws are staying with us and I had to bite my tongue HARD when my FIL kept throwing away my apple juice bottles that I keep and reuse in the same way.

He threw away 3 of them! I had to buy MORE overpriced juice just to get a new bottle! The horror!

DH also makes endless fun of me for the nice, hardcore plastic takeout containers I save from our fav Indian place. But they're awesome for sending home leftovers from a dinner party!

NeedleTart said...

The Husband and I pick out bottled goods for the ways we can reuse them. Some of my favorite vinegar bottles are from the liquor store, corks and everything!
I even etch well-cleaned olive oil bottle (you know, the square ones?) with a pear and fill them with the pear liquor for gifts.
You are not alone.......

Amy Lane said...

I recycle everything...but my husband goes nuts with the 'reuse' bit--every time I try to use a water bottle multiple times it disappears...he doesn't understand the value of having a water bottle near the knitting in case of emergency.