Thursday, July 12, 2007

Recycling as a way of life

Of course I recycle, I'm from California! Paper, glass, metal ... the standard three. I recycled out of habit, not giving much thought to the process. As a modern pagan, I read everything I can get my hands on about being a modern pagan. Thanks to Llewellyn's yearly Wicca almanacs, I have the benefit of modern wisdom of new-age thinkers. Say what you will about Llewellyn publications (and believe me, I've heard it all), but I appreciate the opportunity to learn how other modern pagans live their lives. I get to hear opinions and get craft-trade information from people around the country that I never would have had the pleasure of speaking with in person. For that alone, I will continue to purchase Llewellyn's almanacs.

Something that modern pagans have in spades is advice about how to stay connected in today's society, and something that plays a very big role in many lives is the DIY-craze that's been sweeping the nation for the past 30+ years, which involves recycling and re-using. I've got the recycling down to a degree; re-using is rapidly becoming a way of life for me.

As I mentioned, I don't have a proper garden. But I do have potted plants and I'm trying my hand at growing tomatoes. In my research, I read about using coffee grounds and egg shells mixed in with the soil. Of course, I knew of this but being that I don't garden regularly, it hadn't occurred to me to utilize these household waste items when I began planting. My tomatoes are doing wonderfully, and with a healthy mixture of both coffee grounds and egg shells. I save glass jars and store the grounds within so that I'll always have a supply when I want to pot a plant.

Re-using newspaper as gift wrap has long been a practice in my family. The stock market pages are just as interesting as the comics when there's a gift inside. I re-use tissue and gift bags each year; my family always remembers this and takes special care not to throw these items away or tear into their gifts as bulls in china shoppes.

I re-use jars and bottles to store my oils and dried herbs. I often purchase items that comes in jars and bottles with a thought toward what I can use the jar for after it's empty. The jars that my vitamins come in are dark amber, and perfect for storing items that must be protected against UV rays. This saves me from having to purchase special jars later, and saves me from contributing that waste (even if it can be recycled).

Considering that there are only two of us in the house regularly, fresh herbs have often gone to waste in the past. I've begun planning meals with the herbs in mind that I'd like to use later in my practice; now, I use whatever portions appropriate for our meals and use the rest in ritual work before it spoils.

Not only do I feel better about my newly developed practice of re-using household items, it's much easier on my budget.

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