Mixed Greens Blog

Mixed Greens Blog
Living Sustainably in the Pacific Northwest

15
April
2008

Choose to Reuse

platesnprops46 of 48

They say that consumer confidence is at a five year low. Instead, I like to think that we are reining in our power to consume and trying to be more mindful of our purchases. Now that I am photographing food on a regular basis, I could easily go to Target or Ikea in search of the perfect bowl or plate to use as a prop. Fortunately, I began to feel disingenuous buying objects that might leave a larger carbon footprint while illustrating the virtues of eating locally. I thought about limiting myself to plates produced in the Pacific Northwest. Somehow, that felt a bit extreme and not quite the point. I decided the best thing to do would be to check out local thrift stores and antique shops. Not surprisingly, many of the older dishes I found were manufactured in the U.S. The newer an item, the more likely it is to have been imported. If you enjoy mixing and matching, all the better, it is far easier to find one-of-a-kind than a whole set. Each dish has a story and each has traveled to get here, some more than others.Reusing household items may seem like a small action in the big scheme of things. But making these ordinary choices in our daily lives can add up if we are all making them. The next time you need to replace something or to buy a gift, think about getting something that may have already been loved by another.platesnprops11 of 48The stores I like best for housewares are the Antique Mall of West Seattle, located at 4516 California Ave. SW and Goodwill at 6400 8th Ave NW in Ballard.thriftshop1 of 6


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5 Responses »

  1. My wife calls herself the Queen of Value Village. It’s amazing what people give away. This winter we had to get our son some snow boots for a trip to the mountains. Wouldn’t you know that all the “regular” stores were out of ’em by late January (they’ve moved on to spring, y’know). After a long search we hit the Village just before closing. Sure enough, a pair of $5 insulated snow boots was waiting for us. Score!

  2. That’s just what I’m talking about. I cruised the kid’s racks and it looked like there were some great finds. Now if I could make the mental switch I need to find used clothes for myself. Maybe I need some tips from the “Queen of Value Village.”

  3. Bad news, Poppy. The Queen says these are state secrets, not unlike disclosing the GPS coordinates of a favorite morel patch. Ain’t gonna happen. BUT: the Queen encourages you to get out there and uncover some of these secrets on your own. She says that’s half the fun–and as a morel hunter, I think I know what she means. Good luck!

  4. Oh well, thanks for checking. I do have a pretty good eye so maybe should give it a try.

  5. I’ll tell you what: since we’re doing that rhubarb trade, I’ll see if I can get her to disclose a few tricks o’ the trade offline. Will get back to you. After all, it’s for a good cause!