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Don’t Throw It Out

Boston Gal’s Open Wallet turned me onto Don’t Throw It Out: Recycle, Renew, and Reuse to Make Things Last. As embarrassed as I am to admit this about a book put out by the editors of Yankee Magazine, I’m actually really happy to have found it. It’s full of all kinds of tips on how to maintain the things you own (or, if all else fails, how to use them in different ways).

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I’m sure I could have found much of this information online, but it would have taken a long time, and I would have been wading through a lot of useless ideas. And most valuable are the tips I wouldn’t have thought to look up because I didn’t even know they existed. (Like, did you know they sell paint-on sealants to stop your dishwasher rack from rusting? Me either.)

That said, this is more of a reference book than one you’d read straight through, so I think I’m going to return this to the library and buy a copy. Then I can stick post-its on the parts I especially want to remember to revisit.

Marking the pertinent info is especially important because different chapters feel like they’re for wildly different audiences. For instance, I’m very interested in cleaning tips. (Like don’t use glass cleaner on mirrors, because if they seep onto the back, they cause the silver to oxidize, resulting in black edges.) However, the chapter on how to make crafts from things you’d otherwise throw away fell on painfully deaf ears. (Can you imagine me making coasters out of old CDs?) And the chapter on how to maintain your computer doesn’t say much I don’t already know (although Jason’s mom could probably use it). That’s a little reassuring, actually, because I feel that if their info on computers is good, the chapters on stuff I don’t know about might be solid, too.

Reading this makes me think that I must have missed something growing up. I have a hard time with basic household tasks that a lot of people seem to take for granted, like cooking without a recipe or sewing. Jason does better than me, but he’s still very much an amateur. Our house would be much more efficient if one of us could do these things well. Does the Cambridge Center for Adult Ed offer remedial Home Ec?

Comments

Comment from Erin aka Conscious Shopper
Time October 11, 2009 at 8:14 pm

I have this book too! Very handy resource…

Comment from Brian
Time October 26, 2009 at 10:25 am

I am totally going to go find this book. Maybe not buy it but check it out from the library in keeping with its theme. My only concern is that it may turn me into a hoarder like the rest of my family. You may find me buried in a pile of all the stuff I have collected and fear to throw away because it is useful.

Comment from Brenda Pike
Time October 26, 2009 at 10:31 am

As long as it’s not decades-old food you’re hoarding…. Although, as I’ve stated before, in the event of a zombie apocalypse, we’re going straight to your mom’s house.

Pingback from To Save Energy, Use the Dishwasher? « Pragmatic Environmentalism
Time November 30, 2009 at 10:11 pm

[…] To Save Energy, Use the Dishwasher? November 30, 2009 Filed under: Cleaning, Energy Use — Brenda Pike @ 10:11 pm Tags: dishwasher energy use, dishwasher water use, dishwashing vs. handwashing, most efficient dishwashing, see mom – I'm not morally inferior because I hate washing dishes This weekend we went on a cooking/cleaning binge, and one of the things that needed cleaning the most was the filter in our dishwasher. It was surprisingly easy to remove, but so disgusting that Jason and I took turns washing it out—neither of us wanted to deal with it for long. It definitely hasn’t been cleaned in the year we’ve lived in our apartment and, from the looks of it, for years before that, either. I didn’t even know it existed until I read Don’t Throw It Out! […]

Pingback from Energy 2.0 » Blog Archive » To Save Energy, Use the Dishwasher?
Time December 3, 2009 at 7:38 am

[…] This weekend we went on a cooking/cleaning binge, and one of the things that needed cleaning the most was the filter in our dishwasher. It was surprisingly easy to remove, but so disgusting that Jason and I took turns washing it out—neither of us wanted to deal with it for long. It definitely hasn’t been cleaned in the year we’ve lived in our apartment and, from the looks of it, for years before that, either. I didn’t even know it existed until I read Don’t Throw It Out! […]

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