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Green Tuesday to Green Christmas!

Today is Green Tuesday, and yesterday was Green Monday.  The purpose of this relatively new “shopping holiday” is to promote sales of environmentally-friendly items.

It seems like a new concept, but truly, my mother invented it back in the 50s.  While there wasn’t an online venue for indulging in recycled items, this principle guided our family finances, and instilled in all of us a Green Mentality that we use today.

Our mother was around during the Great Depression, and she learned to be frugal and creative in recycling.  When practicing math problems, we had a “scratch paper box” – filled with used envelopes, backs of business letters, etc.  It was considered wasteful to write on a clean sheet of paper. To this day, I write my grocery store list on used envelopes.

My mother had eight daughters, ending in twins. I am one of the twins. You can bet we didn’t have many brand new clothes.  Our favorite clothing brand was Hand Me Down.  We wore each other’s clothes, shoes, costumes, boots, mittens, etc.  There was no distinction of who owned what; we simply had a community Mitten Box, Halloween costume box, Boot Box, Skates Box, etc.  First come, first served, and we didn’t know there was such a thing as wearing your true size.  Close was good enough.  It never occurred to us to whine because things didn’t fit just right.  We were happy to be in the game.

I have a pair of vintage Levi orange tab jeans that I saw 3 of my sisters wear back in the 60s. I wore them, too when I was at my best athletic fighting weight. My sister found them recently in a drawer!  They no longer fit, so they are now posted on etsy and ebay, in search of a vintage jean appreciator.  Best of all, they are quite fashionable – straight leg, naturally distressed, classic waist, and made with strong, sturdy denim.  They don’t make ’em like that anymore.  And on Green Tuesday, today, they are 15% off.

Is it any wonder I am nostalgic about vintage items?  Truth be told, I wasn’t raised in a disposable era…. no paper plates or styrofoam cups for our family, just lovely old china.  Our mother didn’t have an automatic dishwasher.  She always said she didn’t need one because God gave her eight hardworking dishwashers.

The skates above were worn by all my older sisters, many of their children, neighbor children, and since I was the last to leave the nest, they now serve as a Christmas ornament in my living room.  I wasn’t kidding when I said my mother invented Green Tuesday.  It just makes sense to use things for years and years before demoting them to another purpose.

Ashtrays are almost a thing of the past with indoor smoking restrictions, but is it necessary to throw them away?  How about converting them into teabag holders?  Not too many people serve gravy often, but is that reason to toss the gravy boats?  Gravy boats with a nice lip on them are perfect for holding my watercolor brush when it needs to dry.  What about that bone china teacup with a chip on the rim?  It would love to hold your loose change!

Note the Rosemeade pottery behind the Paintbrush Boat.  The vase has a chip, but one wouldn’t notice with all the paint brushes in front of it.  The round flower sphere holds paintbrushes and pencils – there’s no rule that it must hold flower stems.

I could go on and on, but you get the picture.  Before you throw something away, give it another viewpoint – what other job could it perform?  It’s like being injured and going back to work. You may get donated to another department to do paperwork, but it’s better than losing your job or feeling worthless.  That little chipped cup is in the same boat. If it isn’t totally broken, consider giving it a new role.  It would rather switch roles than find its grave in  the landfill.

When gift-giving, consider vintage or used items.  No, it isn’t cheap of you… it’s thoughtful of you!  For example, pick out the best book you read this year, wrap it up, and pass it on.  Have a nice sweater that doesn’t fit?  Maybe Aunt Lenore would like it!

If you have young children or grandchildren, you know they will get more than enough toys for Christmas.  Instead of throwing them away, rotate them.  This means to pack up half of their toys for months at a time, then when Christmas rolls around, you have a gift box to choose from, instead of spending more money.  My family thought I was strange when I gave my 1 year old an old wooden spoon and a Cool Whip container for Christmas.  When he opened it, his eyes grew wide – in his view, he got a “drum set” for Christmas!   The fancy battery-operated toys the relatives bought for him could not compare to his drum set.

You know your children. You probably know they would rather have your time than presents.  Consider a Green Christmas where everyone looks to their own possessions for gift-giving.  You might be surprised at how much time and money you save.  Best of all is the long-lasting legacy of recycling and repurposing.  Priceless.


My Coach Bev teaches decluttering classes in addition to nutrition classes.  She personally declutters by selling used and vintage items online at   at or on etsy:

If you want to kick off 2018 with a decluttering, recycling mindset, consider taking her Decluttering Made Easy! class or investing in one-on-one coaching with Bev.  New Year, clean slate!  Contact Bev at [email protected] for more information.  



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