I’m 7 years old sitting in an avocado green kitchen drinking a cup of grape Kool Aid, and my cousin Donna and I are drawing pictures on the “scraps” Aunt Joanne keeps in the middle drawer under the counter. Aunt Joanne herself is using a piece of scrap paper to do a quick add up of her Avon order, and it’s just a lazy, loving afternoon spent with family.
Would you believe that cozy feeling comes up for me when I pull out a scrap from my own middle drawer in my office? Well it’s true. This little recycling/organization habit comes from my godmother, my Aunt Joanne. She unknowingly has gifted me with many rituals I continue to practice as an adult. Maybe my kids will pass on the traditions, as well.
Most of us recycle our paper when we throw it out and probably even have our own garbage pails put aside just for this purpose. However, you can easily kick the recycling up a notch and use the paper once again before putting it into the recycle pail. All those papers you accidentally printed out? Notices from the kids’ school? I cut these up into quarters and keep them in a small bin in my own middle drawer. When I have to do some scratch work, write myself a quick note, throw a piece of paper into a catalog or a book to mark off my spot, I grab a scrap. It doesn’t matter if there’s something written on the front; I simply use the blank side. I’ve then saved myself from using a fresh piece of paper, thereby helping the environment just a tiny drop. Hey, every little bit makes a difference.
On a similar note, have you gotten rid of those holiday greeting cards you just received from friends and family? My lovely mother cuts off the cover and uses the opposite side for lists and scraps. The plus is that you get a little boost of holiday joy.
While I use the scrap method for pulling an Emeril and kicking up my recycling routine, I also want to let you all know about a great product I found. When I showed my husband he so very nonchalantly said, “Oh we use them at work.” Am I the only one who thought this was a new, fabulous invention? Well here it is, the Quartet glass dry erase board. It has taken the place of some of my scraps and post it notes, and reduces waste and disorganization.
This is how I use it. It sits ever so nicely on the corner of my desk, as you can see. When I am going through my email and there is something I must do, but just can’t attend to right away or put on my calendar, I jot it on the board so that I remember to schedule it. An amount I need to take away from my budget but don’t have the time to do it? Jot it. An idea I want to pursue? It goes on the board. Anything that needs to hang in limbo for a day or two until it can be handled or scheduled goes here. Sometimes I’m running out the door and I think of something. On the board it goes! (See “Sue Feb 11th” in the top corner. That was a “door dash” jot.) I love this board. I love that it produces less waste and that well, it’s just fun. (Hey, we all have our definitions of a good time.) They even make a one that goes between your computer monitor and keyboard, lying mostly flat but at a slight incline, so it’s easy to take notes while you are working. I have a laptop, so this didn’t really suit me.
So while I still have the option to go old school and get warm fuzzies when I re-use paper, jotting on scraps, thinking of Aunt Joanne, I also get all rosy inside when I have the opportunity to reduce my paper waste by using my pretty glass Quartet. I guess I get the fuzzies either way. So does Mother Earth. 🙂