Why Reuse?



“You Are Pure Potential” - Martin de Maat Magnet

YES, that’s US - all of us. We have the potential* to change things - loads of things. The thing we’re talking about here is changing behaviour and challenging the seemingly out-of-control disposable culture.

There was a time, long ago when people bought things to last and then reused them. But then a myth arrived on the scene, which made us all believe that reusing is somehow bad for us or out-of-date, and that it is better to buy new each time.

Reuse in the broadest sense means any activity that lengthens the life of an item.

Reuse is nothing new. What is new is the need to reuse.





But Why?

With few exceptions reuse accomplishes these goals more effectively than recycling, and it does so in the following ways:

• Reuse keeps goods and materials out of the waste stream
• Reuse advances source reduction
• Reuse preserves the “embodied energy” that was originally used to manufacture an item
• Reuse reduces the strain on valuable resources, such as fuel, forests and water supplies, and helps safeguard wildlife habitats
• Reuse creates less air and water pollution than making a new item or recycling
• Reuse results in less hazardous waste
• Reuse saves money in purchases and disposal costs
• Reuse generates new business and employment opportunities for both small entrepreneurs and large enterprises
• Reuse creates an affordable supply of goods that are often of excellent quality.**
You might think that a reusable bottle or bag can’t make that much difference in the grand scheme of things. BUT... remember that we have the potential to change things - it is part of us.

*POTENTIAL existing in possibility : capable of development into actuality
** Adapted from Choose to Reuse, by Nikki & David Goldbeck.