Recycle me this

Let’s face it, there’s a ton of crap out there you could spend your money on, and I’m the first to admit that I’ve fallen victim several times to the occasional buyer’s remorse-inducing purchase. Attempts are made daily not to contradict my desired minimalist approach to life and home design. I have every intention of becoming the ultimate conscious consumer – BUY LOCAL! SUPPORT SMALL BUSINESS! PRACTICE GREEN!

However…

I don’t drive a Prius. I am not a vegan. I wear real leather. I buy merchandise that’s made in China. And I don’t always eat organic. I do attempt to recycle every chance that I get and support buying second-hand (or “pre-loved”) goods. So when I discover items that are made with recycled materials, I dance the Happy Pickle.

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These baskets were sitting in a lonely corner at the rear of the TJ Maxx store where I spotted the Wishbone chair knock-off that I covered in an earlier post. Upon closer inspection, I discovered that the baskets were made by tightly weaving newspapers together.

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They were designed by Danny Seo, an environmental lifestyle expert who has made it his mission in life to transform America entirely into a green-living country.

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According to the product label, the baskets were handmade by artisans in the Philippines. I love the idea of turning trash into a useful and unique household item, while supporting a good cause. It’s similar to how Aid to Artisans is creating economic opportunities for people around the world living in marginal or at-risk conditions. Aid to Artisans has helped sell carefully crafted products through retailers like Crate & Barrel and Anthropologie (hot clothing alert!).

So the next time you feel the urge to spend compulsively, consider buying something that supports a cause and contributes to the well-being of our environment. I’m not one to judge and I’m certainly not the type to push vegetable-oil-as-fuel doctrines in anyone’s face, but I love an opportunity that gives me the chance to make a difference — especially if it has anything to do with shopping.

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