We all know that “Reuse” is one of the three “Rs” of recycling. Buying things that aren’t simply going to be thrown away after one or two uses or repurposing old items into a new use are great. Once KC woman is using the idea of “Precycling” in much the same manner.
Cindy Hoedel of the Kansas City Star is proudly showing off her “new” stove … a 1951 Westinghouse Super-Speed Corox. According to Hoedel, “When I was a kid in California, Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress was always my favorite “ride” at Disneyland, and my stove would have been right at home in that tribute to the marvels of electricity.”
Hoedel feels reusing an item that is still functional makes much more sense than buying a new one that very well may not last nearly as long. “I bet it lasts a really long time. It has lasted 62 years already,” she says. “And I doubt any range made today will be around six decades from now.”
She makes a good point. Appliances built today are made for our “throw away” era. Once they break, the items necessary to repair them are usually more expensive than the cost to just buy a whole new appliance. All those fancy electronics end up being recycled, at best, or dumped in landfills, at worst.
“Precycling” eliminates buying things with excessive packaging, single-use items, or new items just because they contain new technology. This keeps trashed items from going to waste or using the energy necessary to recycle, much less space in a landfill. Essentially, it’s just using less “stuff.”
Karin Velez of Peculiar agrees with Hoedels mindset. “My stove is a 1953 Chambers. It runs off propane or natural gas and is insulated so well I can turn off the oven halfway through and it stays hot enough to finish the cooking without using any more gas.” Like Hoedel, Velez feels repairing or reusing items has many benefits. “Not only are you keeping things out of landfills,” she says, “it’s easier on the wallet!”
For more ideas on reusing or precycling, visit our Trash Talk page.