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September 2019



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notes from a small island

curiouswombat in photo_scavenger

Reduce, re-use, recycle.

We have recycling tubs, and recycling bins in supermarket carparks - but others here got to those things before me.

However, the first recycling common in most towns and villages in Britain was in the form of charity shops. When my daughter was little she learnt the concept of recycling from buying clothes at 'Age Concern', or 'Save the Children', that someone else had outgrown, and taking her own clothes into those places, as she outgrew them, for someone else to use - so this is a favourite place for re-using and recycling -

Re-use and Re-cycle.


When I was little it was all about the Oxfam Shop. It felt like a library to me, except you could trade more than books and you gave to charity instead of paying fines.
The book shelves are still a favourite place for me. In York we found that a couple of the charities have shops totally dedicated to books - and they are certainly very popular places.
Huh, I never thought of a thrift shop. Could have saved myself a trip down the driveway in the dark. LOL
A very effective form of recycling, it finally occurred to me!
We used to have a shop purely for swapping kids clothes and toys. Scallywag, I think. Not actually a charity shop, though my dim memories suggest it was run more for love than money. But it was a lifesaver for the area and no one ended up with piles of outgrown baby stuff such as my friends have accumulated. So sensible. That and school uniform exchanges, which seem to have gone out with the miners strike or thereabouts.
There was a shop like that in Whitley Bay, too. A lot of D-d's stuff like her first pram, and so on, came from there.

I had a friend who was a teacher, who introduced me to it; she also leant me stuff like a tiny duvet for a carry-cot - the sort of thing you only needed for 3 or 4 months.

She said she had often wondered who bought all the stuff new, before it ended up at the shop - and had concluded it was the teenaged mums - most of whom got vouchers from the DHSS to go to the big stores to buy their baby equipment in those days!

Hee! Good point; and I sympathize with D-d. I used to love to dig through shops like that looking for treasures!
I must admit we shop in the charity shops less these days - but when she was a child it was so useful - and we didn't mind if clothes got torn or stained as they had usually cost less than £1 an item.
We call them thrift stores, and they are a vital part of the community. People donate their surplus goods, and the funds are funneled back into the community to help the less fortunate. One helps battered women, one helps disabled veterans, and several help the poor.
Hospice probably have the most on the island - but we also have three, like the one in my picture, run by Age Concern, a couple by Oxfam, three or four for Save the Children, a couple of Red Cross ones, two for Crossroads (Caring for Carers), one for the MSPCA and a couple for mental health charities - at least that I can remember!

It's an awful lot of recycling, when I look at that list, on an island with a population of about 80,000.
That is a great deal of recycling and charity work for your population! Do you suppose that has somewhat to do with being an island? I would imagine an island to be more self sufficient and have more of a community feel.