Thursday, March 20, 2008

Springing Forward

I got the idea for this blog from, of all things, wine.

A year and a half ago, after noticing my cork collection had increased, I decided to create a corkboard. What a great way to transform my collection into a functional piece, I thought. Instead of making or purchasing a frame for the project, I picked up an old schoolhouse chalkboard at a yard sale from a woman who had used it to home school her children. The idea of incorporating the chalkboard into the framework of my corkboard seemed charming.


Then it occurred to me that the size of the chalkboard would require approximately 1,000 corks. Put in perspective, 1,000 corks = 1,000 bottles of wine = 750,000 milliliters of vino or about 5,500 glasses of the drink of truth.

Initially, I had this romantic notion of taking a lifetime to acquire the corks so I could look back and fondly recall the experiences that accompanied the wine's consumption. But gradually, the value of proper liver function changed my outlook and I soon enlisted friends and family to begin saving corks. Eventually, I ditched all pretense, and essentially begged restaurant staff for their spent corks. The corkboard? It's still a work in progress.

The corkboard project, however, revived an idea I had been mulling over for some time. The idea that commercial over-consumption is dependent upon, among other things, disposal. We are a throwaway society. Few and fleeting are the traditional repair shops that formerly were frequent and thriving businesses. Vacuum-repair, lamp-rewiring, lawnmower reconditioning have all been replaced by, well... replacements. Now when something breaks, we just purchase a new one and dispose of the old. This hit home recently when my favorite lamp broke. My search for a lamp-repair shop yielded just one result in an entire metropolitan area of over two million people.

Now, I'm just your average American Jane. I value the concept of recycling, of thinking globally and acting locally, of being green... but I'm a little bit lazy when it comes time to act. I only very recently committed to recycling and admittedly, guilt was a driving force. But discovering new and interesting ways to use my existing “stuff” has always been a secret pleasure. I delight in stumbling upon a new use for old curtains or 10 things to do with conditioner other than put it in your hair. I can pour through magazines with a hawk's eye for inspiration and ideas.

This blog will help in keeping me honest with my many good-intentioned projects. Consider it an accountability log. With this in mind, I hope Resourceful Living provides a venue to discover new (and old) ways in which to be resourceful.

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Alanna said...

Hi Amy, So great to meet you last night! Thanks to Becky for inviting you to meet up with the St. Louis food bloggers!

Your blog concept is great, I look forward to seeing how it develops.

PS If you'd like to offer e-mail updates for your readers, sign up for Feedburner and it'll all happen automatically.

Amy said...

Ah, it's clear I'm new to this blogging phenomenon as I missed this comment for some reason.

Thank you Alanna for the suggestions and it was terrific meeting you along with the St. Louis food bloggers. Very cool concept!