My family recycled long before it was cool.

In our house, everything has a dual purpose. Peanut butter jars become drinking glasses.

Popsicle sticks inspire a child’s art project.  

 Toilet paper tubes are really musical instruments. (Kazoos!).

I love to sew. But when the dresses, quilts, and dolls are finished, I’m left with an overflow of fabric pieces.

That’s how the rag drawer got its start.

Those sanitary, never used scrap materials are perfect for wiping up spills, Windex-ing windows, and washing the car. They double as napkins, absorb bacon grease, and catch a runny nose.

When fabric scraps run low, we fill the drawer with clean but well-worn clothing.

The blouses/ t-shirts /skirts are cut into manageable-sized pieces—large enough for my husband’s hands and small enough for a child to use. I keep a pile of clothes, too far gone for a second-hand store, ready to slice and dice.

Bonus! Rescued buttons!

Shopping at a thrift store is a feel-good experience. You have the power to breathe a second or third life into a garment before it finally lands in the rag drawer.

A kitchen drawer designated for tired fabric may seem odd until you add up how much money is wasted on paper goods.

Our lifestyle won’t single-handedly save the earth. But maybe the rag drawer will motivate someone to try one of the five R’s of waste management:

Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, and Recycle.

And a sixth R—Rags.

Is recycling a new concept or a lifelong habit?



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