SUSTAINABILITY

Learning to love what you already have: Some thoughts on sustainability.

It is reported that since people have discovered Tidying Up and The Clutter Cure (amongst many others) that a new phenomenon has begun to occur. Dumpsters and charitable donation bins have been filling to the brim with people’s unwanted and discarded items. Clearly people are looking for a change. 

But the new minimalist movement might be contrary to basic instinct…at least for some. Because humans were hunter-gatherers, abundance was considered a good thing, and we may be programmed to appreciate and seek it. However, too much of a good thing may be detrimental to both your peace of mind and the environment. 

Perhaps you have fallen prey to that feeling of ennui that could only be filled by new shoes or a new sofa. I know that I have. I have also (without fully realizing it) been constantly looking to upgrade what I already have. But, before every purchase, I encourage you to think about the incredible amount of resources being used to manufacture new household items and the enormity of what’s already in landfills around the world. We, as a society, need to stop clamouring for the ‘latest and greatest’ and appreciate what we have.

The Cubiki method focuses on falling in love with the stuff you already have, and using it to create a peaceful and functional home environment. 

Thrift Stores Say They’re Swamped With Donations After ‘Tidying Up with Marie Kondo’

NPR, ALL THINGS CONSIDERED

The best (and easiest) ways I’ve found to live sustainably are:

Don’t buy new things unnecessarily.

Take good care of what you love.

Improve what ‘could be great’ but just needs some DIY love.

Fix what can be fixed.

What can’t be used by you…can be sold or donated to be used by someone else.

What can’t be donated, repaired or sold, must be discarded in a responsible way.

Resources

There are several charities and organizations in and around Vancouver that will greatly appreciate donations of new and gently used items and connect them to people in need. Recycling is a great option when an item is no longer in usable condition as it helps reduce landfill waste, reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and helps conserve resources by extracting fewer raw materials from the earth.

If you have any suggestions for organizations to add to this list, please let me know.

Places to Donate and/or Buy Used Items

For tonnes of up-cycling and shabby chic treasures.

There are five Habitat for Humanity Restore locations in the BC lower mainland area. The ReStores are a great place to find hidden treasures and to donate your unwanted items. You can find a list of accepted donation items on their website and you can also schedule a pickup.

For clothing and household items.

The Wildlife Thrift Store has been around since 1997. The accept donations of clothing and many household items including clothes, furniture, books & housewares as long as they are clean & in good condition. They support Coast Mental Health, The Gathering Place, Positive Living B.C. and Vancouver Rape Relief & Women’s Shelter. They have two locations: one at 1225 Granville Street (at Drake) and the other in Marpole at 1510 W. 70th Ave.

1225 Granville Street (at Drake)
Phone: 604-682-0381

Marpole Location: 1510 W. 70th Ave.
Phone: 604 267-1102

Workshops and Learning

A yarn shop on Main St, where knitters & crocheters come together and obsess over natural fibres. In addition to their wonderful knitting and crochet workshops, Three Bags Full hosts a darning and mending workshop. 

Frameworq Upcycling is on a mission to overthrow a throwaway culture, bring back repair skills, build resilient communities, and divert textile waste from the landfill. They host a monthly Free Clothing Fix-It event at several libraries and community centres around the city.

Shannon Pawliw
Creative Director, Cubiki

Shannon is a professional home organizer and stylist. She is also a graphic designer and an artist. 

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