Sunday, May 10, 2009
Join The Pack-Rat!
I am the type of person who never throws anything out; I have notebooks from middle school, random car and bike parts, and countless toys from when I was a child, all of which I refuse to throw away. My aunt calls me a pack-rat and that is a title I wear proudly. Participating in this compact challenge has helped me realize that my “bad habit” of keeping all my junk is actually a great way of being sustainable. What may be garbage now has the potential of being useful in the future.
When I transferred to Davis last Fall I was faced with the challenge of furnishing an entire bedroom. I wanted to decorate my room without spending much money. A friend of mine had an old bed frame he was throwing out; it was not in the best condition but I knew that I could work with it. I sanded down the pieces, sprayed them black, and painted a design on the front.
For decoration, I turned to my treasure box of junk in my aunt’s garage. I found a car rim that was broken in an accident which I could use as a side table. I repaired the crack as best as I could, painted it gold, and used an old piece of glass for the table top. I was also able to complete my room with a desk, TV, and set of drawers from friends who were throwing them out.
Yuniya Kawamura states that “society at large valued things that were new, which had more status than things that were old.” I personally find much more satisfaction in taking things that are old and making them new again. People who are pack-rats usually get a bad rep but if people were a little slower at throwing things away the world could be a much more sustainable place. I encourage everything to keep their junk because you never know what you can make out of it in the future.
My room is full of recycled furniture, either refurbished or assembled from used pieces. Here is a video of furniture that is literally recycled:
Kawamura, Yuniya. Fashion-ology An Introduction to Fashion Studies (Adoption and Consumption of Fashion). New York: Berg, 2005.