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Our Sustainable City – Plastic Free July: Cultivating a reuse economy and community

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At our July Coffee and Climate session, Dr. Cindy Isenhour of the University of Maine described New England as the attic of the United States, and Maine “the attic of that attic.” This was in reference to our region’s engrained tradition of reuse, full of antique shops, thrift stores, and garage sales. Maine’s reuse economy is vibrant, with ample opportunity to participate. So let’s tap into it. Today, we are talking about the many meanings of reuse and how single-use plastic reduction connects to transitioning to a reuse economy.

Reuse

Reuse and single-use are clearly antonyms. We swap our plastic baggies for silicone, buy bamboo cutlery and canvas totes. This process removes the need for single-use items in our daily lives by being prepared with multi-use products we’ve invested in. However, the concept of reuse expands far beyond this. Reuse is also how we acquire and consume items much larger than convenient items such as cups or cutlery.

Shifting to a reuse economy

A reuse economy can be a multitude of things: a sale (yard sale, Craigslist), a gift, a swap, a found object at the swap shop. It is an object being used for its original purpose and […]

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