Thomas Edison once said, “Waste is worse than loss. The time is coming when every person will keep the question of waste before him constantly. The scope of thrift is limitless.” On Nantucket, we are constantly thinking about waste (sometimes literally when we drive by the ever growing mound at the landfill) and we’re always looking for ways to recycle, repurpose and reuse almost everything on our little island.
Recycling is now mandatory on Nantucket – you mix your glass bottles with your fried chicken in those clear plastic garbage bags and Mr. Reis or Mr. Santos will leave your rubbish right where they found it – without apology. But, the recycling efforts aren’t limited to just rubbish. We recycle furniture, clothing, toys and even houses! As new homeowners are faced with the decision to renovate or demolish and build new, they often have the option to donate their existing dwelling to organizations like Housing Nantucket who work to find creative ways to secure housing for locals or to a private individual who has land but no home. It’s a great way to limit waste and help other island neighbors in the process.
The Hospital Thrift Store is virtually world famous for its high end “gently used” (sometimes never used!) merchandise. Patrons line up on India Street for their turn to peruse the little rooms filled with designer handbags, jewelry, clothing and household items. Celebrities shop right alongside the locals and some, like actress Drew Barrymore, count it among her favorite shopping experiences on the island. Across town, shoppers can find equally impressive merchandise at the Seconds Shop on Sparks Ave or the Consignment Shop on Old South Road. If you’re not in the mood to shop, but would love to find a new home for those household items you just cleaned out – there are multiple organizations that will gladly accept your donation.
For those who prefer the convenience of shopping online – Nantucket’s got you covered there too! Both Nantucket Re-Use and Nantucket Consignment offer members the opportunity to post and sell everything from furniture to storm doors…and everything in between. It’s our local version of Craigslist! I’ve frequently used both and sell items in less than a day and find things to purchase just as quickly. There’s something charming and very “small town” about knowing whose home your sofa is going to and whose grandchild previously used the highchair you just purchased because your little one is coming to visit. It’s community living at its finest.
If you’re in the market for another winter coat or some board games for those long winter days, check out any of the local thrift stores before you head to a shopping mall. If you’re wondering where to purchase some ice skates for your granddaughter or the dreaded snow blower, check out one of the local online resource sites. And, of course, if you’re in the market for a garage, shed or even another house, check the town offices frequently for the demo permits. You never know who might be willing to recycle their property.
Waste not, want not.
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