One of the beliefs that drives my life is that we are guests in this world. We have every right to find creative uses for the resources available to us, and to make changes in our world that help us to lead happier, longer, more fulfilling lives. But we should never take for granted the resources we have.

I recently came across a stack of old mailings that were never sent out under a now-defunct business name. I felt this huge sense of disappointment in myself for having put the time and energy into preparing these mailings and then not following through. What’s worse, the material in them is no longer relevant! So I tore the envelopes open and pulled out the materials, thinking I could re-use the envelopes for something else.

The envelopes had my old branding on them, so I was thinking of ways to cover that up without it looking too bad. But since they had been sealed, many of the envelopes had shabby flaps and I felt that it would not be right to re-use them for my clients in the shape they are in. So I sat for a moment, thinking of another plan. I could cut the unused stamps out of the envelopes and affix them to envelopes I did want to use for future correspondence! I just needed a way to do that without breaking out the glue stick every time I needed to send a letter…

Thank goodness I save everything for re-use! I found an old roll of “Frost King” double-sided tape in the closet… you know, the type you are supposed to use to affix plastic to the inside of your windows in the winter when you have old single-pane windows without any insulating value? Well, being me I am always super stingy with how I use the stuff and have a number of leftover rolls lying around from years past. In fact, two years ago we created a permanent solution and had enough leftover tape from the past to affix the plastic to all our home-made insert frames! That is a lot of leftover tape!

Stamps getting new adhesive installed

I am so excited about this solution, because I’ve not only rescued over 30 stamps, so $15 or so, but rather than having to mess with glue I simply affixed the tape to their backs and put them in a drawer to be used as needed!

So what happened to those scrappy envelopes with the holes cut from their corners…? I took the paper cutter to them, and I now have a nice stack of note paper on my desk to use whenever I need to write down a client’s info, work something out, etc. I feel so good when I can figure out a way to re-use all the various parts of something that would otherwise be wasted. What have you re-used lately?

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