The Reuse Life

Over the past nine months, I saw the majority of my work for reuse halted. No more screenings of my film. No more talks at schools. No more pop up shops for my brand. No more tours of my tiny house. I also saw solutions like reusable bags and cups banned at coffee shops, restaurants and grocery stores. At the same time, it became alarmingly more obvious to me how important reuse is to our survival and for many of our needs and wants.

2020 Profile Photo

Many companies went out of business or drastically slowed production of new items. We’ve had to work with what we have.

Food at grocery stores that used to be available with a set of tongs is now shrink wrapped.

Lumber yards couldn’t keep up with demand and more people began working with reclaimed wood.

Our landfills, parking lots and waterways are now flooded with disposable masks.

More and more resources are being used to keep us safe. But more and more waste is being created.

We NEED to find ways to lessen our impact. Whenever and wherever possible, we HAVE to think about reusing what we already have or we aren’t going to HAVE a planet that we can survive on. Resources will dwindle and climate change from production pollution will be even more intense. Fortunately, there are solutions. We can reuse and be safe at the same time.

I have four reusable masks, all made with upcycled materials.

I didn’t use a disposable coffee cup once last year. I make my coffee all at home currently, but some coffee shops around the world are doing #contactlesscoffee.

I didn’t take one disposable bag from a grocery store last year. When reusable bags were banned, I put groceries in an empty box or just in the shopping cart and brought them to the car.

We have ALL been upended by this pandemic in countless ways and I know that none of us ever wants our lives to be impacted on such a mass scale again. So, as we begin another year, I implore you to consider reuse in your decision making. Every time you reuse, it positively impacts the planet. And that positively impacts you, me, everyone around us and everyone to come.

I lead the reuse life and I hope you will too. Join me at thereuselife.com.
Cheers to change.

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I’m Thankful For Breaking Tradition

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Yesterday, I was having a conversation with a friend’s daughter who was disappointed that her traditional Thanksgiving get together wasn’t going to happen this year. Trying to make her feel better, I told her that for the past 20 Thanksgivings, I’ve been to a lot of different places with a lot of different people and had a lot of great times. Since 2001, I’ve been traveling or living in various states, so holiday traditions were tough to keep up.

After talking with her, I really started thinking about all of those years. That led me to start making a list which led me to reaching out to the various people that hosted the events which led me to sharing stories and photos from some great times with them. Barring a few years that I can’t place, here’s the list of different locations that I’ve spent Thanksgiving since 2001.

Bel Air, California | Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania | Oakland, California
Pleasant Hill, California | Suffield, Connecticut | Allston, Massachusetts
Braintree, Massachusetts | Pensacola, Florida | Providence, Rhode Island
Wilmington, North Carolina | Cincinnati, Ohio | Stoughton, Massachusetts

Thanksgiving 2011

Thinking about all of those times, I was reminded how much good sharing new experiences with different people does for my growth as a person. Traditions are great, but in my experience, some of the greatest things happen to us when traditions are broken. If I was stuck in tradition, I would have kept my job at The Boston Globe and never traveled with bands around the world. If I was stuck in tradition, I wouldn’t have tried a vegetarian diet one summer and lead a passionate vegan lifestyle today. If I was stuck in tradition, I wouldn’t have opened my eyes to the waste problem in our world and started leading a passionate reuse lifestyle.

We owe it to ourselves to try new things. At the very least, we can appreciate our traditions more, but at the greatest, we can find our true calling. Maybe our favorite tradition is that original one. But maybe our favorite tradition has yet to come.

Today, I’m thankful for these experiences and I’m surely thankful for all of those hosts over the years and probably some more to come. Cheers.

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Vegan Thanksgiving 2009
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The albatross is off our neck. It’s time to look at the white elephant in the room.

Standing inside a house made with glass bottles.

Now that the election is over and we have the albatross off our neck, it’s time to look at the white elephant in the room. Our planet and climate change NEED to be the focus. It’s in the 70s today in Massachusetts again. That’s not normal.

We’ve asked ourselves, “What are we going to do for our country?” But it’s imperative that we ask ourselves “What are we going to do for our planet?” It’s time to get right to it. And we don’t need to wait for any politician to take action.

Here are 5 easy reuse solutions that when practiced in our daily lives, will make a huge impact on our planet. They’ll save endless amounts of non renewable resources, lessen the amount of pollution put into the air and extend the life of our planet. Cheers to a new day.

1. Look for used options when buying anything.
2. Rent or borrow items instead of buying something yourself.
3. Repair an item instead of disposing of it and buying a new one.
4. Before throwing out potentially usable items, see if anyone has a use for them.
5. Avoid single use bags and bring your own.

For more reuse solutions, watch the REUSE! Documentary for free here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcZd2tfi2vg

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