Tuesday, 22 September 2020

Small gestures to save the planet

Very small, but if we all stopped going to Ikea et al, a few million acres of forest could be saved and landfill seriously slowed down...

The area we have recently moved to is blessed with a fantastic Emmaüs (recycling center par excellence providing jobs, giving people with a small budget the ability to buy pretty much anything, and fighting against wastage.) France doesn't have many high street charity shops - in fact none that I've seen but most big towns have an Emmaüs and/or a similar organisation.

On this trip I arrived ten minutes early and queued with about twenty other people (all wearing masks and chatting happily about what they were looking for). The doors opened, we were welcomed graciously and shown the way in via the hand gel area. There must be about thirty people, paid and volunteering working in that one shop and everyone I came across was helpful and friendly. I shall be back, at least once a week!

So, the findings... a tall thin cupboard with two drawers which we have taken the doors off (to use in kitchen renovation) and used as the office storage place; a lovely old fish kettle to use as a bread bin ( baguettes fit in perfectly); a 60s boat-themed table for the printer, a 30s bed-side table for a bathroom cupboard, an ancient wooden trolley which must have been part of a child's pull-along toy for a TV stand, lots of jam kilner jars, and an unused wicker shopping basket, all for under forty euros. 

Yesterday we experienced once again the usefulness of Le Bon Coin - a site rather like Gumtree on which, again, you can find just about anything secondhand. I'd been scouring the site like a total addict (which I am) for a few days looking for an old dresser to put in our very old kitchen. After giving up on one which was owned by a particularly uninterested seller - never available for us to collect - I found a really unusual piece needing a bit of TLC but a very good price. We went to see it, said yes and the much more motivated seller said they would deliver it for us the next day. It is, as he said, VERY heavy, solid oak and hand carved by someone a very long time ago - I'm still trying to identify anything like it to hazard the age of it. They duly turned up and after a lot of struggling and sweating it's now happily installed in the kitchen as if it's always been there and always will be there, unlike something made of ply and plastic...

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