Aladdin’s Cave of Treasures


Continuing with the recycling theme, yesterday I decided to visit Aladdin’s cave of treasures.

As a teen, with what I thought were my ‘worldly’ ways, I regularly turned my nose up at shopping in charity/thrift stores.  How could I possibly buy something that somebody else had owned let alone use it or wear it?  The mere thought gave me shivers.

This weekend got me thinking about recycling and how simply one can live.   My attitude as I mentioned above was not only naïve but also ignorant.  Never having been ‘loaded’ with money as a teen or in my twenties, (that makes me sound like now I’m in my thirties I am, but that is certainly not the case!) my early lack of financial knowledge and the ability to save was pretty much non-existent.  Thanks to my need to gobble down food like I hadn’t eaten in months, I spent as if my bank account was a money tree and afterwards I had nothing to show for it.  So, my Saturday’s were regularly spent with friends mainly looking forward to lunch as I could stuff down burgers and fries and goodness knows what else.

As I got older and I lived on my own, money got tighter to the point where my outgoings, i.e. rent and bills exceeded my income, surely that would have been the perfect time to invest in rummaging around in charity shops.  But no, my pride superseded common sense. It is only over the last six years that I have developed an adoration of charity shops.  My mum has the knack for finding absolute treasures and it was she who unknowingly encouraged my love of recycling.

One of things I love about charity stores is the fact that you can find things that you just can’t find in high street stores and if I have, they’re ridiculously expensive.  I have been on the lookout for vintage tins, such as biscuit or cake tins for storage.  When I reached the section where they were, a little wave of excitement washed over me, I felt like I had just won the lottery.  Probably about now you’re wondering how anyone could get so excited about tins.

I’ll give you some background about the inside joke.  When my sister and I were younger, each Christmas we would receive a box and tin of some sort.  We always looked at each other with fixed smiles when we opened these as we knew we could add these to our already vast collection. We collected a bunch of stuff as kids so they were actually very handy to store things in but at the time we would sigh at the thought of another tin to fill.

As we got older we stopped getting the tins and we gave many away as we moved on to our adult lives.  My mum always said that we would end up loving tins and baskets but we vigorously shook our heads with a definite “No!” However, I now hold my hands up and confess her premonition rang true as I too have been sucked in to the tin and basket addiction.

Joyfully, once found, these items went in to my basket (the store’s basket, not one for me to buy sadly!)

Some may call me tight, some may have the attitude I did when I was younger, some may not understand the concept of buying from a charity shop when you can get things new but everything bought second hand is recycling.  Not only that, but buying at the Goodwill in particular, for every dollar spent eighty seven cents goes back into the community to help people find jobs.  In 2014 this enabled 9,400 people to become employed.  I am a massive advocate of recycling and if I could I would recycle far more.

Even if you wouldn’t buy at a charity shop yourself, if you’re having a good old sort through of the belongings you don’t want, before you send them to the landfill take a minute to think how many jobs you could provide by donating your items.

As always, every little thought and action can make such an enormous difference to someone else, even if it’s only me rummaging around for more baskets and tins!


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