Recycling is a state of mind as well as a way of life. To our forefathers it was known as 'make do, or do without': broken glass lamps received new wood bases, Staffordshire plates were stapled back together again, old clothes were mended and then mended again. 'Never throw out what you can reuse' is a mantra that came down to us from our own Depression-era parents. Different times, different words, but the intent was the same. Today's motto is 'Reduce, Reuse, Recycle' and antiques are the ultimate in recycling. As they move down through the years, they are handed from owner to owner, generation to generation. By choosing to buy an antique, you've chosen to continue a process that dates back to the time of its creation, possibly hundreds of years earlier. Remember, too, that when you buy an antique, you're not only buying a piece of history, you've now become a part of it.
Antiques add warmth and texture to your home as well as an opportunity to develop your own style. Antiques are also flexible and lend themselves to a variety of uses - put a plant in a stoneware crock or fold a napkin into an old basket to pass warm biscuits around the dinner table. In our own kitchen, we've hung a small 19th C. school slate and use it to write ourselves reminders, thereby cutting down on our use of sticky notes. The blanket box/coffee table in the family room houses our DVDs, a 19th C. wooden berry basket holds our cocktail napkins and desserts are served with early coin silver spoons......the possibilities are endless and the only limit is your imagination.
Owning an antique is also eco-friendly. Unlike a new item whose production creates waste that impacts our air and streams, the energy used to produce an antique was expended years ago. Antique furniture was made from solid wood found in our forests, while new furniture is often made from processed wood products that can give off toxic fumes. And recycling, antiques or otherwise, reduces the amount of waste that is dumped into our landfills.
For its part, Mad River Antiques continues to take steps towards reducing its own impact on our environment:
- Customers' purchases are packed in recyclable paper shopping bags.
- Our exclusive line of greeting cards are tied with cotton string to minimize packaging.
- Empty printer ink cartridges are returned to the store for recycling.
- Environmentally friendly, biodegradable packing peanuts are used for shipping whenever possible. The exception is when we receive packages that are filled with foam packing peanuts - then the peanuts are recycled by using them in future shipments.
We hope that this page will inspire you to take another look at the role of antiques in our lives and will encourage you to unleash your creativity when you see an antique that you love, but don't quite know what to do with when you get it home!