Save it for later

My grandmother was a saver.

When I was growing up, my grandmother, like many of her era, was well-known for saving things. She grew up during the Depression and World War II, and those times left a pretty strong impression on her. Having gone through some pretty lean times, small possessions became more valuable, and Grandma didn’t like to throw anything away, even when she could afford to. She saved greeting cards, paper clips, rubber bands, canisters, cardboard boxes, jars—lots of small items that in today’s throwaway culture we might not think about saving. Some of the stuff she ended up using. The rest of it—well, that’s what the cellar was for.

I’m sure that the Recession has left a considerable impression on many in our country, though probably not quite to the same degree (yet). We still seem to throw away a lot of stuff,  though it does appear that we are holding on longer to our more expensive possessions (e.g., cars).

If one result of the economic turmoil is that we end up buying fewer things and appreciating them more, that would be a good thing. Industry might not agree, but it already produces more stuff than we can buy and keeps trying to sell more to us—on credit.

All that to say, today when I was walking downtown, I saw this and it reminded me of my grandmother. Someone had the idea to make a dress out of used coffee filters. It is an example of saving that even Grandma never would have considered.

The preferred gown for the CoffeeFest Saturday night afterparty

Whether you are a saver or not, I think you can appreciate the effort it took to make the dress. By my estimation, there are about 500 coffee filters in the dress. It was sewn to raise awareness (it worked!) about what happens to all of the coffee filters that are used in this town every day. You can read the description for yourself (click to enlarge).

I’m not suggesting that you start saving your coffee filters to turn them into retro chic clothes (the compost idea sounds like a better use to me—easier, at least), but it might be a good idea to think about what you’re buying beforehand so you don’t just end up throwing a bunch of stuff away.

Or saving it, if you’re like my grandmother.