In the world of re-using stuff, the middle and often neglected member of the reduce, reuse and recycle siblings, there are many sayings.  “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” is an oft repeated cliché.  “Talk about your plenty, talk about your ills. One man gathers what another man spills” (dude…you’re sooo reading that right…I’m am quoting the Grateful Dead) is a good one.  But one of my favourites, from “trash based artist” (how can I get that added to my job description?) Aaron Kramer is, “Trash is the failure of imagination”.

Well, based on some of the imagining I’ve seen by Toronto Western Hospital’s Support Services, I’m ready to become a follower, a TWH-head, if you will.

Take for example TWH Housekeeping’s reuse of empty cleaning solution bottles.  On one hand, they were buying new, never used empty spray bottles for window cleaner.  On the other hand, they were recycling empty bottles from other cleaning products.  Put the two together, add a bit of rinsing and a reused spray nozzle, and once recycled bottles are now getting a second life as spray bottles.  The beauty is in the simplicity…the magic is in the idea.

And take TWH Support Services’ new and stylish meeting room.  Those modern looking glass panels in the wall?  Why yes, they were salvaged during the recent ICU renovation when entrance doors were removed to make room for larger stretchers.  The glass had been sitting in “storage” (aka the pile of stuff that usually sits in some out of the way room for a few years until somebody finds it and, in the name of de-cluttering, throws it out) until a bit of imagination was used.  Creative and trendy…not to mention sustainable and cost saving!

Just another example of sustainability truckin’ along at UHN…what a long, strange trip it’s been.  (Sorry…had to do it.)