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Apr 052011

By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now

Recycling is often the first thing that comes to mind when people consider greening their lifestyle. Kicking those cans, and milk jugs and newspapers, to the curb can put a dent in the trash and save natural resources.

But “reducing” and “reusing” also can have a big impact. Reducing packaging, for instance, can circumvent the need for a product altogether. And reusing can result in some elegant re-imaginings that help conserve resources by re-purposing, shifting or extending the lifespan of an item.

And, of course, reusing, by definition, also reduces. That’s what’s so great about it; there’s the joy of discovery as you breathe new life into something that would have otherwise decayed in an attic or landfill, and there’s the fun of discovery and refurbishing.

To check out the latest trends in the world of reuse and reiteration, we visited one of the biggest, if not the biggest, antique and flea markets in the U.S. last week, the Round Top Antiques Fair in Central Texas. What a  vibrant community of horders and artists, collectors and wheeler-dealers, offering an amazing array of old, forgotten or often misunderstood fiddle-faddle.

Let us give you a tour.

No hard sell, and plenty of shade.

We were greeted in the Round Top area by dozens of dealers. Some were saavy antique experts, others might fairly, if not politely, be called junk traders. These wizened shop keepers oversaw tables and tents of collectibles, official antiques and gee-gaws of dubious pedigree. The relaxed atmosphere was broken only by the occasional hyperventilating shopper or testy china and glassware purveyor whose tables teetered on uneven floors.