The Benefits of Reusing Are Written in Stone and Available in West Roxbury

By Karen Sauer
As published in The West Roxbury Transcript
Thursday, January 21, 2010

The benefits of reusing things go way back.

My daughter gave me a wonderful book called “The Rosetta Stone and the Rebirth of Ancient Egypt,” by John Ray. According to Ray, “The Rosetta Stone lay for centuries in the ruins of its temple … At some point, what remained of it was reused as building material.” How fortunate we are that the Rosetta Stone was eventually reused instead of being buried, destroyed or recycled into gravel!

While West Roxbury Saves Energy advocates strongly for recycling, we recognize that recycling requires energy to collect, process and use the old materials to create new products. On the other hand, no extra energy is required in reusing a product.

If you would like to save energy — and money — by reusing things, you need not go farther than Centre Street, where you will find places to get items repaired, to purchase used items, and to donate or even sell things you are not using anymore.

We all know the saying “as comfortable as an old pair of shoes.” Do you find that your shoes are most comfortable right before they start to fall apart? Their lives can be extended at General Shoe and Luggage Repair at 2043 Centre St., which is owned by Lamech Sebanakitta, who repairs and cleans shoes, briefcases, belts and other leather items.

Instead of throwing out a lamp or small appliance that no longer works properly, consider a trip to Fix Masters at 1751 Centre St., where Joseph Nikulin specializes in repairing these items. He restores antique lamps and also carries a selection of used lamps and small appliances at bargain prices.

When Boomerangs opened at 1870 Centre St. last year, my daughter said, “Finally we have a hip store in West Roxbury!” It’s a fun place to shop for used clothing, housewares, furniture and what-have-you. Prices are low, and proceeds benefit the AIDS Action Committee. If you donate items to Boomerangs, you can take a tax deduction equal to their resale value. It can be difficult to estimate the value of items you are donating, but if you take a look around the store, you’ll get a good idea of resale value.

Just across the street from Boomerangs, at 1879 Centre, is Just As Nice. Owners Luci McPherson and Lisa Rosenberg accept on consignment stylish clothing and accessories no more than 3 years old. And attention ladies of a certain age — there is an entire rack of gently worn Chico’s fashions!

Like to read? Pazzo Books at 1898 Centre St. moved from Roslindale Village to West Roxbury in 2008. Brothers Tom and Brian Nealon sell used, rare and out-of-print books. They also buy books for cash (approximately 25 percent of the book’s resale value). But if you were a real book lover, you’d do better to take a store credit (40 percent of resale value) and browse among their 20,000 titles.

You’ll find the charmingly neo-retro Seek Books at 1747 Centre St. Owner Brad Kinne likes to keep used books circulating, and he offers an eclectic mix of science fiction, fantasy (hey, “Twilight fans,” he has 300 vampire books!), poetry, philosophy, graphic novels and more. Wear an interesting hat on “Hatterday” (a monthly event) and get a 10 percent discount.

All these businesses are conveniently located right on Centre Street. So, dear readers, do yourselves and the environment a favor and think about walking to them! However you get there, shopping locally is good for our community and saves money and energy.

Because the ancients reused the Rosetta Stone, future generations were able to unlock the secrets of a long-gone civilization. Let’s get in the habit of reusing and see how our community benefits!