ReConsumerEYES: In Praise of Handwritten Letters

by Lorne Holden The other day my son pulled open a dusty drawer in our front hall. “What is that?” he asked, pointing to a pile of papers. Zounds! They were love letters from an Italian boyfriend. I hadn't seen them in years and hadn't even remembered that I'd saved them but I paused to give them a long and tender look. At this point, I barely remember the boyfriend and this being so, I was struck not so much by the letters' content but by the simple fact that they were handwritten. They weren't just words, they were his words, this long ago love, written in a way only he could write them. With pen and ink. On paper. After reading a few, I realized perhaps I did remember him. Would I have ever had this experience if I had stumbled upon a batch of old emails? I think not. handwritten letter How far we've come from the simple act of writing each other letters! According to the US Postal Service's annual survey, the average home received a personal letter only once every seven weeks back in 2010. My guess is that number is probably down to 1 or zero by now. There has been a cost to this shift away from handwritten communication. Texts and emails sent in a generic font have brought an anonymity to our communication that zaps the individuality out of written expression. Our messages from the Electric Company often arrive in our email looking the same as true words from someone we love. We need an antidote!



This upcoming Holiday Season, consider writing to the people you love. Yes, writing. Get out that pen, find or make some beautiful paper and send your message in the one way only you truly can – by writing it yourself. Handwritten notes and letters have more power now than ever before, simply because they are so rare. Think of how you feel when you receive a handwritten note, and know that you are creating that warm response in someone else simply by making such a gesture. Sure, sending a handwritten note takes more time. I say: take that time. Whomever you are writing to will know that you took the time and it will be meaningful for them. Write one letter a day. Once you get in the swing and feel how great it feels, the time factor won't be so daunting.

Remember that handwritten messages don't need to be long. (Look below- a postcard from 1906 was addressed on the opposite side and there was only a small space under the photo for a written message.) Even the smallest handful of words written by you and sent from you, can change the day for a beloved recipient. Consider what is at the essence of what you want to say, and simply say it. Words have power. And words sent in your own writing are doubly powerful.Dive in!

Old Postcard


P.S. Don't forget to send your note with a beautiful stamp. There are many available.

Lorne Holden is an artist and author of the bestselling book "MAKE IT HAPPEN in Ten Minutes a Day/The Simple, Lifesaving Method for Getting Things Done" and the creator of LifeBloom - a three week adventure in making things happen.



ReConsumerEYES: Reusing Food Packaging/Lunch

By: Lorne Holden Last year when I was visiting my parents, I saw a shopping list on their kitchen counter. It was written on the triangle of cardboard that you pull out of a Kleenex box in order to get to the tissues. When I asked my Dad about it, he pointed out that my Mother goes through about three boxes of tissues a day, and as such, they have tons these triangles of cardboard in their house. Why not put this cardboard to use?

I became a devotee of my Dad's idea and am now hooked on breaking up the small cardboard boxes that package our groceries. I keep a pile of cardboard pieces on top of my fridge and always use one when I need to make any kind of list. It may seem like a small idea but as we know, even the smallest actions do add up.

cardboard listmakers

This got me thinking: where else can I re-use my packaging? Here are some ideas I've discovered: The long plastic bags that package bread and rice cakes are perfect for storing leeks and scallions.

Leeks in bags

Cans can be reused to store pencils, art supplies, nuts, bolts, screws and hardware of all kinds. Dress 'em up! Take the labels off and cover them with great looking paper.

Cans with Covers 2

  • Glass jars, like the ones that house pickle and tomato sauce, can be used to store your grains or your leftovers. Smaller jars can be used to store sauces and condiments in the fridge. Use Mason jars as drinking glasses.
  • Use a soft cotton cloth to wrap up a sandwich for your child's lunchbox. You'll want to be sure that the sandwich will be eaten within a few hours. Note: be sure to add a cooling element to the lunchbox to prevent spoilage. This can be anything from a little bag of ice cubes to one of the many simple items available in grocery stores today.
  • Vow to use your plastic lunch containers again and again. I find these things often go missing with the same frequency as socks in the dryer. Keep and eye on them so they can be used for a good long while.

Finally, don't miss this great tutorial about how to make a gift box out of a cereal box. It's a winner!

Jav cutting cereal box

Looking at what might seem like trash with fresh, inviting eyes can often inspire a creative adventure. Re-use before you recycle. Every act makes a difference.

shopping list

Lorne Holden is an artist and author of the Amazon Bestseller “MAKE IT HAPPEN in Ten Minutes a Day/The Simple, Lifesaving Method for Getting Things Done.” Her online coaching course “LifeBloom” will start again on November 17. Click here to learn more about it and then sign up for this great experience!.