Missoula Gifts That Encourage Reuse


It’s the most wonderful time of the year…and you still have people left on your shopping list. Why not choose gifts that will help spread the holiday cheer AND widen your circle of eco-influence? A few ideas below:

The Book Exchange: A Missoula institution that perfectly embodies the mission of reuse. Buy a book or ten, and when you’re done, take them back and trade them for new ones. A gift certificate to this spot will go a lot farther than at a big-book store and they’ll be able to use it over and over again. Credit for returned books can be applied to any used paperbacks in the store. Oh and they’ll also get the opportunity to peruse their purchases over a cuppa from Liquid Planet. Aaahhh. Easy peasy.


Garden Plot: Got a friend or relative who wants a garden but doesn’t have the the space? Get them a garden plot at a community garden (you’ll have to make your own IOU certificate). A 15×15 plot runs about $40, and they’ll have all the tools and water they need, right on site. Gardens open in April, and there’s always a friendly garden supervisor or fellow gardener hanging around for advice and chatting. There is nothing so peaceful as a summer evening in a big, happy garden. That vision alone is a welcome gift in a cold Montana winter.


Home ReSource: Know someone who’s handy or crafty? Home ReSource is a building materials reuse center, and a cornucopia of amazing ideas just waiting to happen. You never know what you’ll find there, but you can count on a good selection of cabinets, doors, salvaged lumber and friendly folks. The staff at Home ReSource are awesome, and dedicated to their jobs like you would not believe. Give your friend a gift certificate and a challenge to make something stupendous.

Recycling: What says reuse more than recycling? In Missoula, the options are somewhat limited, but you can spare your sister or uncle the chore of having to schlep their plastic and cardboard out to Pacific Recycling, with a gift of curbside recycling service. i.e. recycling offers weekly curbside pickup at $10-18 depending on your area. Here’s the best part: they take glass AND all plastics #1-7! Those pesky yogurt and cottage cheese containers (and OK, the wine bottles) now have a way to be useful again! There are also curbside options available through Garden City Recycling and Allied Waste.


Like this ‘Reuse It’ blog post by Lisa Hensley? Reuse some of her excellent stories, like How to Make Recycled Gift Wrap and BowsGoing Green Missoula Recycling pageHow to Turn Tin Cans into Decorative Lanterns, or Repurposed Lighting.

   Visit Lisa Hensley’s Reuse It archive.


Lisa Hensley is a mostly-native Montanan, living in Missoula with her husband, two young boys, two cats (boys), one tiny dog (a girl!), and four fish (probably boys). She spent more than 10 years in the marketing and creative field, but is now Director of Household Operations for the Hensley group. When she’s not herding kids or doing laundry, she’s shooting photos, gardening, baking, reading, or taking classes—sometimes all at once. She serves on the Board of Directors for Home ReSource, which fits in nicely with her tendency to repurpose pretty much anything.

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