Recycling for recreation and entertainment is easy, not just in honor of Earth Day this week, but year round.
Whether it’s people on the hunt at yard sales, or rediscovering the joy of vinyl records and holding an album cover that itself is a forgotten artwork since its manufacture decades ago, picking up bargain books at a library’s used book sale, or finding attire at thrift stores and chains, for growing children’s use for a year or so before they grow out of the wares, everybody can save money and maximize extra life in a durable product.
Here are five ways – besides used musical instruments, a staple in pawn shops, and maybe still found in a classified ad, here and there – that might work great for secondhand and other repeat uses. Also, think about how they’re putting something already made – or maybe something that needs some tweaking or easy repair – back in the rotation for repeat value and more fun again, for new faces.
1. Library sales booked regularly
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Various Horry County Memorial Library branches, such as Surfside Beach, Socastee and Carolina Forest, and the city of Myrtle Beach’s Chapin Memorial Library, have continuing sales of bargain books, from donations and those culled from shelves to make room for other, newer titles.
“The newer buildings were actually designed,” said Clifton Boyer, director of Horry County Memorial Library (www.hcml.org), “for ‘Friends of the Library’ groups to have a book shop in them, so those places keep it going year round.”
Some county branches also have larger scale sales on a regular basis, a vital vehicle for volunteers to raise funds for community library programs. The Friends of the Conway Library, based at 801 Main St., will have its Spring Book Sale, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. May 14, and donations still are sought of gently used books, audio books, CDs, and DVDs for that event. The Little River branch, in back of the Ralph Ellis County Building, has a sale 9 a.m.-noon every second and fourth Friday of the month.
The Friends of the Surfside Beach Library have staged monthly sales – now 4-6 p.m. on the second Wednesday – a long time, even from before Marie Liversedge picked up the torch 15 years ago to carry on in their coordination. A daily sale also continues in a “nook” across from the circulation desk.
Liversedge said, whether a $1 hardcover or 50-cent paperback, fiction exceeds nonfiction in sales, but overall, they each fill their own room, and revenue each month for the Friends of Surfside Library stays consistent. Cookbooks, compact discs, DVDs and jigsaw puzzles always keep their appeal to browsers, and the popularity in other types of books might ebb and flow by season, so “right now, everything on politics is going out the window,” she said.
Money raised from these sales in turn go “toward various projects,” Liversedge said, “anything the library needs.”
2. Music/video that never gets old
Kilgor Trouts Music & More, already into a second decade in downtown Myrtle Beach – now based at 702-D Eighth Ave. N., beside the Myrtle Beach Train Depot, west of Broadway and Oak streets – just celebrated National Record Store Day this past Saturday. Its shelves also include CDs, DVDs and video games. (843-445-2800 or www.kilgortrouts.com).
R&R Collectibles, 3945 Dick Pond Road (S.C. 544), Socastee, in the second plaza west of Big Block Road, boasts a warehouse full of vinyl, so walking in there might claim an hour or two very easily. (843-215-7355).
R&R’s owner, Robert Noles, said even before the business was established 10 year ago, he had been buying up vinyl albums for 20 years, with the impetus from the late Wilbur “Mixin Dixon” Morrison Jr., a famous voice from Myrtle Beach radio.
“He said they would be coming back soon,” said Noles, who has observed a vinyl resurgence “since 2010.”
Noles said he has noticed two generations – ages 18-30 and 40-55 – browsing steadily among the racks, finding discoveries and new musical tastes, and that some of the patrons are “trying to replay what they didn’t used to have.”
He remembered growing up, having put the needle down on records by such trailblazers as Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, the Steve Miller Band, and the late Johnny Cash.
Vinyl also commands a niche among collectibles.
“We sold a lot of Merle Haggard records the week after he passed away,” Noles said.
Reveling in records will roll on in the state capital this weekend, at the ninth annual Greater Columbia Record Fair, noon-5 p.m. Sunday at the Columbia Museum of Art, 1515 Main St., Columbia. More than 30 vendors are planned, and admission is free. (columbiarecordfair.com; reach museum at 803-799-2810 or www.columbiamuseum.org).
3. Clothing and sporting goods bring renewal
Besides the traditional titans in hanging up wares for all ages still plenty good to wear – the colossal charities Palmetto Goodwill (www.palmettogoodwill.net) and Salvation Army (www.salvationarmycarolinas.org/horrycounty/family-stores), each with several outlets across the Grand Strand – two store chains are within a mile of each other, near U.S. 17 and S.C. 544, between Surfside Beach.
Once Upon a Child (843-650-2229), which has babies’ and children’s clothing generally through Size 16, and a variety of toys and books, is on Beaver Run Road, in the same plaza as Walmart, east of S.C. 544.
Plato’s Closet (843-650-5003) is near Lowes Foods, west of S.C. 544, in the area behind Waffle House and Zaxby’s – and a short walk from Kohl’s and Stein Mart – sells mainly teen and young adult fashions, in girls sizes 0 to 20, and guys waist sizes 28 to 40.
Although no Play It Again Sports franchises operate on the Grand Strand, anyone shopping for used equipment as golf clubs – which some local retailers also sell – volleyball knee pads, or bats, gloves and cleats for baseball or softball, can swing by the nearest shops on the next trip out of town: in Wilmington, Mount Pleasant and Columbia (www.playitagainsports.com.)
Youth league bowlers also can check with their host center to see about unclaimed or donated balls. With some easy redrilling/plugging for the finger holes and hand span, that next ball might be the ticket to graduate to that next level and high score. It’s another way to keep recycling rolling.
4. Furniture comes and goes, still a good fit
Finding used furniture and appliances also leads to some great finds, especially at charity sites such as Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Socastee (843-650-8815 or www.habitatmb.org), accessed from 707-Connector Road, off S.C. 707 south of S.C. 544, across from the Horry County Memorial Library Socastee branch.
Of course, antique shops go without saying, for furniture that once looked old in someone else’s home, can add a new air and touch to another’s abode.
5. Hum of everyday electronics, and appliances
Although finding someone who still repairs videocassette recorders in this area has become more rare than seeing a white pelican along our coast, don’t be so quick to discard that heavy duty CD player from the early 1990s or rock-solid DVD player from the start of the 2000s, or that classic Maytag washer and dryer with porcelain on top and in the washer tub, built when products were built for longevity.
A flip through a telephone directory, or a referral from word of mouth, can yield specialists to fix such devices. Also, businesses that sell refurbished appliances are another option. Find someone you trust, and renew your reliability to keep that hum or spin of an engine or machine running like clockwork.
Despite the empty gas tank locally for VCR repair, or the lack of access to affordable – if still made – replacement parts for an electronics wizard, VHS tapes – some of which never have or will come out on DVD – have gotten new leases on life in my pastimes, thanks to a newly acquired, seller refurbished VCR purchased on eBay, and shipped all the way from Montana.
Bargain finds in video tapes still in good condition can bring bountiful movie nights with the family. A newly acquired clamshell clad copy of the movie “Balto” – based on the true story of a Siberian husky who led a mush team across Alaskan tundra to deliver a lifesaving serum – will soon enlighten my eyes for the first time, soothing a curiosity that has swelled for 20 years. Rowan Atkinson’s movie “Bean” let out our laughs last weekend. Not a bad return from some yard-sale finds on a Saturday morning!
Contact STEVE PALISIN at 843-444-1764.