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Friday, June 08, 2007

It's not white trash, it's ingenuity.

Although Low Impact week ended yesterday, I wanted to say something about reusing broken items.

We are huge on reusing items here on the homestead. Just a short tour will tell you that. We have a refrigerator that broke down, that is now being used to hold bags of feed to keep the rats out of. We have tire spacers that are used as flower borders. Old cattle fencing trellises tomatoes and grapes. Used pallets are up as wind breaks for future bees, and fragile plant life. A motorcycle packing create is being used for a well house. An old dog run is now a chicken run. A very large, heavy duty wooden crate is now an outside toy box. A wooden dog house and some strange large black and orange plastic slabs, wooden planks and tires are a playground for our goats, {donkey doesn't play well on it}. Motorcycle tie downs are used to keep gates closed. Old tires are used to mark young trees.

There is a plethora of reused items here, and some waiting to be put back into use. In the beginning, your place will look a little white trash, but after good application and time, this will fall into place and look nicer, reducing landfill waste in the process.

P~ has already shown me his white trash ways, what is yours?

Also Crunchy Chicken is holding a contest about low impact week, you might want to check it out.


Anonymous said...

My husband LOVES to use recycled materials. People at work give him their "junk" all time, and make fun of him calling him cheap. But I love that about him. I call it inventiveness. He just designed and built a pull behind tiller for our lawn tractor, and he didn't spend a dime on it!! It was built from 100% recycled materials. He can breathe new life into any old thing and I really appreciate that about him, even if other people make fun of him, I love being married to my frugal mechanic.

Phelan said...

Wonderful! We have the same problem of people always giving us their junk. We have yet to buy a tv or furniture. And the broken items we always find a use for.

Unknown said...

my bathroom fittings - bath, loo, basin - radiators, solid fuel range and kitchen sink and under and over sink cupboards all came from a pub that was being knocked down. i also got small blankets and wall mirrors from there, too. most of my furniture is second-hand, given, odd bits bought, blagged.... the ferret house is an old upturned bucket with a ferret-sized hole in the side
the lads on the traveller site are brilliant at recycling and acquiring odds and sods.

at present i hate not being able to do anything. i can't even crochet as my hook flew away as i was carrying my work from my room to downstairs and will not be found

P~ said...

All Right, I'm out of the closet, I'm a penny pincher!
But in my defense, I grew up watching my dad fix things and never buy new unless he couldn't nurse it along any further, so I guess I was just programmed early to reuse. Since you opened this can of worms Phelan, I guess I'll share my mothers day post where I put up a couple of pictures of my recyled manhole cover firepit, and reused construction material wood hutch. I hope to get a post up this week end as a matter of fact with a bunch of pictures of a tumbling composter that I just finished out of an old pickle barrel.
*I love this stuff.* Great post Phelan, we should all share our frugal ways with pride.

Maggie said...

I grew up on a "white trash" farm using everything out instead of throwing it out. I don't know if I really appreciated it then as I envied the townies with their white picket fences and neatly trimmed grass but it built a solid foundation of reusing and I look back proud of my Father's ingenuity. I think eclectic is a better word to describe the recycled look.

Tim Appleton (Applehead) said...

we have our own piles of "recycled" things around the farm too. I am trying to think what we have...I know I have ued a huge amount of parts that go to the right thing. like we bought an older van same model and have used the parts from it to fix up our van th Steph drives. We use old broken fuel barrels that I cut off the tops and collect the rain water in. but that is really recycling. I can't think of white trash things... if you look around here though with everything piled up we definitly fit into the state we live in.

The Fool said...

It's not white trash up here either. I'm rather a minimalist as I don't gather much. I have an old set of congas as planters...all kinds of recycled art from everything under the sun...and, of course, bungie cords everywhere. Duct tape also seems to be an Alaskan staple. about some photos?

Have a great wekend, Phelan...I'm in the wind again.


Jeff Roberts said...

As it is, my overriding concern is to limit what weed-eating I do, so the yard stays pretty bare of ANYTHING that presents a vertical edge.

I do have a length of left-over 1" electrical conduit staking a tree, and the remains of an entertainment center made some nice shelves in the garage.

At work (printer company) we go through reams and reams of paper and I frequently grab the boxes they came from and use them to organize things out in the garage.

My wife has her business in our upstairs and there's more, um, ingenuity evident up there - broken chairs as printer stands, chairs from the dump she recovered (and re-covered), that sort of thing.

Our chest freezer recently bit the dust, so you've inspired me to try and find a good use for it.

April said...

I bought 2 old wire dog kennels that have no top or bottom that I use for composting...they are awesome and kinda of cute too. I paid $4 for both of them!!!!!

Rhonda Jean said...

dear phelan, here is my confession:
we use an old bathtub as a worm farm;
my husband plumbed up our 20 year old asko front loader washing machine to one of our water tanks and we now wash the dogs blankets on the back verandah;
I plant seedlings in foam boxes and milk cartons;
we brought home an old kitchen sink and attached that to a water tank in the backyard so we can wash vegetables before bringing them into the house.
There is more, but I'm sure you get my drift.

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