Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Scrounging - the Low-Budget DIY Hardware Store

A bit of brainstorming:

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Upcycle

Cheapo Mesquite Hugger who wants to improve the world WITHOUT spending any money

Materialism versus Minimalism versus way too much crap versus way too many unfinished projects

So, let's talk construction dumpsters.

Residential - drawers, 2x4's, and a few ceiling fans
JG's daughter and some neighborhood kids are wanting to build a clubhouse. They are all around 8-11 and they are full of ambition and ideas. These industrious kids came up with an amount of cash they need to build the clubhouse - $150. We have been discussing the clubhouse at work. It's one of those things where I realize how differently I look at the world around us. One guy said, "A hundred and fifty dollars - they're not going to build much with that." Several heads nodded agreement. I was thinking That sounds like $125 too much to me.

Guess where this one is.

That's one tall shadow! (and lots of good lumber)

Another residential - pallets and paneling
Commercial - lots of shelving and display racks
The five sites above are all on my bike ride from home to work. I did not have to go looking for them. When you start looking, you will be amazed at how many you find. People trash a lot of stuff, and a lot of it is very useful stuff. It's not rare to find doors, windows, furniture, appliances, bikes, lawnmowers. If you are into the idea of reduce, reuse, recycle, and upcycle, be watching for construction/remodeling/demolition sites. Me, I try to keep projects in mind and scout while I am out. For example, I need to build some garage shelves soon. I have had my eye out for a few solid-core doors for that project. Sunday afternoon I started building a pallet dog bed (similar to one below) for Condo, our senior greyhound. I have it all cut out, sanded, and ready for home-brewed-coffee stain. So far, I have not spent a penny. Nor have I contributed to a tree being cut down. Also, there is less crap headed to the landfill.
Find it here
 So, let's talk etiquette:
  1. ASK first! We are trying to be responsible stewards - not thieves or gunshot victims. (Remember, I live in Lubbock where two men recently shot each other over a ladle.) If you cannot find anyone to ask (or they tell you no), forget about that one and move on to the next.
  2. BE SUPER CAREFUL! Wear leather gloves and safety glasses. Be mindful of what type of waste you are dealing with: nails, screws, glass - these can all tear you up. Be just as mindful of other types waste that can also be harmful to your health - things like mold and medical waste. Again, it's better to walk away than to risk personal injury.
  3. Leave the place nicer than you found it. Don't scatter stuff around or make a mess. Besides it being the right thing to do, it will also help to make sure that we scroungers stay welcome there.
  4. Show off your new creation or brag about your $ savings - that way we can encourage others to make a dent in our overwhelming waste stream. (Please send pics to the Mesquite Hugger. I love this stuff!)
May you find joy in working toward better!
(To Bella and the Blondies - can't wait to see the clubhouse!)