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You know you are a "reuse everything" person when....

 
master pollinator
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... when you find corroding alkaline batteries in an old package from electronics (never knew they were in there), test them for voltage, and scheme for ways to use the good ones (without wrecking your gear) before they go to recycling. Scrap aluminum foil and scotch tape perhaps?
 
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Below are some ideas on how to 're-use' our plastic trash!
I eat many of the Food Bowls types of meals as they are very quick to heat and eat - with no left overs! I'll show you what can be done with the plastics. Oh, and some of my cat foods come in plastic cups also.

Photo #1   Is just the bowl only from the frozen meals. These make great painting helpers when using a brush to paint. They are also great for sitting under your drainable planters to catch water from running all over your furniture and they look nice doing that job. Literally hundreds of other uses could be found for these - like making great organizers of different sorts.

Photo #2    Shows the 'strainer basket' that come in many of the bowls. These could be used for coarse strainers when pouring various liquids. I'll show you other uses below.

Photo #3    Shows the inverted bowl - which can be used as temporary  covers for the seedlings you plant - even out in the garden, but, you must watch carefully as the sun could burn tender shoots.

Photo #4    Shows the size of the basket as compared to the quarter sitting in it.

Photo #5    Shows the center cutout from the basket. These can make various temporary drain covers. The can also be used in canning to hold your veggies under the liquid in the jars. This photo shows a slit cut into the circle so that you can better FIT it into your jars.  I used a wide mouth ring to size this one and it is still a bit too large to work nicely inside the jar.

Photo #6    Shows the cups that some of my cat food comes in. I have a friend that hatches Monarch Butterfly eggs and she really appreciated a batch of these cups, especially the see through items. Some are solid colors that you cannot see through. I also donated a large batch to a cousin who teaches elementary classes for the students to use in their art classes for paint. They wash out great with very little sticky paint remaining when washed.

Photo # 7     Just shows the size of the cups as compared to the size of a quarter.

SO, PEOPLE, I challenge YOU to think about ways that your plastics in particular can be re-used, re-purposed, or other wise used to keep them out of the garbage bin. Think about WHO ELSE other than YOU might be able to adapt some plastic cup, dish, utensil, etc. to another purpose.
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..you have more pallets than money!
F21839EE-AC96-434C-BF8F-06D383F971DE.jpeg
[Thumbnail for F21839EE-AC96-434C-BF8F-06D383F971DE.jpeg]
 
pollinator
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Ted Abbey wrote:..you have more pallets than money!



Me too.  I've got stacks of pallets that I mean to do something with.  Someday.  When I have time.
 
steward & bricolagier
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Jesse Glessner: Your Picture number 4



If those are the type I think they are, I dig them out of the trash and they fit neatly over a #10 metal can or a plastic Folger's coffee can. Make good strainers!

Edit: and thinking about it, they should fit the tall smooth plastic gallon bottles that the cheap store brand vinegar comes in. Those are the same size as #10 cans, the bottles slide perfectly into a can.
 
Pearl Sutton
steward & bricolagier
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...when you will "unknit" a chunk of damaged chain link fence to use the zig zag wires for plant supports.

Do you know how hard it is to unknit damaged chain link? My mom was holding the other end stable as I unbraided it, she says there's no way she could have, or would have, done that.
I just took it as par for the course. I dragged back dead chain link knowing I could use it like this.

I have an arbor made of cattle panel on it's edge, on T posts, so about 4 foot high vertical wall. The purple beans I planted on it are at the top, starting to snarl each other up. I am putting the zig zag wire so it goes up off the cattle panel, and bending it a bit so the beans will hang where they are easiest to pic from the adjacent path.

Just had to unknit it first....
:D
 
gardener
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You know you are a "reuse everything" person when...

  • It feels a bit weird, but you re-use dryer lint and the hair off your brush as fire starter (stuffed in empty toilet paper rolls.)
  • you keep old washed bread bags in the same drawer as your Ziploc bags
  • your husband has finally given up in trying you to get to throw out the two shelf-full of glass jars
  • you try to throw away your old underwear and socks but then take them out of the garbage because you feel guilty
  • you get a rush of adrenaline when you think of (or read) a new purpose for something you no longer use. Your mind was absolute buzzing when you devoured this thread


  •  
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    The handle of a good quality bucket broke. i wasn't going to trash the bucket, but it was awkward carrying when full. My inspiration often comes at night.  I have a pile of scrap to be recycled. I had removed the wire handle from a broken bucket, and still had it. With a drill, a saw and a bit of jigery pokery, I now have a bucket with a handle. And feel very pleased with myself.
     
    Ted Abbey
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    .. when you pull discarded wheelbarrows out of the dump for spare parts!
    746D7523-FE0A-4DAC-B77E-E2A6F4E4B080.jpeg
    [Thumbnail for 746D7523-FE0A-4DAC-B77E-E2A6F4E4B080.jpeg]
     
    pollinator
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    Ted Abbey wrote:.. when you pull discarded wheelbarrows out of the dump for spare parts!


    Coincidentally, three days ago a neighbour woman brought over a junkyard wheelbarrow (contractor's style) to upgrade, for which she'd taken certain parts from another barrow. She wants help disassembling certain things on the better one, so it can be fitted with the good stuff. It's in the works right now, I've got rust-buster spray on four bolts, plus a plan for reinforcing the frame. Worth doing.
     
    steward
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    ... when you save your (and friends) food scraps when out so that you can put them in the compost bin when you get home :)
    (Just feels so wrong NOT to do this - even if they think i'm weird!)

    PS. Paul's new Youtube video has an excerpt from Tim Barker talking about reusing materials and project planning. He has some interesting insights that might be of use here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-TMONVWAHME
     
    pollinator
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    I've been teaching my 11 year old grand daughter woodworking.  This is a jewelry box we are working on.  It's about 10inch by 10inch by 3 1/2 inch.  I'll tell and show her what to do, then have her practice a few times on scrap wood before doing that particular task on the actual project.  She cut the wood, cut the finger joints, cut the dados for the lid and base, chiseled the hinge mortises, did the glue-up, and most of the sanding.  I taught her how to make her own wood filler to match the wood of the project.  She picked the stain color and stained the wood.  The only part I've done is drill the holes for the hinge screws, put in the hinge screws, and about 1/4 of the sanding.  We still need to put on a final coat of finish, add a latch and add the lining to the interior.
    Why is it in this thread?
    All the wood was scrounged or left over from another project.  The stain and finish were scrounged thus free.  The fabric lining will be from old clothes.
    We could have used hinges I already had.  But, they were too big and bulky for a 6th grade girls jewelry box.
    B-B1.jpg
    [Thumbnail for B-B1.jpg]
    b-b2.jpg
    close up of finger joint
    close up of finger joint
    b-b3.jpg
    interior still needs fabric lining
    interior still needs fabric lining
     
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    you rake up deciduous leaves on the street before the council removes and disposes them. I add these dried brown leaves into my various composting systems once shredded and also turn street leaves into leaf mould compost. Leaf mould is one of my favourite soil amendments to make and can be used in so many different ways - as a moisture retentive mulch, as a replacement for coconut coir and peat moss in homemade potting mixes, as a carbon-rich bedding material in worm farms and you can even brew it into KNF leaf mould tea.
     
    Posts: 22
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    I know I am a reuse everything person because I
    - save used tissues (from fast food restaurants) and use it to wipe down dirty dishes or cat upchuck before it goes to compost
    - keep fabric scraps and threads and stuff them into old holey socks to make  yoga helpers (for cushioning my ankles when I sit cross legged while meditating
    - use thread from ripped out old jeans / other garments and stitch sashiko style on plain tops... the more colourful, the better
    - cut up old terry towel which is almost bald for wash cloths for the dishes... wash cloths beat sponge any day in getting the dishes clean AND they are super easy to clean. Just toss them into hot water and swish and squish a few times . Hang out to dry
    - use the cooking oil coating  the emptied plastic bag on my face as a temporary moisturiser...
    - the juice left from a freshly cut tomato as a face mask,
    - the last 2 drops of lemon juice as one days' deodorant,
    - the skin of apples instead of tea leaves to make apple tea /apple cider vinegar,
    - the skins of banana go in banana cake,  
    -bucket wash my clothes (its hot where I live so my clothes are thin cotton mostly) without soap , and use the water to add bulk to a flush when getting rid of kitty-do
    It makes me happy. All this.
     
    gardener
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    I recently took a young person on a dumpster diving tour.
    We hardly took anything, but I think it was worth the investment in their education.

    I like to hold my pee till I get home so I can deposit it in my yard.
    This is very satisfying.

    I keep chewed on bones to make bone broth, and use them afterwards as bone meal.

    My friends and family ask me were to find things for free.

    When I dig and find roots, I set them on the charcoal making pile.
    When I find stones I add them to the masonry pile.
    When I find grubs I give them to my chickens.
    When I find worms I add them to my raised beds.

    I often visit the Cincinnati Recycling  and Reuse Hub.
    I never bring anything there...

    Many of my projects are made from other previous projects.

    My favorite thing to get at Starbucks is, you guessed it, coffee grounds.

    My motorized sewer snake is made from the parts of 3 discarded machines.

    Most of my tomato supports are made from grape vines, a few of them are made from bindweed.

    I have stolen locust tree detritus from my neighbors lawn.
    I have stolen willow trees from the edges of an abandoned parking lot, and I intend to go back for more.

    I have collected my fingernail trimmings to add to my compost pile..


     
    Roshni Chandy
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    William Bronson wrote:I recently took a young person on a dumpster diving tour.
    We hardly took anything, but I think it was worth the investment in their education.

    I like to hold my pee till I get home so I can deposit it in my yard.
    This is very satisfying.

    I keep chewed on bones to make bone broth, and use them afterwards as bone meal.

    My friends and family ask me were to find things for free.

    When I dig and find roots, I set them on the charcoal making pile.
    M
    When I find stones I add them to the masonry pile.


    When I find grubs I give them to my chickens.
    When I find worms I add them to my raised beds.
    I often visit the Cincinnati Recycling  and Reuse Hub.
    I never bring anything there...

    Many of my projects are made from other previous projects.

    My favorite thing to get at Starbucks is, you guessed it, coffee grounds.

    My motorized sewer snake is made from the parts of 3 discarded machines.

    Most of my tomato supports are made from grape vines, a few of them are made from bindweed.

    I have stolen locust tree detritus from my neighbors lawn.
    I have stolen willow trees from the edges of an abandoned parking lot, and I intend to go back for more.

    I have collected my fingernail trimmings to add to my compost pile..



    I love these ideas. It makes me smile that you never bring anything to the recycling tip 😉 My son deposits pee on our terrace plants !!! I've stolen seeds for plants too, from Neighbours yards. My plot is full of stones. I never thought to do sorting as I go about planting. Super. Oh I also compost cat hair and vacuum cleaner "output".
     
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    Ruth Meyers wrote:

    Judith Browning wrote:
    When I recently sold my floor loom I still had odds and ends of equipment...I broke down the warping frame (wooden pegs set into  one by four's and very aged) and now have part of it for towels in the kitchen and the rest as a coat rack in the back room...



    I did something similar.  The side panel of an out of date baby crib is mounted on a kitchen wall with IKEA "S" hooks holding all my small necessities.


    The side panel of my out of date baby crib rests on top of and spans the gap between my laundry cabinets and the top inside frame of the bifold doors.  Add a few coat hangers and it makes an incredibly convenient hanging rack for clothes just out of the dryer that I don't want wrinkled. [yes, yes, I know....dryer....but I do reuse the hot moist air from the dryer by diverting it to mix with room air during our very dry cold winters.  Why heat the outdoors when I really appreciate the warm humid air in the house?]
     
    Roshni Chandy
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    To add to my earlier thread...
    When you carry your own takeaway containers in the back seat of your car so leftovers anywhere don't have to be packed in single use plastic
    When you neatly hem squares of old tee shirts and use them instead of tissues and you gift them to friends when they reach for a tissue in the coffee shop. (I keep spares for this) ...and I tell them i hand sewed the edges so they hopefully will reuse them
    You pick up plastic cable off cuts and repurpose them into jewelry
    Do patchwork and quilt and have several UFOs* made up of old garments
    You compost dust
    You shred paper and use it as mulch
    You gracefully accept cast offs from friends and add pizzaz to it by wearing aforesaid plastic cable jewelry.
    You cannot even think of living your life any other way
    And you're blissfully happy doing it
    And inside (deep inside) you just KNOW everyone else has a lot of catching up to do
    ☮️&❤️
     
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    I would not be a bit embarrassed to dig through my own trash for reusables or recyclables.  Who's to know but me (and anyone reading this) anyway.  But, I must admit, when cleaning up after a public event, I do the same thing because even if you put out a bin labeled "Recycle" people still throw good stuff in the trash.  I also go through all the trash cans on my once a week volunteer gig at our local arts council.  The amount of reusable office paper, paper clips, and whatnot is amazing.  I get tons of junk mail, mainly asking me for money and including a handy reply envelope.  So, I open them all, even if I know I am not going to contribute, I take out the reply envelopes and use them for all kinds of things-- seeds for next year's garden included.  So, if you need any envelopes, I'm your gal.
     
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    My folks grew up in the depression and I feel like I did too. It's not something you think about, it's a mind set. It's the way your brain has been programed. I don't specifically look at something and say how can I use this. I see something and my brain, without my thinking about it, analysis it and says hay, you can use that for....  

    I guess it's genetic, when my son was 3 years old I was making dinner and threw a container away. Before it hit the bottom of the can he dove in after it. He then announced "I have a project for that "
     
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    William Bronson wrote:
    I like to hold my pee till I get home so I can deposit it in my yard.
    This is very satisfying.



    When I was hospitalized for my first heart attack, the nurses brought me
    a container to pee in.

    Ever since then I prefer to pee into a milk/yogurt bottle than a urinal.
    It just seems more hygienic than a splattering urinal. Nobody ever
    seems to invent a splatter free urinal.

    We are all allocated a mailbox in the company. Most are 1ft x 1ft x 1ft.

    Yes, you guessed it right. I keep bottles of pee there until I go home.

    Since I retired, I sometimes bring a bottle in my sling bag. I cut off the
    top of a PET soda bottle and slide this in - you never know if an accident
    will happen.
     
    Posts: 255
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    When you don't just turn those nasty Amazon plastic bubble sacks into dog poo mittens for scooping up the sloppy ones,
    and re-wash zip lock bags until they need taping
    then use tyvek red tape and the patch zip lock bags once final time and relegate them from the kitchen to use them for storing seasonal items,
    and patch garbage bags before using them one more time,

    But you are also stopping by the roadside to rescue
    someone else's
    broken parasol
    so you can throw it on the 1991 corolla you call the carTruck (because the back seats have been stored for years) which uses less gas than the pickup
    In order that you can use the parasol for shading 50 more foraged wild garlic that will get transplanted next spring and will need shading until fall

    See I knew I found my home here at permies and now I have proof among fellow ocd souls who dont want to fill the land fill sites

    I also do this thing where I try to design anything and everything as stacking functions like the dog cage gazebo is on the deck and has extra outdoor items hanging higher than peeing level
    And is reinforced with quarter inch mesh so I can also use it as overflow to keep the few young purebred (stupid) giant runt pigeons in for 6 weeks at a time

    Or build in phase 1 2 3

    At times I have to remind myself to just go ahead and build and forget about its future multifunction

    So I love reading about stacking functions like pathways between swales
    It is like having found heaven on earth
     
    gardener
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    broken umbrellas are some of my favorite things. I use the hardware for stakes in the garden and the fabric to make mostly-waterproof tarps to throw over stuff on my back porch so the drips (rainy season, no matter how good the roof is there will be drips) and lizard crap don't get to be too much.
     
    Ra Kenworth
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    Tereza Okava wrote:broken umbrellas are some of my favorite things. I use the hardware for stakes in the garden and the fabric to make mostly-waterproof tarps to throw over stuff on my back porch so the drips (rainy season, no matter how good the roof is there will be drips) and lizard crap don't get to be too much.



    Yes I do that too!
    The ones with slim metal shafts fit nicely through the skinny bars of hamster cages I roadside score once the plastic tray has broken.
    The skinny umbrella bars make great perches for pigeon chicks I bring out at 4 weeks if they haven't started feeding. The perched encourage them to perch and start using those wings and strengthen their ankles while the skinny bars of a hamster cage keep chipmunks from getting in the cage and stealing the safflower and canary seed and cut up slugs and other goodies the rest of the pigeons don't have access to.

    I scored 4 last week from a pub. One I actually fixed for us.

    I use the huge ones to stop frost from catching cherry tomatoes in fall

    I think umbrellas are my favorite too. Even my other half will allow me to stop and pick those up. I wonder if they have broken umbrellas in heaven
     
    Ra Kenworth
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    Madeleine Innocent wrote:The handle of a good quality bucket broke. i wasn't going to trash the bucket, but it was awkward carrying when full. My inspiration often comes at night.  I have a pile of scrap to be recycled. I had removed the wire handle from a broken bucket, and still had it. With a drill, a saw and a bit of jigery pokery, I now have a bucket with a handle. And feel very pleased with myself.



    I have a bucket handle hanging tree ;-)
     
    Ra Kenworth
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    Jesse Glessner wrote:

    Photo #6    Shows the cups that some of my cat food comes in. I have a friend that hatches Monarch Butterfly eggs and she really appreciated a batch of these cups, especially the see through items. Some are solid colors that you cannot see through. I also donated a large batch to a cousin who teaches elementary classes for the students to use in their art classes for paint. They wash out great with very little sticky paint remaining when washed.
    .



    I really want to know more about helping Monarch eggs along!
    They come almost every year but this year all I got was one tragically early but usually they come for my echinacea planted all over the tile bed. Ours are really shy but a half hours drive away there is a dirt road with so many roadside wild cherry that they are being squashed all over the road -- I wish they would close down the road. I would go there looking for eggs because our stand of weed they liked was successful the one year it was used so I would import eggs from a place they are at risk

    By the way those trays look good for sprouting!
     
    Lif Strand
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    Saralee Couchoud wrote:My folks grew up in the depression and I feel like I did too. It's not something you think about, it's a mind set. It's the way your brain has been programed. I don't specifically look at something and say how can I use this. I see something and my brain, without my thinking about it, analysis it and says hay, you can use that for....  

    I guess it's genetic, when my son was 3 years old I was making dinner and threw a container away. Before it hit the bottom of the can he dove in after it. He then announced "I have a project for that "



    My parents grew up in the depression. I think they went the other way--not into reuse at all because they were into consumerism. But I somehow skipped my parents' generation and I've got the reuse mindset. I don't take anything to be commercially recycled because we live in such a rural area that there is no recycling point within 75 miles or so, in a town I rarely go to otherwise.

    One issue is storing all the good stuff that you'll likely want to repurpose. Without a great storage system it's all trash. I'm guilty of having a system that only I understand and if anything is moved I'll never find it again (or at least not when I want to use it).
     
    Ra Kenworth
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    Saralee Couchoud wrote:My folks grew up in the depression and I feel like I did too. It's not something you think about, it's a mind set. It's the way your brain has been programed. I don't specifically look at something and say how can I use this. I see something and my brain, without my thinking about it, analysis it and says hay, you can use that for....  

    I guess it's genetic, when my son was 3 years old I was making dinner and threw a container away. Before it hit the bottom of the can he dove in after it. He then announced "I have a project for that "



    You may have something there: it has been discovered that scientists can turn on a PTSD gene in fruit flies for 10 generations the descendants always raised apart from parents, so why not a reuse gene!

    What a wonderful son -- mine does the opposite and throws out stuff he needs maybe I traumatized him with my OCD
    My parents were born in 1936 and 1938 England and grew up with rationing which didn't stop for years after the war
    Part of my education involved making meals out of bones which these days my old bones appreciate even more. I spent weeks eating from moose broth off free bones, dog food for 3 weeks while I am visiting my son in Nunavut and I brought moose broth peas and beans along with green tomatoes and Swiss Chard cut at 4am last Wednesday, rather than bring clothes -- I do have clothes that stay with my son because I am a half time resident right now. (While I am here I get a cell signal and hydro and limitless hot water with yucky chlorine but hay dandelions grow here!
     
    Ra Kenworth
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    Ted Abbey wrote:.. when you pull discarded wheelbarrows out of the dump for spare parts!



    Me and a few neighbors all do this: I thought it was an indication of intelligence;-)

    My favorite wheelbarrow was a rescued repaired 3 wheeler that will hold 5 recycled plastic buckets full of rainwater and can be steered to the far end of the property faster than a repurposed lawnmower tractor pulling a homemade trailer out of an oil tank with a 12v pump can be refueled with gasoline
     
    gardener
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    My front yard is covered with leaves and I want to save some before the wind blows them away. I put straps through the holes of a truck bed liner and pull it there. When i finish raking a section I just move it forward and continue until it's full. It's also efforless to drag on the grass to the backyard where the leaf mold pile will sit. When I need shredded leaves for the garden I bring the mower inside the liner for better leaf recovery.
    20231107_124426.jpg
    Truck bed liner leaf hauler
    Truck bed liner leaf hauler
    20231227_110452.jpg
    Leaves chopped and composted in the truck bed
    Leaves chopped and composted in the truck bed
     
    May Lotito
    gardener
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    I don't understand why they make dolls so busty but the rear sides are always flat. So I add some paddings out of packaging foam to give it a more realistic look. The doll clothes fit better that way too.
    20231217_082327.jpg
    Flat butt
    Flat butt
    20231217_082519.jpg
    After padding
    After padding
     
    pollinator
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    When you pull various shower rods, straight (or crooked) broken broom handles etc out of dumpster for garden poles. and your spouse sighs when you take the garbage out.
     
    steward
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    This showed up on youtube, and I just had to post it on this thread!



    One of the best gifts my husband ever got me was a spatula he salvaged out of the recycling at the dump. We've bought so many spatulas, and none of them flip pancakes or eggs like the one he rescued for me!
     
    Pearl Sutton
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    ....when a good recycle run filled a dishwasher with drying good stuff! (Dishwasher doesn't work, we are good with that, use it for a drying rack. Told the landlord it died and we don't want it fixed.)

    I use all of this for food storage of various sorts.

     

     
    master steward
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    When you salvage all the metal grommets of a dead tarp.
    1. If the edge of the tarp is in good shape, I cut enough of the tarp material that I can sew the grommet to a new tarp either to have closer attachment points, or an attachment point where I need it, or to replace a damaged grommet.
    2. Salvage just the rings if the tarp's totally dead and use them anywhere I might need a fairly light duty ring. It's on my list to make an "outdoor Roman shade", and I will use these ex-grommets for the rings for the ropes to slide through as an example.
     
    Why does your bag say "bombs"? The reason I ask is that my bag says "tiny ads" and it has stuff like this:
    We need your help - Permies server fundraiser
    https://permies.com/wiki/260600/Permies-server-fundraiser
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