I’m a natural born scrounger. I’ve always seen opportunity and possibilities in a pile of junk. It’s almost an obsession – my only vice
Even before recycling became fashionable I was out there sifting through piles of junk while friends tried desperately to merge with the landscape and become invisible in order to not be seen with me.
Scrounging for useful junk and recycling that junk into useful stuff is, for me, a key element of being self-sufficient-ish. It’s not just about saving money, it’s also about reducing consumption for sustainability. Why buy new materials when recycled does the job? Saving the embodied energy in discarded products, especially metal objects with their high energy inputs, makes a very significant contribution to sustainability.
An old truck differential/axle assembly and discarded windmill are “re-birthed” as a wind-generator. After a few minor teething troubles this windmill to wind generator conversion went on to perform reliably for several years (at least) until we sold the property.
An old trampoline frame covered with recycled chicken-wire re-birthed as a movable chicken run for young chicks.
Old top-loading washing machine cabinets make great stackable cages for poultry – often the lid will function as the door – hinged and ready to go!
Not shown in the photo is a small door in the chicken wire to enable access to the chicken pen. The pen is amazingly light and can be moved onto fresh ground very easily. Not shown also is the bottom of the washing machine cabinet now covered in recycled chicken-wire. The camera-shy hen and chickens are hiding behind the cage door.
When we bought the property we’re now on the previous owner offered to have the farm’s dump cleaned up; old vehicles and machinery crushed and taken away because he saw it as a possible impediment to the sale. I saw the dump as a resource and insisted, much to the seller’s delight, that the junk MUST stay!
Have you got any recycling or re-birthing success stories or tips? I’d like to hear them and so would other readers.