Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Repurpose-Driven Life (#ctww)

This weekend, I lived a better (richer, more fun, less expensive, useful) life in part through repurposing things I had already.

Repurposed bamboo & twine
Our tomatoes have grown to the point at which they need support. Home Depot had plenty of inexpensive options, but I'm trying to be frugal and also to exercise creativity, so I looked around my inventory. With an hour of tinkering, I put together a nice functional frame using several staves of bamboo, the binder twine from last year's hay bales, and lashing technique learned from Mr. Sorenson in Boy Scout Troop 19 so many years ago (Thanks, Mr. Sorenson!)

Squidden dries a week of socks
outdoors as well as indoors!

Sunday we did laundry, and because it was so sunny, we set our drying racks outside. They work much faster in the open air with a gentle breeze blowing. Some day we'll get a regular outside laundry line going, but for the moment, moving our indoor racks outside is fine. Our "Squidden" sock dryer looks ready-made for Hallowe'en!

This week's Change the World Wednesday Challenge is all about reducing or eliminating the use of paper towels and suchlike, but I can't recall the last time I used a paper towel in our home. We have them, but for every purpose (except those involving toxins such as engine oil), a simple cotton cloth is better. They're inexpensive and last a long time; often I have repurposed a worn T-shirt into a cotton rag for many additional uses (See "Favorite T-Shirt Goes On To Another Life"). The only downside to cotton is that it has to be washed, but the volume of cotton napkins & rags we have is insignificant next to the sheets. Drying them in the sun provides an added saving!
 I do sometimes get paper napkins when we order takeout, but it occurs to me that we don't need them; if I tell the cashier to hold the napkins, I'm sure they'd be happy to comply. It's just a question of remembering to minimize or eliminate disposable napkins whenever possible!

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