How to Improve Your Life With Trash
From the Archives. Originally posted March 6, 2013.
A few weeks ago a tiny piece of metal broke off of the door of our toaster oven. This seemingly insignificant piece prevented the door of the oven from falling open. This once fully functional appliance could no longer be used at all because of one small defect. Many people would have replaced the toaster with a new one and tossed out the now defunct oven into the trash, not me.
After a few weeks of brainstorming and frustration I came up with a plan to fix the faulty part. I used a small “L” shaped piece of wood bolted into the top of the doorframe to hold the door in place. A few minutes of cutting, drilling and sanding and presto, our once landfill-bound toaster oven is now fully functional. Granted it looks a little different and doesn’t work exactly the same but it gets the job done.
Once I finished the repairs, I began to think about all of the things I have either repaired or repurposed around my house:
- Several lights and lamps I re-wired, repainted and replaced broken components.
- A cracked window frame I repurposed into a dry erase board,
- Several shelves and my kitchen table that were built out of recycled shipping palates.
- My window farm, made from recycled wine bottles and plastic parts from used paper rolls.
All of these components could have easily been discarded adding to landfill waste and costing me more money to buy new.
Most of these projects cost me little to no cash because I used “trash” to complete them. In addition to saving money, I gained a sense of accomplishment. I enjoy creating something out of nothing. When I look around my apartment I see much more than cookie cutter IKEA style furniture. I see what I was able to design, build, and repair with my own two hands, something worth more than the sum of its parts.
Have you repaired or repurposed anything that would have been trash? I would love to here about it. Drop me a line and send me a picture or two. I’ll include it in my next blog post and I might even send you a little surprise too! As always thanks for following my work and green on!