When in college and later when starting out in the world I enjoyed the ingenuity required by leaving shopping as a last resort, not to mention the fact that I rarely had the money to shop for anything other than the bare necessities. When I wanted or needed something I started by looking to see if I already owned something similar that could do double duty or that could be made over.
If that didn’t work then I would break the desired thing down into it’s basic components and see if I had those items or if they were likely to be acquired soon. For instance, when I decided I wanted a vegetable garden, instead of going out and buying seeds, fertilizer and plant pots (the only outdoor space I had available was a cement patio), I started by saving fruit and vegetable seeds whenever I prepared a meal. I planted the seeds in tin cans I’d washed out and punched holes in for drainage. I had a friend with a compost pile with whom I traded my food scraps (saved in a coffee can) for organic compost fertilizer. Once the seeds were ready to transplant to larger pots I transplanted them into popcorn tins I’d received as Christmas gifts. Before long, without spending a penny I had a thriving garden.
There are many books that will show you how to save money by discovering new uses for old things, however I find that I have to wade through pages and pages of tacky ideas or projects that require that I buy quite a few new items before finding one or two truly use-able ideas; or worse yet, I don’t find out how tacky the end result is until I’ve spent loads of time and a good recyclable item making it.
Tackiness has it’s own rewards though, such as you’ll find many more uses for your recyclables if you have a pair of pinking shears and little to no taste. I, however, am a victim of good taste; somewhere on a level between Martha Stewart and Shabby Chic. I call myself a victim, because sometimes I wish I could be satisfied with less than my own idea of perfection. I love rebirthing unique new items from old unusable ones but it often takes lots of thought, creativity, time and experimentation to discover the tasteful incarnation hidden inside the more obvious distasteful manifestation.
In this blog I’ll share with you the results of years of turning trash into treasures and hopefully spark some new creative thoughts in you. If so, I hope that you will share your discoveries and together we’ll build a blog that will singlehandedly reduce global warming. Okay, maybe that’s a grand goal but we should be able to at least downsize our own trash output.