This post was written by my lovely wife. -Mike
Lesson 2: Waste Not, Want Not
Once you’ve developed the right mindset, you will start to see the potential for reusing items. An old, worn out backpack can be stripped down for valuable parts such as clips, D-rings, and even zippers. Always see the potential in stuff. Pictured below is a helmet carrier I made for Mike entirely out of an old field pack that was no longer useable.
Like I talked about in part 1, this is a mindset that must be created over time. An easy way to start out is by examining items before throwing them away. Old button down shirt that is stained- save the buttons; worn out camo with holes- store in a bin to use later to patch future ones (more on that in part 3). Clothing is one of the easiest things to use in upcycling, so it’s a good place to start. The goal is to reach a point where you make every little item count. Instead of throwing away that pesky junk mail, try using it as kindling this winter if you have a fire place. You can also save the stuff that is blank on the back and have it on hand for note pads or making grocery lists. If some of it is sized to go through a printer (should you have one), save it to be used for test prints.
Country Crock is a meme because many people for years have reused the containers. While it makes us chuckle, that is yet another easy way to upcycle. Why spend a ton of money on containers, when you can get a $5 plastic tub of ice cream that you will enjoy emptying? Once the tub is old and gets holes in it, no problem, make it into a pot for herbs. The possibilities are endless.
If you have the space, try to set up a shed with everything organized according to material type (I.e. rubber, wood, plastic, fabric). This will make it easy for you when you need to repurpose something. Do not let it become a junk room, since that makes it less likely you will be able to utilize what’s inside. A ledger detailing what you have and where would also be helpful. Organization is key.
Watch for part 3, where we will discuss repairs instead of replacements.
-Mrs. Von Steuben
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Author: Mike VonSteuben
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