Someone in my family, who shall remain nameless, is an inveterate scrounger, junk saver, and, yes, even dumpster dives. We live out in the country with a long, lumpy gravel driveway. We don't have a regular garbage pick-up. Seriously, who wants to get up at the crack of dawn, in the dark, and haul heavy trash cans down a long driveway to await collection, and then drag them all the way back up the hill? (p.s. I know we could do it the afternoon before, psheesh...)
So we have exactly the number of thirty-gallon garbage cans (10) that will fit into our blue Ford Econoline van that we continue to own for one purpose and one purpose alone; to haul the garbage to the dump every five or six months. This system works really well with one exception. Mick (my husband, oops, I told) always finds lots of great stuff to bring back from the dump. Actually, I do approve of this. Escape from affluenza!
Speaking of affluenza, remember 'reduce, re-use, recycle'? Now there is another earth-friendly 'r' word; re-purpose. Here is a very fine example of what the word means:
“We realized that there was an excess of this used material being added to landfill and that we could repurpose the material into beautiful and unique bags,” says Eric Groff, national sales manager, Bags and Packs for Keen, in a company press release. “Since it was used to carry heavy bags of rice the material is extremely durable and perfect for everyday use.”
Hurray for sustainable products and the companies that make them!
But the really best thing he ever brought back is this simple, cleverly designed red plywood child's chair: Isn't it ingenious? We liked it so much that I made one out of clay. I love the crusty, lichen-like glaze. (click on the photo to see how yummy it is) Mine is more sculptural than functional (for a child anyway; it's incredibly heavy). I use it as a stand for flowers in a vase, but I'm pretty sure Mick is planning on nabbing it for the garden. Here are a couple of cat dolls from my collection, sitting in a chair on a chair: The maker of these dolls, who lives in Seattle Washington, travels regularly to Japan where she collects fabric, ribbon, feathers, and other small items with which to detail the dolls. Each doll is utterly unique. The dolls have eight or nine different fabrics, including silk, embroidered weaving, and Japanese ikat. I bought these so many years ago that I have forgotten the name of the person who makes them (it's on the tip of my tongue...). I bought them from Twist, but they don't carry them anymore. But I'll bet if you called them, Lauren would remember.