Reduce Reuse Recycle & Waste

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I am a major advocate for reduce and reuse. I recycle what I have reused so many times it no longer serves, and often I find creative solutions to turning waste into a usable resource. Like my most recent post about making paper. However, there are times that it is simply time to surrender and move on. I spent my last week engulfed in a project which generated a large amount of non-recyclable waste, but was well worth the sacrifice given the improved health standards of my home space. What I am referring to is the carpets which now lay in rolls in my yard. Unless a more feasible solution occurs, this filthy-moldy, fifty year-old carpet is on its way to the dump. So why, you may ask, am I writing about this on an Eco tutorial post? Well, we all have moments in the Western cultural reality, when enough is enough. I generate about a plastic grocery bags worth of trash every two weeks. I want to breach the topic of living a lifestyle with a minimal footprint and when to call it quits on on the Richter scale of reduce, reuse and recycle. After-all, even the landfill breaks down into compost (which is why I periodically slip some organic compostable ingredients into the trash, in hopes it will help breakdown the masses of trash consumable culture produces).

 

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This is the first section of ancient green carpet floor I pulled up in my circa 1940s home. The pink stuff is a type of rubber which predates the matting placed beneath carpet in modern construction. This rubber was completely deteriorated and had to be removed with shovels in piles of pink dust. I wore a dust mask.

 

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Then I removed the tack strips and staples from the particle boards. After the final vacuuming the house felt really clean. I could finally breath with confidence. But what to do with no financial budget for flooring? The most economical choice I determined was to reduce my consumption and cost by painting the floor boards with primer followed by a low VOC latex paint. Then adding three final (thin) coats of Poly Urethane finish. This entire process took about four days but it is well worth it. I feel good about my choice to waste this moldy carpet now that I found a way to reduce my need for additional environmentally effecting materials like laminate or hardwood flooring.

 

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In what ways do you reduce, reuse and recycle in your home?

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