Saturday, December 11, 2010

Creative Re-Using instead of Recycling - Yeah!

Our daughter is returning some wicker furniture today.  I originally bought the set for our living room over 15 years ago.  It was on a summer clearance sale at K Mart and I was desperate for furniture at the time.  Years later, the set went to her when she bought her first house and was desperate for furniture.  The wicker is still in good shape.  It's needed a little glue a couple of times, but that's not bad for something that old.

When I look at my furniture, the best pieces are the oldest ones.  I have a wooden rocking chair that I bought new in 1976.  It doesn't even have a loose joint.  I have a two year old recliner that Bill has repaired twice and now it's sitting crooked again.  I hate that chair.  I'm not convinced that I should donate it, either.  I would hate to pass the aggravation on to anyone else.

A couple years ago we ripped up an old sofa that also wasn't worth donating.  That sofa had been the dog sofa for some time, so it wasn't worth trying to do anything with it.  It took some time, but we ended up with a pile of wood to use in the woodburner, metal to recycle, a pile of very dirty upholstery fabric and the dirty foam cushions.  I tried to wash them with the garden hose and soapy water, left them outside in the rain and sun...and got 'the look' from Bill more than once.  Okay, they had to leave.  It's all about compromise in a marriage, right?  At least it was less bulk in the landfill.  And these days, I'm all about not putting stuff into the landfill.  But I still didn't feel too good about it. 

Some things can be recycled only so many times, like plastic, before you end up with a glop of something toxic or unusable.  Perhaps the better course of action is to not put it in the cycle to begin with (especially plastic).  So save those plastic salad dressing bottles to use when you make a batch of homemade chocolate syrup.  The bottle will be perfect for that.  Then look at recipes for salad dressings, too.  You'll save money, have fresher ingredients without the preservatives and wa-lah!  No more plastic coming and going.

There are tons of possibilities online for fixing up and re-using old furniture, even for the handyman impaired.  Get to Googling and you'll see what I mean.  I have an old dresser that is slated to be a coffee table eventually.  I never liked the thing because of the legs, but cutting the legs really short, or completely off will give it new use. 

It might even look pretty cool with my 'new' wicker furniture that's being delivered today.

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