Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Give it One More Use

Some of us just hate to throw things away. We think we can find one more use for that broken object or modify that outdated gizmo to update it somehow. For those of us who are successful at this, there is a sense of satisfaction that cannot be described adequately in words and because of this, we don’t understand why others cannot see what we see.

Recently, I had one of those moments. My wife was updating one of the blinds in one of the bedrooms in our house. The blind was broken, didn’t function correctly and could not be repaired for less than the cost of a new one. Besides that, it was sun-stained and discolored which the intense sunlight here in the desert will do. So, she bought a new one and had my son-in-law install it one day while I was at work.

When I was taking out the trash to the curb that week, I saw it sticking out of the bin. Immediately two things came to mind. First, I was sure there was some salvageable components from this that would save me a couple of bucks somehow. Second, I hope the neighbors aren’t watching me pull junk out of the trash. After a moment of intense mental struggle, the former won out over the latter. I yanked it.

Back in the garage, I salvaged the nylon cord. I now have four pieces of tough cord to tie up vines to trellises. Then, I grabbed my scissors and cut a fistful of the slats. These are about 1” in width, have a good stiffening curve to them and are weather resistant. Satisfied with my salvage operation, I returned the rest to the trash.
The tools of the trade. Scissors, the salvaged blind slat, the ever-necessary Sharpie marker.

I used some of the slats recently to make some great plant markers for my buckets. A couple of strategically-placed snips with the scissors, a quick scribble with the Sharpie marker and voila! Free, weather resistant plant markers.
Strategic snipping and they are ready for the next step. 6" is a good length, longer than most of the ones in the stores.

Not the most I’ve ever saved on a recycle project, but at least I got one more use out of some of that old blind.  You take what you can get. It’s the Stealth Farmer’s way.
Add the name of the variety (in this case an heirloom tomato)...

Small victories are victories nonetheless.

Press it into the soil and there you have it; free, recycled, repurposed, reused.  Gotta love it.


  1. I think Mom would just shake her head and make that tsk-ing sound if she knew you were digging through the trash and pulling stuff out.

    I think it's pretty creative what you do with "junk". You always have what you need because you are able to use your imagination and turn something old into something new.

    Pretty awesome.


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