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Friday Favorite: Repurposing

April 29th, 2016

I’m a big fan of reusing and repurposing items. I like being able to invest a little bit of time while making something new from something that would be discarded or recycled. Mr Chiots and I have been roasting our own coffee for many years (see here for more about that), it comes in 20lb in cloth bags. When we use up a bag I turn it into a coffee sack towel for the kitchen.
coffee sack towels 1
I love that we produce much less waste by purchasing coffee this way. We go through about 3 pounds of coffee a week, so we get a 20 lb bag every 8 months or so.
coffee sack towels 2
Our green coffee beans come from Sweet Maria’s, which is a fantastic resource if you’re wanting to get into coffee roasting. Just think, you too could be on your way to having coffee sack towels in your kitchen. They make great kitchen towels too!

What are you repurposing in your home or in the garden?

New Lives for Old Items

July 29th, 2010

Whenever I retire an all natural product from the house, I try to find a way to use it in the garden. Cotton clothing and rags get thrown in the compost when they’re too far gone to be of any use. This is one of the reasons I buy all-natural products, then I don’t have to dispose of them in the trash, they can be composted so there’s less waste and they produce humus for the garden. Several years ago I retired our dining room rug. It’s made of 100% sisal and was dyed with vegetable dyes so, I put the rug in the basement, knowing it would come in handy for a garden project some day.

This past week, I decided that it would be a perfect item to use in my watering area. The rain barrels are located on the back of the garage, and I have a watering station there to fill my watering cans. We also have a hose cart hooked up to a pump that allows me to use the rain barrel water with a sprinkler. As you can imagine this area gets a lot of foot traffic since I’m constantly filling watering cans to water all the potted plants. As a result there is no grass growing there, only dirt. I had a small sisal outdoor rug under the spigots, but it wasn’t nearly big enough to cover the area. Whenever it rains all of my watering cans get covered with dirt and the area can get a little muddy.

I finally decided to cut the rug into 4 pieces, each one now being 4′ x 5′. One piece fits perfectly underneath the area and is big enough to allow room for the hose cart and my watering cans. I now don’t have to worry about a muddy mess when it rains. The best part is that I still have 3 more pieces of the rug, so I’ll be able to replace it each year as needed. I love it when I give an item a second life, especially out in the garden! Who knew so many years ago when I purchased this rug for dining room it would eventually make it’s way out into the garden.

Do you ever repurpose or reuse items for garden or outdoor use?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.