When it No Longer Works, Use it for Something Else

| 7/10/2013 2:28:00 PM

Tags: reuse, upcycling, living off the grid, Ed Essex,

We talk a lot about recycling. In most cases that means turning something in to be demolished and made into another product, but what about reusing a product for something else?

Living off-grid has helped make Laurie and me more aware of what we purchase and how we dispose of those items that have outlived their usefulness. There is no recycle program (to speak of) where we live due to a low population density and the distances that the recycle haulers have to go to service our community. It just isn’t cost-effective.

One of the ways we’ve learned to reduce our trash is to reuse an item or change the use of the item. If it no longer works for one thing, change the use to something else.satellite bird bath

We had a TV satellite dish installed for our RV for six months while we were building our house. When we placed the order for the service to switch over to our new home, we expected the workers would just move the dish from the RV location to the house. Nope, no way. They insisted on a new dish for the house. It was their policy and nothing I could say would change it, so we ended up with an extra dish lying around doing nothing.

I took the dish apart, reassembled it in a horizontal position and turned it into a birdbath. Our tweety friends just love it. All you have to do is add water.

This spring I assembled a plastic birdbath for my mother. She had received it as a gift for Mother’s Day. When I screwed the top onto the pedestal it broke. Not my birdbath— solid steel and aluminum with powder coat paint. It should last for years. 

7/11/2013 4:13:02 PM


Thank you for the comment and tips!


7/11/2013 1:27:23 PM

Wow, what a great use for a satellite dish! Would've never thought of that one. We do, however, tack old feedbags to the outsides of the cages we put our broody hens and eggs in. Seems to help keep the girls focused on their job of setting. We also picked up some 4x4-foot super-sturdy, painted commercial shelving units for $5 each, laid them flat, and filled them with humus for herbs. Love the stock-tank planter, by the way!

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