Inexpensive Wood Pallets and Homemade White Fly Pesticide Recipe

This short series of reports includes news on new uses for inexpensive wood and a recipe for homemade white fly pesticide.

| February/March 1996

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    Pallets: The most inexpensive lumber you'll ever find.

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News briefs on uses for inexpensive wood and a recipe for homemade white fly pesticide.  

Inexpensive Wood Pallets and Homemade White Fly Pesticide Recipe

Pallet Paradise 

They dwell behind loading docks, litter shipping yards, and proliferate in stock rooms around the world. They represent millions of tons of hardwood each year, and have a service life of perhaps a few weeks or months. Each year in the United States alone, there are about 460 million wooden pallets manufactured, over half of which are discarded after the first use. Most people simply don't realize that this otherwise titanic waste could be one of our eases—and certainly least expensive—sources for building lumber.

The wood used for pallets comprises 10 percent of the lumber and 50 percent of the hard wood cut down each year in the United States. It is estimated that the amount of wood used for pallets is equivalent to the amount of wood used in the frames of 300,000 average-size American homes. Although the number produced in most foreign countries does not match U.S. production, pallets made in Africa, Asia, and South America often contain endangered tropical woods, such as mahogany.

A fascinating and informative book entitled, not surprisingly, Fun Projects Using Wooden Pallets, by Don and Peggy Crissey, has come to the rescue. The couple, now from Silsbee, Texas, owned a container business in Fort Myers, Florida, several years ago, where they bought and sold various types of containers with the main purpose of recycling them. One day they found a bunch of decaying wooden pallets inside some ocean cargo containers they had purchased. They recovered enough lumber from the pallets to rebuild their front porch.

After this undertaking, they continued working with wooden pallets in virtually every household construction project. "Discovery consists of looking at the same thing as everyone else and thinking something different;" explains Crissey, offering his favorite quote from Nobel prize winning physician Albert Szent-Gydrgyl.

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