Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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Everyone is familiar with the 3 R’s. Reduce, Re-use, and Recycle. I try to follow these rules, and teach them to my children at the same time.  My personal favorite of these rules is “Re-use”.

As the handyman of the house, I love nothing more than taking something that has lost its purpose, and finding it a new life.  This often takes place by deconstructing something that no longer works, is no longer needed, or just speaks to me (as happens to all handymen), telling me it would be perfect for whatever thing I may be trying to make.

I use any and all household products I can find (mainly the ones I don’t think my wife will miss). I always have leftover wood in my workshop. So instead of throwing it away, in 15 minutes I can turn it into a nice little shelf. Or maybe it will find its’ new home as an outdoor flower box. Or a shoe rack to keep the ever growing army of assorted footwear in a nice, orderly place.

And anything you can drill a hole in is always a good candidate for becoming a DIY clock. Anything you can’t seem to find a use for, call a friend. You’re bound to find one that has been serching for just what you were looking to get rid of. And you may get a call from one of those friends that have found themselves in the same situation as you. They have something they want to get rid of, and it could be just what YOU were searching for.

Case in point, a recent tree-house predicament , or to be more precise a ” Dad, i got another splinter from the floor in the tree-house” predicament ! I had spent hours and hours building my 2 boys their very own “NO PARENTS ALLOWED”  castle of cool, complete with stairs, windows, shingled roof, and my oldest sons’ personal favorite “Wi-Fi” connection. Surely this was a build for the ages ! However, as was pointed out to me by my youngest boy on the very first day of tree-house life, my list of amenities also happened to include free splinters for anyone choosing to go barefoot on the wooden floors !

So after several splinters, band-aids, and even the occasional teary eye , a solution came to me. Well, given to me to be exact.  A friend who had recently finished a bathroom renovation was left with floor tiles that were destined for the dump. And having been told by my son about his Dads tree-house making his foot bleed ( of course it’s my tree-house when there is tears involved ), he called me with a solution to our problem. Free tiles ! And he even delivered, for free !V__D3A5

In only 2 hours (give or take), we had a floor fit for a king. A tree-house with tiled floors. Certainly this must return me to my status as coolest dad in the world, right ? Not so much.  According to my boys, ” Uncle John fixed the floor Dad, not you. You made it crappy, and he made it un-crappy”. Un- crappy ? Honestly, I’ll take it. I’m sure it may be one of the nicer terms, real or not, that my kids will use  in the years to come.

Long story short, never just throw something away because it no longer does what it was designed to do. Turn it into something new, give it a purpose, and make it your own !

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  1. What a great use for the tiles, we try and succeed most times with RRR

  2. Victoria Ess says:

    These are such great ideas!! It’s wonderful that you’re so creative and crafty!

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