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RePurposing— Our Favorite Way to Zero Waste with Liz and Kim

Updated: Oct 19, 2018

ZERO waste. . . not even close! Mind disturbing how much waste two “environmentally conscious” people can produce. We spent Sept 2018 inspecting containers, lids, and all the wrapper things, that contain the things, that contain the things we consume. (Not to mention the array of tools necessary to open the container that contain the things we consume.) In the end we have changed some of our shopping habits, but the bottom line is that there is still way too much trash going out of our house.

However, don’t throw us off the island just yet. When it comes to zero waste, we are good at one thing. You might even say we excel at it, and that is REPURPOSING. It is a total headache, (mindless consuming of stuff is way easier) but we have gotten good at repurposing, and more often than not, it lands on the side of “worth the effort’.

Our 75% Rule. When we bought our home last summer we set a goal of keeping all “new” (and I use that term VERY loosely) furnishings, improvements, and gardening project at about 75% repurposed materials. In order to do this one becomes intimately related to the world of funk.

I Never Promised You a Worm Garden

OMG, I think we have the loveliest Red Wiggler Worm Garden on the island. Ron Metcalf got us started with our fist big bunch of worms and now we have 1,000s! Proud moment for city girls.

100% Repurposed Materials:

~ Old tub from TIOLI ~ Wood pallets from Sunset ~ Stepping Stones from deconstruction project on Fisherman Bay Rd ~ Wood for the frame and plywood came from a burn pile. Not sure where the gallon glass jug came from but it catches the worm tea from a tube pressed into the existing drain pipe.

Yard Compost with a Touch of Class

Notice the Sage Green front trim pieces connected to the pallets. They allow the plywood fronts to slide in and out for easy access and add a sweet bit of class to our yard compost.

100% Repurposed Materials:

~ Wood pallets from Sunset ~ plywood came from a pile of yard waste we helped clean up ~ scrap trim boards came from Liz & Terri’s project of adding a room for Ashwini.

A Fun Little Project with a Big Payoff:

Home Sweet Home, Making it Our Own

We love our home, and given how challenging reasonably priced housing can be on Lopez we’re super grateful to have purchased Dandy Porter and Ernie Clifton’s place down near Hunter Bay. There are some changes we wanted to make and this was the first. The front door put you directly into the living room and then there was this side room we wanted to use as a big comfortable mud room. So out the windows came and in went some fabulous French doors.

90% Repurposed Materials:

~ French doors and window that replaced the old front door both came from a teardown on Portobello Rd. ~ Hardware from Chris Coiley ~ Weather stripping from Will ~ New header and framing 2X4s purchased from Sunset.

Kim removing the old windows and our all time favorite house guests Brett and Lannie installing the new window. We live in a beautiful Cedar Forest and seeing the trees from every seat in the living room, kitchen and dining room is divine.

This Pull Out Pantry works like a dream.

Some of the kitchen cabinets came out so we needed to create some additional storage.

85% Repurposed Materials

~ Repurposed planks of wood ~ elastic cord from old car roof tie down. ~ purchased the wheels, backing and metal shelving strips from Sunset PS. The glasses are from TIOLI and the wine glasses are from my mom.

Some Great 100% Repurposed Honorable Mentions

100% Gifted

A very well made, perfectly sized island for our kitchen from Dawn (Thank you, thank you!) We’ve added a top with an overhang so people can hang out in the kitchen. We are on the look out for 4 bar stools. Just saying : )

100% Repurposed

It may be hard to see, but our fruit garden is completely covered with a tight mesh that we got from TIOLI. The logs that make up the planter box for the raspberries came from that same deconstruction site on Fisherman Bay Rd.

Spotted at TIOLI

A well made, solid, massage table still in good condition, that might be useful when Lopez Physical Therapy finds their permanent home.

And just so you don’t get discouraged and think change isn’t possible I’d like to point out that until a few years ago, we were two card carrying city girl consumers. The nasty little rumor about America’s gross overconsumption destroying the planet, hadn’t stood a chance against the all clamoring noise of buy, buy, buy.

As Maya Angelou said, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” So we’re thinking we all better be learning really really fast!

Blessing on all you already do, and all you will do. Hugs, thanks for reading,

Kim and Liz


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