Something I didn’t expect when going zero waste is how much abundance I would find. By not visiting traditional retailers, I’m free from traditional pricing and I can get a lot more for my money. Corporations are so rigid and strict, but people are turning out to be very generous.
This last week, one of our neighbors shared some free pine mulch with the neighborhood. We were able to cover half of our backyard and completely transform it. I’m sure once it decomposes, that side of the lawn might actually stand a chance of growing some grass. There was also a hole in the back corner of the yard. Another kind neighbor gave us some free dirt and helped us load it into the car so we were able to fill it in and level it. Now I’m thinking we should pave it and create a nice patio. Rather than go to home depot, I’m going to keep an eye out for some free bricks.
We’re meeting a lot of nice people.
Another one of our neighbors is moving and practically gave us an awesome fire pit for $50. We would have never been able to afford it, much less get that thing in the car, but luckily it was just a couple blocks down.
It’s amazing to me how well it’s all working out AND it’s zero waste.
While looking for free dirt on Craigslist, we also surreptitiously came across two oak shelves and three cabinets while we were driving by a dumpster. I had been looking for some shelves to organize our garage but all I could find were cheap plastic ones or Billy bookcases whose shelves inevitably bow and break. I couldn’t believe my luck. Here were two solid wood shelves in a timeless design that someone was going to just throw away. Crazy.
We also went to Michaels and Orchard to pick up some odds and ends and it was a weird contrast. We paid $17 for a block of wood to fix our table and it was wrapped in plastic. I’m thinking I’ll end up taking it back.
It reminded me of the weeks right after we moved. We spent an absurd amount of money on odd things we “needed” for the house. I had to slow down our projects because we were spending so much money in such a short time. Since we decided to reduce waste there was a brief period where we bought some high quality replacements that were a little pricey, but now, we’re starting to reap the benefits of the lifestyle.
Our projects are moving along much faster than before and we’re spending a fraction of what we would spend if we obtained it through traditional means. It’s incredible how many resources are available that I used to overlook.
The added benefit is that it makes the lifestyle change sustainable. Why would I go back to the old way of doing things if this way requires less effort and money and is more enjoyable?
May 30, 2016