Something Found and Something Made

Reusable finds and recycling DIY (with those items found or others)
Feb 23, 2010 1:02 PM ET

Something Found and Something Made

Reusable finds and recycling DIY (with those items found or others)

Ever since childhood this has been a part of me; the taking home with me of things found (that have been lost or even discarded by others) that might be useful in themselves as they are or if broken that could be repaired or that could be made into something else. I just hate seeing things go to waste and into the waste stream that do not have to.

If one but has one's eyes open without even specifically looking for items in dumpsters, for instance, one will be amazed how much useful stuff is being lost or thrown out.

I certainly am amazed at a more or less daily basis, even though, by now, I should have really gotten used to it and it should no longer really surprise me at my age, I guess, but it still does.

Time and again I still am being surprised as to what the ordinary punter will throw into a park's litter bin, for instance.

Only the other day I found two brand new Duracell AAA batteries, still in their package of originally four, thrown away. Whoever dumped them obviously only needed two batteries at the time but bought a 4-pack, as that is often the only way to purchase them, and then could not be bothered to take the other two with him. Why, one can only ask in amazement.

I do not really complain as this gave me two more batteries and two new ones that I do not have to pay for. Just the fact of them having been tossed is what got to me.

In my experience keeping the eyes wide open is definitely advantageous at times for people are careless with their stuff and even money and they also often throw stuff simply away because it was cheap or because they got a new one.

As a society, but then who am I telling that, we are, in the developed world, wasteful in the extreme.

To me, I have to say, finding stuff and reusing, repurposing, repairing and converting it, has a great thrill attached and that thrill has never gone ever since childhood.

When I was growing up money was at a premium and toys were not something that there was ever much money for. The toys that we had when I was a boy were either homemade by ourselves or one of our Elders or “rescued” from found items or from the dump.

I guess that that childhood of mine is responsible for still looking at waste in the same way as then; a resource from which to make things and this also applies to things that are left lying about the streets and countryside.

A great number of my tolls such as spanners and such came to me as finds from the side of the roads, including some expensive Snap-On wrenches and sockets. Thus, I have found, that open eyes can save money.

Often items tossed into litter bins can either be upcycled, repurposed or repaired be be of use (again) and I have found new radios that were thrown away simply for the fact that the batteries had run out, and the same with flashlights and such.

Other things get thrown because people simply cannot see other uses for them such as, for instance, the plastic dishes, with lids on them, from Chinese or Indian take-out places. Nowadays those have replaced, in most cases, the tin foil dishes of before.

Apparently folks do not realize that they could use those plastic boxes at home for storing leftovers or other things.

While, once they have been in a little bin, I will not use them for food they are great in drawers of desks and such to keep things neat and tidy. Even if the lid is damaged or missing the container still can find uses.

Other finds can be use to make decorative art, of various kinds, or used in other ways to make things, such as found nails and screws, for instance, or bits of (fence) wire.

The frugal person with an eye for things and an imagination can find uses for many of the things that get lost or thrown into litter bins or just tossed tot he side of the road, into roadside ditches and such.

If we do not pick those things up for reuse in one way or the other they will, invariably, end up in the municipal landfill.

So save the Earth and your money buy reusing found items. is dedicated to our users. We focus our attention on changing the world through recycling, waste-to-energy and conservation. We reward our users for their sustainable behaviors on our website, through our Greenopolis Tracking Stations and with curbside recycling programs.


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