Take one brick…

Filed in Blog, Reuse by on March 26, 2012 12 Comments
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How a housebrick had its life changed forever

How a housebrick had its life changed forever

He’s done it again!

Mr Green has used up a piece of his ‘one day’ stash in order to create something useful.

Not something beautiful you understand, but certainly something useful.

We grow a little food here at zero waste towers. A few potatoes, beans, tomatoes and root vegetables and each year it’s the same story; I don’t have enough drainage material for containers. I decided to grow a lot of food on the patio in pots this year so needed a LOT of gravel and stones.

Enter Mr Green…

As I’m huffing and puffing and feeling very frustrated at having the lack of right materials he potters into his garage and emerges with this:

A couple of broken house bricks

A couple of broken house bricks

He then gets hold of an impressive looking man tool and starts giving it a bit of this:

Mrs Green gets all manly

Mrs Green gets all manly

He keeps on toiling through sweat and tears until he gets this:

Keep going Mr G, not long to go

Keep going Mr G, not long to go

And *I* end up with this!

Perfect drainage material for my pot

Perfect drainage material for my pot

I managed to rescue a few sticks of sage; literally STICKS, but I threw them in the pot, gave them a haircut and now I have a tiny perfect sage bush. Well, folklore says that if the sage bush flourishes there is a strong woman in charge of the household ;)

What have you reused this week?

About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (12)

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  1. CarSue says:

    I also reused something for potting material! I went to an aquarium fish / coral swap meet over the weekend and was very disheartened to find mounds of foam packing “peanuts” in a bag in the trash, so I rescued them and brought them home to fill the bottoms of my pots. They make for wonderful drainage, and they’re so lightweight!

    Way to go, Mr. and Mrs. Green!

  2. sandy says:

    we had my daughter and partner for the weekend, with their rottie, he is a lovley soft boy, but rather large, he pulled the draught stoper out of a very large vase, and bang over it went, pleanty of drainage for my pots now LOL

  3. Jen says:

    We made a cold frame to start lettuce using some old stair risers as a frame and a salvaged window pane as the glass top. It’s perfect!

  4. I reused the plastic sealable bag of nuts (long eaten) to store my toiletries in when I went off on a trip last week. Sealed it right up and didn’t make a mess in my suitcase. :)
    Shall use it again and again until the end of eternity. (or Dec 21st, whichever comes first, might come at the same time.)
    Great idea with the brick!

  5. Julie Day says:

    My mum has saved a lot of empty toilet rolls and cut them down. She is going to use them in the garden to cover her seeds.

  6. Sue Corrance says:

    @Julie Day: what a great idea….. thanks for the tip. My peas and sunflowers never survive very long and this might help.

  7. it’s spring and hot as July here, so, i used a can opener to make a tube out of empty coffee cans…when the snow returns next week, i will push these 1 or 2 inches into the ground around young plants which have been fooled into vigorous starts..this will protect my babies..celery, lettuces, cabbages etc…the garlic and onions can suffer a little.
    plastic containers and soda bottles work as well..but this method blanches the tender lettuces and celery to a tender crunchiness.
    what to do with bricks…i hear an article coming…

  8. Jane says:

    We have been using some old plastic fruit punnets to grow vegetable seeds on our window ledges, and have covered these with clear plastic bags (saved over time from a variety of sources, including wrappers from things that came in the post) to protect them from night time cold). We are protecting our mange touts (which are in the greenhouse) from frost at night with some old bubble wrap and cardboard. I am also currently making a pair of pillow cases from the good parts of an old sheet which has completely worn out in the middle, and I recently made the cat a new toy mouse from some old scraps of fabric, stuffed with part of an old pair of tights.

  9. Mrs Green says:

    @CarSue: They are great aren’t they! Well done you :)

    @sandy: The silver lining to the cloud ;)

    @Jen: LOVE that Jen – way to go !

    @Jennifer Ward-Pelar: that’s a fantastic idea – nothing worse than leaking toiletries in your suitcase.

    @Julie Day: Great idea Julie; they make good seedling pots too

    @nadine sellers: great idea about the tins – we might be doing the same soon – 24 degrees last week, the beans and potatoes are pushing up and snow forecast for this week!

    @Jane: I like the pillow case idea and am glad you’re finding ways to use up that plastic for your seedlings

  10. DIANA says:

    I was brought up “sides to middling” worn sheets, an art which seems to have escaped even others who grew up in impoverished households. If a sheet goes into holes in the centre, sew the edges together and cut it down the middle, then rehem the new cut edges. Done tidily, the sheet is barely narrower than before but lasts twice as long.

  11. Jane says:

    @DIANA: I was too. You can also make cot sheets and pillow slips with no difficulty. In fact it is a great way for beginners to practise using a sewing machine. I now need to put some tape around the edges of a whole lot of towels that are ragged JUST at the edges. Mum would have doubled up old towels to make bathmats and added some pieces of coloured dress materials to jazz them up. Old towels were also cut up to make kitchen towels. A bit of applique jazzes them up too. Something to start the kids on to get them away from one box or another.

  12. sandy says:

    I too make bath mats from towels and pillow cases,from old sheets> also floor cloths from old towels>

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