One man’s rubbish

Filed in Blog by on August 11, 2008 7 Comments
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Little Miss Green with our free wood
…..is another family’s juicy treasure.

This is true reducing, reusing and recycling in wonderful, glorious technicolour. It has a large dose of ‘you scratch my back’ thrown in, some great community spirit and some general warm and fuzzy feelings attached.

At the opposite end of our village a family are building a gorgeous looking house. We’ve watched this house being gradually built to, what appears to be, exceptional standard. We recognised that the wooden frame is oak and there are true craftsmen building this house.

The other day we noticed that there were several bags of offcut wood at the entrance to the site.

We’ve watched this wood piling up and just wondered the other day what its fate was. It’s quite a trek to the recycling centre with all of that heavy stuff, there was no skip on site, so perhaps it was going to have to be taken away at expense to the new owner.

So we called in and ‘had a word’. Turns out we met the most lovely guy who shares similar values to us- we’ll call him ‘C’ incase he doesn’t want to be talked about on the internet. C and his partner are building an eco house, which will be 60% efficient. They are installing pv solar panels, ground source heat pumps, underfloor heating, rainwater collection and a grey water system.

As you might imagine, we stood and had a bit of a yarn with him, whilst little Miss Green practised her language skills with requests like ‘S’il vous plait can we have some wood?’ and ‘Thank you, mon amigo.’

Needless to say, we came home with two large, juicy bags of offcuts. It must have been the French accent that C couldn’t resist. C was only too pleased for us to take away his ‘rubbish’ and there will be more to come as building work progresses.

Now I know a couple of bags of off cuts of wood is not exactly joy and whoops for most people, but what if I were to offer to pay your heating costs for a week – would you be a bit more excited then?

As we use a woodburner for our sole form of heating, here at Chez Green, C has given us enough wood to keep us snug as bugs for a week or so at the beginning of the cold season. So now you can understand why gifts of wood (especially oak!) are very welcome indeed.

We burn about 6 tonnes of wood per season to keep Chez Green and all its inhabitants warm. Even though the summer sun is high in the sky right now, we have to think about sourcing wood all year around. So finding some is a real joy and weight off our minds.

What about you – what treasure have you received through someone else’s trash?

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 (7)

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  1. Mrs Green,

    An excellent use of woodchips. My offer is possible due to the elimination of food waste completely from the home bin. I am able to take food waste from relatives to place in the Bokashi bin, preferably unpackaged. This will reduce their bin food waste by a certain amount.
    Good to see Mrs Average back on the scene as well.

  2. My Dad was like that when we had woodburners, he’d stop the car wherever we were and shove bits of wood in the boot.

    Mind you, a nice bit of oak I bet he’d have on the lathe and make something out of it!

  3. Mrs Green says:

    That’s great John; it’s good when we can help others out. I think the zero waste idea leads to that in the end. Mr Green and I were thinking of something that we could usefully do during the council’s zero waste week for the county. We considered that helping neighbours out was the way forward. Taking a neighbours recycling for them when they don’t drive for example, would be useful and meaningful.

    Sarah, don’t do the oak guilt trip on us 😀 The number of pieces of wood we’ve had around the place ‘just in case’ you would not believe. It is VERY hard to burn nice wood; but when your dining room is 14 degrees in the morning, that guilt soon vanishes LOL!

  4. Oh it wasn’t a guilt trip hon, just an observation!

  5. Mrs Green says:

    Ah, ok then – let you off. Seeing as it’s you and all that 😀

  6. Awesome! That’s great that you’re reusing something that was going to be thrown away.

  7. Mrs Green says:

    Hi Kristen,

    I have to say, these gifts do come with a special ‘feel good’ factor attached. 🙂

    How is life in your neck of the woods? I’m looking forward to some more time to comment on your blog after this month is over………..

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