Mr Green turns his trash into treasure.

Filed in Blog, Videos by on June 4, 2009 13 Comments
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Mr Green turns our trash into treasure and keeps a whole pile of stuff from the landfill

Mr Green turns our trash into treasure and keeps a whole pile of stuff from the landfill

Prepare to be amazed! Just look at that face, ladies and gentlemen. It is the face of, not only a gorgeous man, but a true genius.

Yes, Mr Green has done it again with his Robinson Crusoe act. Not one to shy away from the challenge of turning his trash into treasure, even I am impressed by this one.

The other week he took our broken plastic patio chair and gave it a new lease of life with a wooden leg. Now he has excelled himself again on the 3 R’s front.

We’ve been busy in the garden this week and had run out of pots for planting his tomatoes. A quick wolf whistle across the fence to our friendly neighbour and he managed to charm three unloved plastic troughs from her possession.

Alas, one was looking rather the worse for wear. In fact, it was just the sort of thing I would have dumped in the back of the car to be taken to its final resting place.

Not one to be lured by the call of the landfill Sirens, Mr Green put on his recycled thinking cap and came up with this masterpiece.

As we seem to find ourselves saying more and more here at zero waste towers – it’s not pretty, but it’s functional:



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 (13)

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  1. John Costigane says:

    Hi Mrs Green,

    Another excellent example of waste avoidance by Mr Green, with the Reuse of a broken plastic trough. Also saved from landfill several plastic packages which are otherwise valueless. We all should use landfill as a last resort.

    From your Year’s Zero Waste effort perspective, this can reduce the minimal waste even further.

    For pots generally, I line with small stones to aid drainage. This is not necessary for all plants.

  2. Carole says:

    Here at our flats we have a sort of “communal store” of pots and saucers all kept in a large dustbin outside. No-one knows whose is whose but when we need a pot that’s where we go. I’ve added a few but I think most of them have been bought along the years from various residents that have come and gone.

    There is a definite cool breeze in the air this morning, change is on the way!!

  3. its funny isn’t how just tweaking something can give it a whole new lease of life.

    watching that clip made me realise that some things that I do automatically, are a lesson learned for others.

    I have in the past put 2 broken pots together to make one good one.

  4. Poppy says:

    Oh my! Would you believe I did almost the same thing just a few days ago? I was looking to do some planting and the only thing I could find was a green plastic pot with a large hole in the side, so I used the lid from a magarine/spread tub to fill the hole ……… magic! Like yourselves, a year or so ago, both items would have been destined for landfill.

    I was also wondering this morning (whilst driving past over layden wheelies and black bags), what was it that I used to bin so readily on a weekly basis? I really don’t know.

    There was a press story local to me last week with people up in arms about fortnightly collections. I wish they would stop being so negative and just give it a try 🙂

  5. Mr Green says:

    @John Costigane: Hi John. Thanks for your comment. Some things do reuse well, others don’t! I have a large yard broom that is loosing all its bristles because the wood has finally rotted away. I really see no way to reuse it or revive it. The plastic bristles will have to go to the landfill 🙁 unless you have an idea …?
    @Carole: Hello Carole, the idea of sharing resources really appeals to me. In my perfect world we would return to real community living, where everyone adds their skills and products to the community. The garden would be an ideal place for this, where we could all grow items to serve ourselves and others. Do you have a good community spirit with your flats residents?
    @maisie dalziel: Hello Maizie, thaanks for your thoughts…, yes the creative ingredient can bring old tired things back to life in the most unusual of ways. You are right, we all do things automatically and sometimes not realising how important those skills are to others. The idea of sharing brings all tis alive. Any gems you can share …?
    @Poppy: Ha Poppy, you’re a gem! You have just echoed our thoughts on this. We find it hard to believe that we also used to fill the bin and more every week. Thanks for your comment, makes me feel we’re in good company.

  6. John Costigane says:

    @Mr Green: That is a difficult challenge but worth a reply to back your fine efforts in reuse.

    How about using them to provide a solution to a trough with a hole in it. Sound familiar? The plastic bags used may eventually decompose or tear or be bitten into by insects. What about a bristle design taking advantage of their durability. This could be a patchwork design or a glue/bristle combination. They could be stored meanwhile ready for reuse.

    As you can guess Reuse for me is basic eg using broken crockery for plant pot drainage, in small pieces. Truth is I have not broken anything like that for ages.

  7. Ds2 had some school trousers which had gone through at the knee but were perfectly good otherwise, now alot of people( obviously not those who frequent here) would have just binned them.

    I cut off the legs, turned a hem and made them into a perfectly good pair of shorts, which he is happy with.

    On a tv programme I was watching the other night there was a “hippy” commune and they had used an old washing machine with various bit removed to make a composting toilet (the porthole was where you sat)

  8. Sarah says:

    Perhaps the plastic bristles can be glued to the outside of a tatty pot/trough to give some texture and interest? Or to “thatch” the top of a bird nest box? Or could they go into Little Miss Green’s sticking things stash?

  9. Mrs Green says:

    @Sarah: Auntie Sarah; you are a menace suggesting that LMG keep the bristles! Perhaps we could make a boot scraper 😀

  10. Poppy says:

    Another trash into treasure option spotted this morning at Homebase –

    Empty plastic trays, lumps of polystyrene and chunks of broken pots – all free and available for the taking! They also have a shelf of books that you are asked to make a donation for.

    I’ve no current need for any of these, but it was good that they were offering it rather than just binning (landfilling) it all.

  11. Sarah says:

    @Mrs Green: I am truly evil, hadn’t you noticed….. I’m rather taken with the idea of a thatched bird box though, shame my brooms are still intact.

  12. Mrs Green says:

    @Poppy: Poppy; what a brilliant idea, to give out free drainage materials like that. Was it Gloucester or Cheltenham? I’m always short of drainage for our pots.

  13. Poppy says:

    Cheltenham Mrs G 🙂

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