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Repurposing

The Giant's Grave

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The Giant's Grave

I have a seriously big mulch pile in my driveway, and a giant's grave is in my back yard. I hear you: "A giant's grave?" Yep. 

Remember the story of Jack and the beanstalk? Well, when Jack cut down the beanstalk, and the giant landed in my backyard...

I'm a storyteller. It's all about the story.

So, what is the giant's grave really? When the houses were built in our neighborhood, much of the construction debris was buried in our backyard. As time has passed, that debris has broken down and left a couple of large sink holes. We’ve just kept filling the sink holes with leaves, branches and garden debris. 

To tidy it up we put wood chips on top, which brings me to the seriously big mulch pile in my driveway. I get mulch for free. When a neighbor is having a tree taken down, I usually ask for the chipped wood. More often than not, the landscape companies are glad to drop the chips in my driveway, because it saves them from paying a charge at the local dump. It saves me money, because I don't have to buy mulch. 

After years of putting all this organic debris on the giant's grave, I’ve been left with some really rich soil. You’d think that I would have finished filling up those sink holes by now, and actually I have. I just keep unfilling them and using the soil in other places in my garden. I suppose I could just leave it there and let the grass grow, but then what would happen to the story about the giant's grave? 

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On-purpose Repurposing

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On-purpose Repurposing

I don’t always use things for the purpose for which they were intended. I also try to keep things out of the landfills and repurpose them whenever possible. So I'm happy when I find creative ways to solve problems using items that would otherwise be discarded. As they say, necessity is the mother of invention.

Crockpot Lid

  • PROBLEM: My cat, Jovi, loved to steal trash out of the living room trash can. I needed to find a way to outwit a very smart and determined feline. (Meet Jovi here.)
  • SOLUTION: I pulled out an old lid I had saved from a broken crockpot and put it on the trashcan. Problem solved — the trash now stays where it belongs.

Grated Cheese Container

  • PROBLEM: I buy cleansers for cleaning which would often tip over under the sink, leaving a big mess for me to sweep up. Then the container would get wet, so I'd have to throw out the whole thing because of the moisture destroying the cardboard container and the cleanser inside. Grrrrrr.
  • SOLUTION: The parmesan cheese you get to shake on pasta (we call it "shaky cheese" in my family) comes in a great plastic container that can be reused. I save these containers and use them for my cleanser. The lid snaps shut, the plastic does not absorb moisture and you can see the product. I use a sharpie marker to label the containers — problem solved. Those containers also work great for beads and glitter, by the way.

It’s a new year, so find a new use for something you have then tell me what you did — I’d love to hear about it in the comments below! Meanwhile, get inspired by the repurposing ideas online at Upcycled Wonders and My Repurposed Life.

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