Whats better than recycling??

I was reading the BBC News website at lunch time today ( I like it - it's free, there is less tripe than in the papers and it is updated during the day.) I have been following the experiment of a journalist that has attempted to give up plastic for a month. Today there was a quote from Friends of the Earth's senior waste campaigner Mike Warhurst warns against assuming that just because something is bio-degradable it's "greener".

"I'm seeing a lot of confusion happening where people are using disposable items and then implying that they're good because they're biodegradable.

"Whatever it is it required energy to make it. So if you're in a cafe, you're far better off having a cup which is washed up than having so-called biodegradable cups.

Which got me thinking about recycling. I recycle in the conventional way, paper and card, bottles, tins etc. But I am thinking that actually re-using things is more the key. Which led me on a tour of the house ( when I got home from work - I didn't just wander off in my lunch break inspiring though Mike Warhurst may be).

We recently re-built our garden shed using the old shed (which we inherited when we bought the house.),some wood which had previous been a pergola, OSB board left over from the extension. The best bit is a set of fire door/exit from a pub, complete with side windows.

Looking at the extension, we had some roofing given to us which was on its way to the dump, plenty of the wood was left over but we had to buy some. The windows were all from the existing house. I also bought some stained glass panels on eBay. It all came together to form a lovely little extension which is unique but also built with minimal waste. We love it and its fairly easy on the conscience.

This used to be my kitchen window.

These are my lovely eBay windows. I still have two left for future projects.

And this is my favourite room in the house, our log cabin. Designed by me (no architect plans to go to the council planning dept, just my drawings on graph paper - they were very cool about it.)and build by my 'menfolk'. Plus it made my sons top of the class in woodwork at school. My eldest is working as a boat builder at the moment, whilst he waits to be a rock star I assume, so he gets a chance to impress with what he learned helping his dad refurbish this place.

Re-using and renewing, revitalising the 'things' and my home. Better than recycling.


  1. I love those ebay windows. They look so elegant. Can I hire your men to build me a house?

  2. Yep, we can knock you up one in no time Daizy. Very creative, my men!
    But seriously, are you thinking of a self build? Might be more cost effective that a kit property and you get exactly what you want.

  3. Gorg windows good for you!
    love your house. My close friends on Vancouver Island B.C. have doen incredible things to their home!

  4. I do want to build my own house or at least boss people around. I'm not sure where a house is on my list of priorities but maybe one day. My dad build his own house when I was young and I helped him build his retirement house. It was a good experience. And I want to use as much recycled material as I can. I have a Habitat for Humanity building supply store near me. I love going in and looking at the donated materials. They have some cool stuff, doors, windows, tile, etc...

  5. Hi Jenna & Daizy
    I am not materialistic (honestly!) but it is lovely having a house which incorporates you favourite things. In my case lots of wood & stained glass, plenty of plants. Suits me down to the ground!


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