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Archive for the ‘Recycling’ Category

     Ladies and gentlemen, drum-roll please! I am pleased to announce that We now have, at our lovely off-the-grid home…..Running Water! That’s right, after two full years of turning on the gas powered generator to fill up about ten gallon sized milk jugs for drinking water a week, washing dishes by heating water on the wood stove, and taking showers and washing our clothes at an aunts house down the street, I can simply turn on the kitchen faucet and have instantaneous, crystal clear well water running freely for my drinking pleasure! Also, coming soon to a home near me, hot running water with no limits, courtesy of our propane powered tank-less hot water heater that’s been sitting behind the house since October! Oh the luxury…the convenience! Couple these amazing accomplishments with a working stove, oven and super efficient refrigerator and I’d say this has been a very prosperous week! All thanks to the fact that my dear fiancé Bear has worked his little behind off in the cold, the rain, and the dark to bring me all of the modern comforts of a regular home, wrapped in a cute little green package with a recycled bow on top…I must be marrying the most wonderful man on earth! Really, what more could I ask for? (aside from building a chicken coop, a greenhouse,a woodshed and a covered back porch, of course;)
  
   Alright, onto a separate, but equally amazing piece of news. After doing a little online reading, I recently came across an article from the staple homesteading and self sufficiency magazine ‘Mother Earth News’ (when I say staple, I mean I ordered a subscription as soon as I found out I would be living with no power or running water). The article proclaimed that half of the trash in landfills comes from new construction waste, over 136,000,000 pounds from America alone each year! The average 2,000 square foot home claims 8,000 pounds of that when built from the ground up. The implications of these figures took a second to dawn on me, but when it finally hit me I was floored! This means that since we renovated an existing structure, and saved every scrap of construction waste from our job site, we essentially kept over 8,000 pounds of waste from going to a landfill! Wow, what a pat on the back! I really can’t believe the numbers, when we started this whole project, it was out of necessity that we used every scrap of lumber, saved every bent nail, and bought only the exact amount of any material needed to finish it. Now, after all the hard work and struggle we’ve been through since October 31st of 2008, we get this metaphoric award and handshake for a job well done! And guess what? Seannakate, Juanita, Caleb and Jess, you too have each saved anywhere from 4,000 to 8,000 pounds of construction waste from the landfill. How about all you readers out there who have bought an older pre-existing home, or built your home the no waste way? You too have rescued a heap of trash from the dump! How does that feel? Go ahead, give yourself a round of applause! And as for anyone on the market for a home, keep these figures in mind, purchase an older pre-existing structure, build with greener methods, and save those scraps because scraps saved means money saved in the long run! I did, after all, build an awesome raised garden bed out of scraps!
     Let’s keep the good news coming! If you own a home purchased or built in the manners listed above, we here at Winding Road Farm want to know how much waste you kept out of the dump. Here’s a simple way to find out: 1 square ft of newly built home usually yields about 4 pounds of construction garbage. Just multiply the square footage of your home by 4 to come up with the amount of trash you didn’t send to landfill mountain! Subtract any construction waste you did send off to get your final amount. For example, my home is 2100 sq ft., I multiply that by four and get 8400 pounds of garbage. During the two year period, we probably hauled off about 200 pounds of stuff I couldn’t figure out a use for, subtract that and I’ve saved 8200 pounds of trash from making a home at the dump!  Use this method to figure up your trash savings and leave a comment below…hey, maybe we should add it all up! Let’s keep a running tab, that way we can all congratulate each other for being such fine citizens! Remember, if your in the market for a home, keep these figures in mind, purchase an older pre-existing structure, build with greener methods, and save those scraps because scraps saved means money saved in the long run! I did, after all, build an awesome raised garden bed out of scraps!
    

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