Over at Chile Chews, a fourth "R" has been added to the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle slogan: Repurposing! It's like reusing, but instead of using something repeatedly for its original purpose, repurposing is using something creatively, for a purpose for which it was not necessarily designed. Chile is challenging us all to look at things a bit differently, and see what else they could be used for. I'm joining up a bit late with this challenge, but I've got a couple things I thought I'd share.
The first one is the wooden soap dish in the picture there. I made it out of willow branches in the Fall. I had trimmed one of the willow bushes and had visions of basket weaving in my head. Well, I'm not quite that talented, so I thought I'd try a soap dish/rack thing. It turned out fairly well and it's now my soap dish of choice in my bathroom. At first I wasn't sure if this was a repurposing or not, but if you think that the original purpose of a tree is to be a tree not a soap dish, then I think it counts. It also made a nice candle holder for the little votive candle there, but I decided I would get more use out of it as a soap dish, which is what I wanted it for in the first place.
Gord brought some used metal hangers home the other day, and I immediately thought of the stove burner trivet thing I wanted to make for the woodstove, to keep my Dutch oven from sitting directly on the woodstove top. My mom had these things when I was little - my dad made them from hangers (a least I think that's what he made them from), and my mom used them to keep the glass teapot up off the stover burner a bit so the tea wouldn't scald. Apparently, I am not as talented in metal working as my dad is, the evidence for which you can see in this next picture. These things are going to take a bit of work! I think I will have to consult my dad for some metal-bending lessons!
The third thing I've repurposed so far is in my cupboard right now, and will have to wait 'til Spring to be used. It's a plastic veggie platter container from some veggies and dip I brought last month to a potluck at work when I didn't have time to make anything more elaborate. When I took it home again to recycle, I looked at it and thought, "Hmmm....this could be a mini-greenhouse seed-starter thingy." I will fill the sections with my compost and sprout veggie seeds in there! It will fit nicely on the ledge by the window when I start seeds in March/April.
Thanks Chile, for the inspiration to keep an open mind and consider what else something could be used for, before recycling it or just tossing it in the garbage!