We live in a time of incredible abundance. Many items we need to run our lives have already been easily produced with the incredible concentrated power of fossil fuel. And they are free for the taking when we look around with patience. Collectively, we could agree to only use any more fossil fuel for the really important restoration projects while mitigating any more harm to the environment.
Every day I can find treasures that neighbors have set out on the curb, free for the taking. Just yesterday on my bike ride I saw many furniture items that would furnish a home. One of the benefits of finding furniture is that it can be restored and altered without fear of messing up.
Building materials are everywhere. The keyhole garden bed featured in this article was made of collected objects over a 1-year period. The blocks, chunks and pavers were found on site and around town. The compost was made on site and the straw was grown on site.
Collecting items satisfies our hunter gatherer instincts. It saves trips to the store where everything carries a heavy carbon footprint. Wherever you can, take advantage of the embedded energy in found treasures. Satisfy your inner creativity and enjoy the meaningful work you do to enrich your life.