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Finding wealth in waste....  RSS feed

 
Chelle Lewis
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Is this possible? A friend sent this link to me today and I was pretty dumbfounded. I believe in using whatever is in our hand productively but this sure puts a new spin on that idea!

I remembered how I have heard how poor people go raiding dustbins in wealthier suburbs here too.... always thought it was for stuff to sell. Maybe not? There are kids growing up and spending whole childhoods in very poor countries on waste dumps scrounging to stay alive....

I thought I would open up a topic about what is sometimes thought of as waste .... but how it can be used ...... and so is not waste.

Stuff like paper.... cardboard boxes .... uses rather than just trashing or burning?
Rotten meat?....
Soda bottles.......
Beer cans.....
Polystyrene trays........
Whatever.....

Before throwing something away today.... can it be re-used by you or someone else? Is it worth the effort? Maybe some simple brainstorming would surface some really worthwhile ideas and innovative uses.

Chelle
 
ronie dee
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My parents lived through the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression..  They conserved and recycled everything. There was not one piece of matter that passed through their hands that they didn't carefully use to the fullest possible extent.

Reuse potato chip bags as freezer bags (you wouldn't believe how much this helps preserve things in the freezer). Also potato chip bags preserve onion halves in the fridge for a long time...

A brown paper bag will keep a head of lettuce in the fridge for a long time too.

I guess that i'm off a little on this thread... I am trying to cause something to NOT become waste...
 
                    
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The name of this thread made me remember this thought:  Sometimes I think the mind-set change is helped along by a vocabulary change. 

A new friend of mine brought up this point during our lecture/conversation about Humanure at the PDC in sahale. 

If you call it "waste" (human "waste" seemed to be the preferred term for human poo during the conversation) that word helps perpetuate the mind-set of needing to "get rid of it" or that it's "icky." 

She pointed out that if you're putting it to good use, there's no need to call it "waste" anymore!  It's suddenly a valuable material for other things! 

And I think this concept could be applied to the idea of this thread in general.  If it's waste that isn't waste, why call it that? 

So what's a better term?  "reusables?"  "repurposed goods?" 

And....along the lines of re-using EVERYTHING.  I avoid putting plastic stuff outside in the sun around my place.  UV rays eventually turn it into brittle shards that have no purpose other than to spend the rest of their long lived lives in my soil, releasing lord knows what nasties into their surroundings. 

Deston Lee told me he reused his intern's soy-milk packages by opening them up and using the foil side as a reflection device for greenhouses or something (can't quite remember the purpose) but said that ended up being a bad idea as a year or so later they began to turn into little bits of foil and cardboard blowing around everywhere.  I guess if you were on top of it you could get a year or so's worth of use out of them in that way. 

Food-wise, I personally make an effort to not purchase things in a one-time use package.  I don't buy bottled beverages except for kombucha and beer (and making these at home is high on my list of priorities for this summer/fall).  I'm that annoying lady who shows up the the grocery store with a million bags.  I routinely scratch out the bar code on nice re-closable plastic bags so that I can re-use them again, use bread loaf bags for produce, orange sacks for onions and potatoes, yogurt containers as tupperware/dry goods storage, etc.  I haven't purchased a plastic food bag/container in years. 

The thing I can't get around sometimes are blister packages for non-food stuff.  You know, the clear plastic case that has to come around the outside of almost everything, apparently because it's a theft deterrent?  The larger ones can become awesome tiny green houses for starting seeds inside in early spring.  The smaller ones with hinges are nice containers for nails, screws, other small hardware. 

Plastic bottles can have the bottoms cut off and used as a poor-woman's cloche for baby plants in early spring gardens.  But again something else needs to be done with them as they will eventually turn brittle.  And at that point I can't think of any other action other than to send it "away" from my property - which is why I avoid bringing that sort of thing here in the first place. 

A friend of friend of mine in Philadephia used a whole bunch of vitamin water bottles to create a giant (non-structural) wall/room divider in his warehouse apartment.  It was beautiful, or so I heard (never saw it myself)!
 
Chelle Lewis
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ronie wrote:
My parents lived through the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression..  They conserved and recycled everything. There was not one piece of matter that passed through their hands that they didn't carefully use to the fullest possible extent.

Reuse potato chip bags as freezer bags (you wouldn't believe how much this helps preserve things in the freezer). Also potato chip bags preserve onion halves in the fridge for a long time...

A brown paper bag will keep a head of lettuce in the fridge for a long time too.

I guess that i'm off a little on this thread... I am trying to cause something to NOT become waste...
You are right on topic! So much is cast aside as waste and really still has value.... just as you have described. Thanks!

Chelle
 
Chelle Lewis
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marina phillips wrote:
The name of this thread made me remember this thought:  Sometimes I think the mind-set change is helped along by a vocabulary change. 

A new friend of mine brought up this point during our lecture/conversation about Humanure at the PDC in sahale. 

If you call it "waste" (human "waste" seemed to be the preferred term for human poo during the conversation) that word helps perpetuate the mind-set of needing to "get rid of it" or that it's "icky." 

She pointed out that if you're putting it to good use, there's no need to call it "waste" anymore!  It's suddenly a valuable material for other things! 

And I think this concept could be applied to the idea of this thread in general.  If it's waste that isn't waste, why call it that?   

So what's a better term?  "reusables?"  "repurposed goods?"
I thought to call the thread... RE-THINKING WASTE.... but then decided to go ahead with my choice. Reason... if we are about to throw something away as waste it might stop us to think... is this waste? I want to get past the casual mindset of what is waste... and get myself really being creative.... like Ronie described. Turning stuff over by using some lateral thinking. Some stuff will seem inconsequential... but who knows what thought it will trigger in someone else if have been looking at a certain challenge... and there it is!

And....along the lines of re-using EVERYTHING.  I avoid putting plastic stuff outside in the sun around my place.  UV rays eventually turn it into brittle shards that have no purpose other than to spend the rest of their long lived lives in my soil, releasing lord knows what nasties into their surroundings. 
Good point. I learned that too.... but now use them indoors for seedlings where I don't want the water to spill.

Deston Lee told me he reused his intern's soy-milk packages by opening them up and using the foil side as a reflection device for greenhouses or something (can't quite remember the purpose) but said that ended up being a bad idea as a year or so later they began to turn into little bits of foil and cardboard blowing around everywhere.  I guess if you were on top of it you could get a year or so's worth of use out of them in that way. 
Direct sunlight is very destructive.... but what if used as a secondary reflector on an indoor wall for some reason. Plants indoors .... for instance ...... don't have the all over sunlight exposure as plants outdoors ... and this could increase it maybe? I know some who are using aquaponics indoors and are trying to solve this problem with reflection of light.

Food-wise, I personally make an effort to not purchase things in a one-time use package.  I don't buy bottled beverages except for kombucha and beer (and making these at home is high on my list of priorities for this summer/fall).  I'm that annoying lady who shows up the the grocery store with a million bags.  I routinely scratch out the bar code on nice re-closable plastic bags so that I can re-use them again, use bread loaf bags for produce, orange sacks for onions and potatoes, yogurt containers as tupperware/dry goods storage, etc.  I haven't purchased a plastic food bag/container in years.
Re-using what others would throw away as waste.... neat.  I will re-use glass mayo bottles to carry my tea mix that I like to drink when travelling. Glass is not a health hazard like plastic... I used to use ordinary water bottles....  and just pour and cap. Also good storage for my moringa leaves when I dry them for winter use.

The thing I can't get around sometimes are blister packages for non-food stuff.  You know, the clear plastic case that has to come around the outside of almost everything, apparently because it's a theft deterrent?  The larger ones can become awesome tiny green houses for starting seeds inside in early spring.  The smaller ones with hinges are nice containers for nails, screws, other small hardware. 
I have made these mini-greenhouses too.... don't dry out the seeds so quickly.

Plastic bottles can have the bottoms cut off and used as a poor-woman's cloche for baby plants in early spring gardens.  But again something else needs to be done with them as they will eventually turn brittle.  And at that point I can't think of any other action other than to send it "away" from my property - which is why I avoid bringing that sort of thing here in the first place. 
Can make the window hydroponics system in the thread "Farming in the Concrete Jungle". They joined the bottles together in threads... pretty neat. The sunlight is not as harsh as completely outdoors probably too so last a bit longer.

A friend of friend of mine in Philadephia used a whole bunch of vitamin water bottles to create a giant (non-structural) wall/room divider in his warehouse apartment.  It was beautiful, or so I heard (never saw it myself)!
I have heard of something similar done with bottles.... I know some dedicated beer drinkers! A wall was made.... can read some interesting stuff here....... You reminded me of it! I bet a really neat outdoor gazebo or something could be made with all that glass.....

Edit: Just hit me! I have been wondering how to effect the glass part of my chicken greenhouse.... bottles! Needs a bit more thinking but I think this really has possibilities... ask all the neighbours to collect their bottles for me too... Thanks Marina!

Chelle
 
                              
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I like to think of waste as surplus.

It's a shame that we have been programmed into this consumerism mind-set.



Jeff
 
Robert Ray
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This could turn into an interesting thread on creative re-use.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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The top two are compostable.

Paper can be pulped fairly easily. Metal windowscreen can be shaped into a mold for something like a paper egg carton; some people make seedballs that way. But there are lots of other uses for paper pulp.

Rotten meat can be fed to fly larvae, which can then be used as fish bait, chicken feed, etc.

Soda bottles have all sorts of uses. Cloches to give seedlings an early start. Ultra lightweight canteens for backpacking. Thread a 1/4-20 machine screw through a lid, with some washers on either side and a nut at the top of the lid, and keep this in your camera bag so that any bottle becomes a tripod. PETE recycles very well, of course; it's one of the few polymers that can be efficiently broken down into its pre-cursors and used to synthesize virgin plastic; this is similar to the way our bodies re-arrange fat molecules, which are also held together with ester bonds.

Beer cans are even more important to recycle. If not, they can be used to weld without electricity, if you know what you're doing and have some hematite on hand, though I would use any other source of scrap aluminum before turning to $0.05-each cans. A can with its top cut out can be an ultra-lightweight backpacking kettle, if you're careful never to scrape the inside of it, keep it full of water when on the heat, and can figure out how to use it without burning yourself.

A polystyrene tray can be an excellent pattern for lost-polymer casting of metal alloys. Carve it into the shape you want (with allowances for filling, air escape, etc.), dip it in watered-down drywall mud a few times, cast it in a block of plaster of Paris. Molten zinc, aluminum, etc. are hot enough to de-polymerize it into styrene monomer...so make sure you have good ventilation when you pour, and generally think things through better than this guy did. The tray can also be carved in a woodblock pattern with a knife, Dremel, hot wire, or similar. That pattern can then be shrunk & hardened in an oven if it has to be durable, or if you just want to reduce it...it can then be used to print, with the right sort of ink available.

Creative re-use is one of my favorite topics. I enjoyed reading Robinson Crusoe and watching MacGyver when I was young, and am alwaysl gratified the sense of knowing how things are put together.
 
Chelle Lewis
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puffergas wrote:It's a shame that we have been programmed into this consumerism mind-set.

Sure is true, Jeff. Brainwashed into pure covetousness. Usually don't need what we are programmed to covet.

Super ideas Joel!

Paper....  sheet mulch base to stop weeds coming through and raised bed lasagna style above

Paper.... through a shredder and set up worm bin... they feed on the bacteria not the paper. I have a friend keen to do this. Will watch and see.

Paper... especially newspaper... cheap insulation. Brainstorm permaculture applications...

Paper...Odor remover.... wads of newspaper stuffed into shoes or boots or anything that stinks.... even a plastic container... seal and leave. Remove next morning. Anywhere it smells musty.... can use this too... trunks, old boxes etc.

Paper.... mulch for weed prevention.... pierce and plant out seedlings... will decompose easily if newspaper

Old meat.... feed tilapia... omnivorous... the fry especially need the protein.

2 liter plastic bottles ..... Plant waterer..... pierce lid with hole..... fill and turn upside down.... drip irrigation....can bury in a hole filled with humus too ......to get water to roots and protect plastic from UV

Polystyrene tray..... if large and thick..... pierce to allow some water through...... float in fish pond and grow first stage of rice. Simple aquaponics

Chelle





 
                              
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I've made a pelleted fuel out of newspapers called paper fireballs:
www.puffergas.com/fireballs/mpf.html



Jeff
 
Chelle Lewis
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That is so neat, Jeff! I have SO much waste paper..... even cardboard egg boxes could be used this way. Easy to store and use. What if wrapped the paper mache around an oil capsule .... or something ..... to really help rapid ignition with only a few balls.... practical? Or bigger balls wrapped around slightly larger kindle like grass and sticks.... maybe just too much work?... or plain nuts! 

Reminds me of something I read.... cardboard tubes... filled with leaves in autumn... wrapped in paper of choice... twist ends.... leave neatly stacked to use as fire starters. Kindle in a tube....

Another use for cardboard tubes.... place over seedlings to ptrotect from grubs and cutworm.

Found this interesting site on how to build a solar heater with beer cans I would want to find a way to store that heat for transferral after dark into say a hen house in winter... Any ideas where this solar heater could actually be useful when dark and cold sets in?

Chelle
 
                              
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Hi Cyara ,

The rock-and-roll method only works with newspapers and grasses that have rotted or retted some. In other words kind of pulpy. It works with more natural feed stocks. Magazine paper and card board will not work. I bet horse manure would roll into balls but never had any to try.

Your cardboard tube idea sounds like just the ticket for cardboard.

I plan on doing a solar project with the ideas from the below link:
http://www.builditsolar.com/


Jeff
 
Brenda Groth
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i do find that styrofoam is the most difficult item to have come into our home..not only is there very little real use for it..it can't be recycled in any of the recycle centers around here
 
ronie dee
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I have crushed that polystyrene into little pellets and mixed it with dirt to make a potting soil.. It don;t add any nutrients to the soil, but it lightens the soil allowing air to get in and the roots to grow quickly and easily through the mix. It's great for container plants.

 
                              
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Opps, I forgot... Paper fireballs like to absorb oil. Old motor oil or cooking oil.


Jeff
 
                              
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And if you like to recycle old bicycles:
www.atomiczombie.com/

Jeff
 
Chelle Lewis
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puffergas wrote:
Hi Cyara ,

The rock-and-roll method only works with newspapers and grasses that have rotted or retted some. In other words kind of pulpy. It works with more natural feed stocks. Magazine paper and card board will not work. I bet horse manure would roll into balls but never had any to try.

Your cardboard tube idea sounds like just the ticket for cardboard.

I plan on doing a solar project with the ideas from the below link:
http://www.builditsolar.com/


Jeff
That is one neat site! Going to take a while to cruise it all...  I am downloading a book about building a passive solar heater right now. Thanks!

Soak the fireballs made of waste paper in waste oil.... good one! The egg boxes we get are basically dried paper mache.... perfect to wet down... remould... and sit in waste oil till loaded... store. Neat firelighters.... might make them into small brick lengths instead.

Chelle

 
Chelle Lewis
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Brenda Groth wrote:
i do find that styrofoam is the most difficult item to have come into our home..not only is there very little real use for it..it can't be recycled in any of the recycle centers around here
I use the meat trays as throw away paletttes for painting. I am a fine artist. Beyond that I only know to burn them.... fumes are not good... I know.

Another use is as insulation in a wall... and sound-proofing.

Chelle
 
ronie dee
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I don't like to call it styrofoam as that is a name from Dow chemical and is different than the polystyrene that we commonly call styrofoam...

But if you take the white stuff that comes in the box with yer new VCR or DVD player or whatever and break it up into pieces it is great to use to make potting soil out of top soil.

You can rub two broken pieces together and get it to crumble apart or use a wood rasp then mix it with soil. You might be able to use the rough bark on wood to crumble it (like hack berry).

Plants love it in the soil as it loosens the soil allowing air to get in and allowing roots to grow easily through the mix.  Container plants love it...put it down in yer outside garden and it does the same aerates and loosens...  It just takes time to crumble it up into tiny pieces.
 
                        
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g'day chelle,

no waste at our place if it rots it ends up in the garden somewhere. plastics go into the recycle bin and polystyrene as we don't use containes (have done) goes to landfill there is no recycle for that stuff which invades our life at every turn.

len
 
Chelle Lewis
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Hi Len. The way everyone should live!     ... actually I do too.

The angle of this thread is more in finding wealth in waste..... [Wonder if I can change the title to that?].......instead of just burying cardboard tubes in the compost... what can it be used to make?.....  so that don't buy in.... that sort of thing.

Like filling the useful shape of a cardboard tube with kindle in fall and storing in neat little pacages ready to start the fire in winter..... that sort of thing.

Or Jeff's fire-balls.... not just pouring waste oil on the ground... but soaking paper mache balls in it... to be used as firelighters too

Some ideas will be more useful than others... agreed.... but some ideas can jog a new idea on some other challenge perhaps.

About polystyrene..... I think if it is to go to landfill.... then let it be landfill between 2 walls you need extra insulation or even soundproofing in. How could this be used in an underground room? Will it keep everything dryer? May take a lot.... but hey!.... there is a lot around if you happen to be wanting to use it!!! 

Soundproof where the cockerels sleep! Haha! Especially those that think 3am is a good time to start jamming...

Chelle
 
Chelle Lewis
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An Algae Bioreactor from Recycled Water Bottles....

Algae….fast growing….high oil content….. no need to use up fertile land…. Grown anywhere…. in waste water bottles!

Creating an energy solution out of a petroleum product….used water bottles….. by using the CO2 already in the atmosphere to produce oil and oxygen.

Hope you notice his quick show of using water bottles to make sandals!… haha!

Chelle
 
Brenda Groth
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ok ok i would have never thought of breaking up that styrofoam and putting it in my garden..really..it is safe? it doesn't have harmful effects..well who woulda known..ok..i won't be worrying about it then ..if you see me walking around like a snowman over the summer with styrofoam balls stuck all over me, you just know i'm lightening my soil !!
 
ronie dee
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Thanks Brenda, I was beginning to think that nobody was noticing my use for polystyrene. Polystyrene is inert and adds nothing to the soil or to the plants. It just lightens the soil allowing air to get in and the plants roots can grow easier in the lighter soil. It is great for potted plants , but i also have used it to lighten garden soil. 

The problem is that it takes a long time to break it down to little particles the way i did it... It occurs to me now that it might be easier to use a piece of a rough wood (like hack berry) or a wood rasp to break the polystyrene down.

According to the wiki info polystyrene can be heated and turned into hard plastic. So it is recyclable , but I don;t know any place that buys it and recycles it. Some of the chemistry majors here might figure a way to add a solvent to the polystyrene and make a plastic that could be used for waterproofing roofing materials or walls of cobb structures.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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ronie wrote:Some of the chemistry majors here might figure a way to add a solvent to the polystyrene and make a plastic that could be used for waterproofing roofing materials or walls of cobb structures.


Good solvents for polystyrene tend to be aromatic compounds, like benzene or toluene. People have used gasoline, in which case I think the benzene content. Not the nicest stuff to handle.

The solution you would make would be very similar to model cement. It is very brittle when dry, so probably more useful for solvent-welding polystyrene and related polymers like ABS, than for waterproofing.

Mostly, I'd recommend leaving the polystyrene as a solid. Far in the future, it might be worth figuring out how to make it into a stable liquid fuel by de-polymerizing it and hydrogenating the double bond, but for now I'm kinda glad it's in the landfill, sequestering carbon.
 
ronie dee
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Thanks Joel, The thought of using a solvent to make a plastic from polystyrene just hit me when i wrote that so i added the thought to the post. After reading your post I don't think I'll try using a solvent on polystyrene.
 
Chelle Lewis
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Coconut shells.....







...plus bamboo?



Chelle
 
Chelle Lewis
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Found here.....

Papier mache, a craft believed to have originated in Iran, is one of the most famous crafts of Kashmir and is known by its Iranian name of kari qalamdane (qalamdane means a pen case). Traditionally, the most famous product was the inkpots or kalamdar. Today, the product line includes a diverse range such as boxes for jewellery, flower vases, desktop accessories, trays, candle stands, photo albums, and decorative bowls. Objects made of papier mache are built of paper pulp, or layers of paper pulp. However, the craft of papier mache refers, in practice, here actually to the technique of surface decoration rather than the creation of the body of the object. Waste paper is soaked in water for about a week and then beaten with a big hammer. The paper is then mixed with starch made from the water of boiled rice and gum.


Banana Fiber Products: Kerala

The artistic skill and innovative ideas of rural women folks in a village called Sreekariyam, near Trivandrum, turn the waste into wealth and provide their livelihood. Banana tree, after harvesting banana, is cut and it becomes useless. From this waste material, the women folks, draw fiber without using any high-tech machinery or tools. The fiber drawn from the barks of banana tree is used for making dress materials, ornamental articles and other utility products like shopping bags, tablemats, wall hangings, purses, flower- pot holders etc. Banana Fiber Shirt is made out of banana fiber and cotton thread. Cotton thread is used for warp (lengthwise) and banana fiber is for woof (cross wise). Using both, the fabric is hand woven in handloom by women folks.



Chelle
 
Chelle Lewis
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I'm really getting into this whole concept! 

Hope it proves helpful to others...

Goose feathers for arrow flights. Liked the creative way he went about making the arrows..... using what was at hand.... sort of as the primitives....even if he then went to Home Depot! 

I loved making bows as a kid. Just shot sticks. Made some pretty good bows though.

Arrow fletching is an exellent use for feathers of any large bird.

Other uses for feathers...

Lures for fly-fishing.

Soft down feathers for duvet filling.

Large soft feathers for feather duster.

Quill pen....You can make your own quill pen out of a large bird feather - goose feathers are the best. Cut the horny, hollow barrel of the feather into the shape of a nib with a sharp knife or pair of nail scissors, and then cut a small slit in the center of the nib. Then you just dip the nib into ink to write.

Kitten toy... tie some together and hang.

Fine cleaning musical instruments with a single feather. Repeatedly mentioned as the best way.

Economic pressure exists to find a more stable and profitable value-added product from poultry feathers. All feathers are composed of the natural biopolymer fiber keratin. Harvesting this fiber in a viable commercially useful form to make value-added products has proven successful at the pilot scale level. Prototype products formulations include: high flow, high surface air filters, light weight insulation mats, composites with natural and synthetic polymers, strong lightweight protein based construction materials, and biodegradable agricultural weed control films. Seedling flower pots made from feathers instead of peat moss can be purchased commercially. Product development research may be the pre-requisite to finding increasingly valuable uses for feathers that utilize a larger fraction of the quantity of the renewable feather fiber supply presently being generated. Two characteristics of feather fiber that make it unique are its molecular order and its morphological order. The fiber is both highly microcrystalline and very durable, i.e., resistant to both mechanical and thermal stress. The best processes that incorporate feathers into value-added products alter its micro-/macro-scopic morphology but preserve much of its desirable original molecular properties. Feather fiber adds surface area to filters, loft to insulation, modulus to polymer composites, decreased density to heavy particle boards, and in place recycling pathways for biodegradable weed control films.
Found here......

Also an interesting video from Discovery Channel on turkey feathers here.....

Chelle



 
Chelle Lewis
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Location: Hartbeespoort, South Africa
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Found here......
Article Excerpt
Chicken feathers could help save trees by taking the place of wood pulp in air filters, paper products, and other uses, according to chemist Walter Schmidt of the U.S. Agricultural Research Service. Replacing half the wood-pulp content of composite paper with chicken feathers means only half as many trees...


Potential of Chicken Feather Fibre in Wood MDF Composites

More bang for your cluck Or as he says it... pluck or get plucked.

Chelle
 
gary gregory
Posts: 395
Location: northern california, 50 miles inland from Mendocino, zone 7
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Cyara wrote:
[url=http://goliath.ecnext.com/coms2/gi_0199-1948135/New-uses-for-chicken-feathers.html] Found here......
[url=http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/pdf2003/winan03d.pdf]Potential of Chicken Feather Fibre in Wood MDF Composites

[url=http://www.salon.com/technology/how_the_world_works/2006/09/21/feathers/print.html?blo09/21/feathers/index.html]More bang for your cluck Or as he says it... pluck or get plucked.

Chelle


My grandmother preferred to skin chickens rather than pluck and I have often wondered if the skins with feathers could be cured to make stuff like hats, etc.    A quick google search brought up nothing.

edit:    Well duh!  A little further search brought up taxidermy.

http://forums.basspro.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=3;t=001006
 
Chelle Lewis
Posts: 424
Location: Hartbeespoort, South Africa
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I think the products would have to be separately processed... the skin and the feathers. If put back together again what would you use it for? Feathers are excellent insulation....

There is an unusual skin that can be used... fish skin. Fish leather has been a curiosity to me for a while. Tracking down how to cure it.... pretty closely guarded secret. I don't believe it is so hard to cure. I'm rushing to get ready to go out... but when have time will post what I have found so far. More useful than most think.....
Bikini from tilapia skin I have heard of salmon skin used too... but tilapia is tough... shoes... clothes... sporting goods.

Chelle
 
                    
Posts: 63
Location: N.W. Arkansas
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1 gallon jugs like milk, water or drinks come in, aren't old for a few years.
I use them to hold water, at first, to carry to the garden on cold days when I don't want to risk my garden hose.  I use them as pouring spouts with just a bit of getting creative with an art knife, the handle is a great spout.  I use them around early plants, just fill them with water and instand wall o'water to hold the heat by day and give it off at night.
When I am tired of that way, or get an overload, I cut the bottoms off.  The flat part is great under plants to catch drips.  Sometimes I cut the pot in half and have a deep catcher to soak pots in to absorb water.  And the top is a cloche for the garden.  When it gets too brittle, after a few years, I get my scissors out, and cut into plant id tags, and then use a sharpie to write on them.  Often I can save these and make them last a few years.

I take all plastic bags from everywhere, and I save them up, I sort them by color, and when I have enough, I cut them into long strips, which I crochet together into mats.  These mats are great in the sink, you can't break stuff by dropping it there, in the tub, no sliding, and even by the front door, wipe your feet on them!  And when they get dirty, just take the hose to them, and back into service, they will last at least a year this way.
Can't crochet?  Well can ya braid?  I also braid some together and use them to: a. hold delicate plants that need to be tied to a stake.  b.  pad anything that could rub and get damaged, for instance moving furniture etc.  c.  If you braid them large enough, they are fun for kids to beat each other with, use as light sabers etc, and don't hurt!

I take used feed sacks and I fill them with twigs that I find, then I pack the bags away for winter, when all kindling for firestarting is: wet or under snow, or I just don't want to go get it.  I use the bag to begin a tiny fire, then the kindling to feed it.  It is much more efficient than the chemical soaked firestarter cubes.

I save every glass jar that I get.  These become glasses, with their own lids, and I also use these to store grains etc, in my pantry, they are bug resistant.  And leftovers in the fridge, you can see what is in the container.  In the shop, you can nail or screw the lids to a shelf, and when you want what is in it, just unscrew it, get what you want and then screw it back onto its lid.

Old clothes etc, are always disassembled and crocheted into rugs.  Cuts the heating bill and saves wear on the floors.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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Location: Oakland, CA
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Plastic bags can be fused together, into something that vaguely resembles Tyvek but is more resistant to water, and less to tearing.

Use an iron on the "silk" setting, and keep a piece of paper (copy paper works) between the iron and the plastic to prevent it from sticking.

I learned this technique from Make Magazine, but I like this source better, for its more-thorough explanation.

The bags should also theoretically weld to strips of milk jug (since both are HDPE), if you want to add stiffening strips (I think tailors call these pieces "boning," and in several other contexts they're called "stays".
 
Brenda Groth
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Location: North Central Michigan
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Mary Janes Farm magazine this week had a great article in it on making paper impregnated with weeds or with seeds (the seeds if done right can be planted in the garden later)..

the papers they did were beautiful,

i had an elderly friend years ago that made gereting cards with dried flowers and handmade papers..and i would always  buy them from her as i knew it took a lot of effort on her part

 
Chelle Lewis
Posts: 424
Location: Hartbeespoort, South Africa
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Ozark Lady wrote: 1 gallon jugs like milk, water or drinks come in, aren't old for a few years.
I use them to hold water, at first, to carry to the garden on cold days when I don't want to risk my garden hose.  I use them as pouring spouts with just a bit of getting creative with an art knife, the handle is a great spout.  I use them around early plants, just fill them with water and instand wall o'water to hold the heat by day and give it off at night.

I really like this idea. Good way to protect tender plants. It may even protect from frost as it treacles its way downhill. My bananas might really benefit from something like this. Build a temporary "heat-wall" of 5 litre jugs on the upside.... sort of micro-climate them during winter... maybe even paint them black... or just use black polypipe filled with water to make a curved wall... held between stakes. Needs some thinking....

I was thinking that I need to find a way to increase water just around my rose bushes... they are more thirsty than the plants around........ I don't like a "rose garden".... I like roses in my garden.... and I am going to bury water bottles around them... fill with hose each day to drip irrigate down at root level.

When I am tired of that way, or get an overload, I cut the bottoms off.  The flat part is great under plants to catch drips.  Sometimes I cut the pot in half and have a deep catcher to soak pots in to absorb water.   And the top is a cloche for the garden.  When it gets too brittle, after a few years, I get my scissors out, and cut into plant id tags, and then use a sharpie to write on them.  Often I can save these and make them last a few years.
Really neat! You use the product until it is really dead!  Always needing id tags... have been using cheap plastic knives... but this is much better.

I take all plastic bags from everywhere, and I save them up, I sort them by color, and when I have enough, I cut them into long strips, which I crochet together into mats. 
I also do this... but have been plaiting them and then turning and sewing together into mats to put one on top of another and make a raised round seat for the garden. Just cover with plastic leather. Like you idea of crocheting much more .... all done in one effort.... what size hook do you use?... must be enormous?

These mats are great in the sink, you can't break stuff by dropping it there, in the tub, no sliding, and even by the front door, wipe your feet on them!  And when they get dirty, just take the hose to them, and back into service, they will last at least a year this way.
This is so cool!... My doormat is due for replacing.  Going to crochet some up.

Can't crochet?  Well can ya braid?  I also braid some together and use them to: a. hold delicate plants that need to be tied to a stake.  b.  pad anything that could rub and get damaged, for instance moving furniture etc.  c.  If you braid them large enough, they are fun for kids to beat each other with, use as light sabers etc, and don't hurt!
yes... useful.

I take used feed sacks and I fill them with twigs that I find, then I pack the bags away for winter, when all kindling for firestarting is: wet or under snow, or I just don't want to go get it.  I use the bag to begin a tiny fire, then the kindling to feed it.  It is much more efficient than the chemical soaked firestarter cubes.
Sure is.

I save every glass jar that I get.  These become glasses, with their own lids, and I also use these to store grains etc, in my pantry, they are bug resistant.  And leftovers in the fridge, you can see what is in the container.  In the shop, you can nail or screw the lids to a shelf, and when you want what is in it, just unscrew it, get what you want and then screw it back onto its lid.

Old clothes etc, are always disassembled and crocheted into rugs.  Cuts the heating bill and saves wear on the floors.
Thanks Ozark Lady.... worthwhile post.

Chelle
 
Chelle Lewis
Posts: 424
Location: Hartbeespoort, South Africa
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Joel Hollingsworth wrote:
Plastic bags can be fused together, into something that vaguely resembles Tyvek but is more resistant to water, and less to tearing.

Use an iron on the "silk" setting, and keep a piece of paper (copy paper works) between the iron and the plastic to prevent it from sticking.

I learned this technique from Make Magazine, but I like this source better, for its more-thorough explanation.

The bags should also theoretically weld to strips of milk jug (since both are HDPE), if you want to add stiffening strips (I think tailors call these pieces "boning," and in several other contexts they're called "stays".
This is so amazing!... I was just wondering how I could join some plastic as waterproofing alongside a building project.... to waterproof foundations.....I have strong thick plastic bags but didn't just want to lay them or they would leak between.... To buy the 300 micron plastic is expensive because they only sell it in huge rolls for the building industry.... but now I can use waste bags instead. Too cool!!! Thanks for the info Joel. 

Chelle
 
Chelle Lewis
Posts: 424
Location: Hartbeespoort, South Africa
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Brenda Groth wrote:
Mary Janes Farm magazine this week had a great article in it on making paper impregnated with weeds or with seeds (the seeds if done right can be planted in the garden later)..

the papers they did were beautiful,

Do you have a pic, Brenda? Can't really imagine the seed paper. Sounds interesting.

Chelle
 
                    
Posts: 63
Location: N.W. Arkansas
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I had a bright idea!?  Last year, I turned over my cloches, and created a per plant compost/manure tea feeder.
My idea was:  put manure/compost in the cloche, bury it neck end down near plant, water into the cloche would feed the plant.  I could only feed the as needed per type in this way, and less effort, fill them once, then water into them, and only refill when used up!
Also any weedseeds in compost/manure that sprouts would be contained.
I planted them what I thought was a safe distance away from the plants.







It looked good, worked good, and yes, they became little grass filled tubs, easy to weed them out, before they set seed and just put grass as mulch.
Then I noticed odd wilting.
When it rained, and the garden didn't need watering, I got wilt.  But, if I watered all was well.  So odd.  Then I decided to remove the feeders, the plants were doing great. 

That didn't work, those containers were full of roots.  And the wilting was the rain didn't fill the containers, like I did when I watered!  Lesson learned, if you feed them this way, find some way to keep the roots out of the container!  I am going to put the lid on with holes in the lids this year..  maybe some old pantyhose cut to fit under the lid?

I use a J or K hook to crochet the bags, whichever size seems to work.  I like the idea of braiding and arranging them then sewing them, do you sew by hand or machine?

Before anyone asks, I build these tunnels they are moveable, just pvc woven through chicken wire, and I set them in place as needed.  I then can cover them with plastic in early spring, or shading in summer, and back to frost protection in fall.  I also have legs that I can lift them to 8 feet tall.  I have free range chickens and to protect them, or rather give them a fighting chance against predators I don't clip their wings, so they fly into my garden at will.  And a freshly planted bed is an invitation to them to dig, and eat my plants etc.  But, they still patrol the paths and get bugs that get too close to the chicken wire.  It takes just seconds to lift the 2' panel off the bed, and have access to the area that I want. 

A different bed,  It is time to use scissors to mow my grass!

 
Chelle Lewis
Posts: 424
Location: Hartbeespoort, South Africa
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Really neat.... that is sort of what I want to do for my iceberg roses. I like the idea of putting compost/manure tea in.... really power packed with nutrition. Moringa leaves powdered and added are also excellent apparently.

Neat little tunnels too! Superb seedling protection. Wish it would keep monkeys off mine.... they just lift it or jump on it to bend it down to reach the plants. Perfect for protection from hens though.

Loved seeing the pics... thanks  Like what you are doing.

Chelle
 
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