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Pioneers vs the Modern Homestead Trash

 
gardener & hugelmaster
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My dad puts glass and a couple rocks in a concrete mixer for a while to round the sharp edges off and then uses it as gravel in the driveway.  



I've seen this done. Excellent walking paths.

As far as deer corn ... several years ago I emptied entire deer corn bags opened on the ground. Replaced it for several months when the piles were almost gone. The time came to stop feeding them. Underneath it all was a 2 inch thick layer of black goo. Very tar like but gooier. Did not seem biological or natural at all. Nothing would grow there but it was overgrown everywhere else around. Any guesses on what kind of corn it turned out to be? Gimme a G ....


 
steward & bricolagier
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Mike Barkley wrote:
As far as deer corn ... several years ago I emptied entire deer corn bags opened on the ground. Replaced it for several months when the piles were almost gone. The time came to stop feeding them. Underneath it all was a 2 inch thick layer of black goo. Very tar like but gooier. Did not seem biological or natural at all. Nothing would grow there but it was overgrown everywhere else around. Any guesses on what kind of corn it turned out to be? Gimme a G ....



A G... GROSS!! :D

I forget what "food" someone spilled once, that even the ants wouldn't touch. That can't be a good sign....
 
master steward
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Dan, Pearl and Mike ...  thank you for doing what you can to keep stuff out of landfills.

And thank you for sharing.

 
Pearl Sutton
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Me and Dan Boone were derailing this thread, so the conversation resumes on a new thread of it's own. If you are going to comment on any of the stuff about plastic bricks, or the financial reality of plastic use, please do so at the new thread. Financial Realities vs Waste

We return this thread to thoughts on Pioneers vs the Modern Homestead Trash!! :)
 
Anne Miller
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Here are some things to do with plastic bottles:


Doll Houses




Bird Houses or Bird Feeders




Wind Chimes or maybe this hangs over a baby's bed?



 
Pearl Sutton
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Anne: Cute birdhouses and dollhouses... I think that looks like fun to do... I love itty bitty things I can make gaudy colors! I'll notate those in my idea files. Thanks!!
 
pollinator
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I grew up on a property that had once been part of a larger farm.  My house was built next to a kind of gully that was located about 300 to 400 yards from the farm house.  Guess where the farmers' dump was!  My mother spent years going down there and pulling out the dangerous rusted tin cans and broken glass bottles down there.  It was a favorite play area for my brother and I but we were admonished to stay on the path.  Luckily we tended to stay on the slope above where all the trash ended up.  It certainly was a life lesson about waste!
 
pollinator
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We actually save our feed bags. We find uses for them from time to time; but I predict that we will want them for storage of all sorts of crops, including acorns, onions, and grain...and if we have too many they will be much-wanted barter items, one day...
 
gardener
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My feed store switched from paper cattle feed bags to plastic.

I found out they have  cattle cubes, corn, and deer protien in bulk. I just have to figure out the logistics of hauling that way. There is a savings which offers some incentive to figure it out.
 
Anne Miller
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I love finding ways to use cans:










 
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I feed birds heavily in my back yard during the winter months. I save all of the sacks as they are all threaded plastic types.
One of my current re-use of these bags is to re-bag older garden chemicals that came in paper bags.
Another is to slit the bags along the length on one side and snip off the closed end - then I turn them with the inside now out and lay those across my temporary germination station on my front porch. That keeps the porch looking nice and keeps the water off of the OSB strip underneath. The south-facing porch is great for both the germination and growth through to re-potting.
 
pollinator
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Betsy Carraway wrote:We actually save our feed bags. We find uses for them from time to time; but I predict that we will want them for storage of all sorts of crops, including acorns, onions, and grain...and if we have too many they will be much-wanted barter items, one day...



I save them... but the mice tend to use them before I do.  I've been trying to reduce my use... but it's hard.  And we do reuse them.  Kids had a sack race in them at a family get together, when I sell compost I reuse bags, and when I take grain to the mill to have it ground for the cows, I reuse their bags (even though their posted policy is that they don't use reused bags for biosecurity reasons, they've never told me I can't).  

I currently generate 4 empty bags a week in the winter, 6-8 a week in the summer (mostly chick starter - my old hens diet is heavily subsidized with food scraps, so they don't eat much commercial grain in the grand scheme of things, considering how many I have).  Moral of the story might be that I just have too much poultry.  And that's just the poultry.    

I've seen people selling totes made of old grain bags, but the grain I get doesn't come in pretty bags, and the market seems to be saturated around here, and I'm not crafty.  

I keep one hanging on a nail in the barm as a trah bag for barn trash.

Wish I knew what else to do with them.  I end up burning some every couple of weeks... at that point they are fuel to cook sketchy meat scraps up for the animals, so not a total waste, but I can get free wood and cardboard to burn just as easily.  

As for being barter items in the future... I'd trade them for a nickel each... any takers?  LOL.  
 
pollinator
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Up to a certain point, the problem is structural, so the solution is probably structural as well.

Ask for bulk options. Pester companies you buy from for more sustainable packaging. Try no to look just at the price of the product, but also the cost (in time, "karma" and, in your case, actual dump costs) of taking care of the packaging. And when you find an alternative, tell your main brand why you're no longer using their product.

Pestering feels like a drop in the sea, but it eventually changes things. My grocery store used to over-package all their vegetables, including things that made no sense (plastic wrapping a turnip???). Everytime I saw a clerk in the produce section, I'd tell them politely "What a shame I can't buy this produce. It looks lovely but I don't buy things that are shrinkwrapped. Will you let your boss know, please?". Every single time. And I'd get the same lame excuse that wrapped veggies last longer, that customers find it cleaner...

Two years of this... and a few months ago, they figured out a less wasteful solution to serve vegetables unwrapped (they are in bulk boxes with a lid, which keep them fresher I guess? With tongs to serve ourselves.).

I'm sure I wasn't the only one, but with enough people letting them know that it's hurting their bottom line, companies DO change. And when they do change, they change not only for ourselves, but also for all the others who couldn't be bothered about the environment.

 
Posts: 33
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I'm saving my feedbags in the hope of building a wee earthship one day. I think I have enough for half a wall so far :)
My ridiculous amount of glass jars will likely get used the same way.
I love Anne Miller's painted cans. Stops the rust and looks so pretty. Definitely trying that.

 
master pollinator
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Woven poly feed bags, the white ones, make a dandy micro-greenhouse for tomato plants. Open both ends and slip over the tomato cage.
 
Thomas Dean
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Douglas Alpenstock wrote:Woven poly feed bags, the white ones, make a dandy micro-greenhouse for tomato plants. Open both ends and slip over the tomato cage.



THat's a neat idea.  Enough light gets through for growth?  Any photos?  
 
Jesse Glessner
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I use the white poly feed bags (from birdseed), plain side up, to line my 2 ft X 8 ft temporary shelf on my front porch to brighten it up visually, bounce more light back for the veggies, and to catch the water from overflowing plant containers. This works GREAT!

IF I do any of the Farmer's / Maker's markets I will also use the cut open bags with plain side out as a table cover. Noting like advertising a little "homeliness" while trying to get people to open their wallets!

Another use that I think I will try is to cover my garden walkways with the opened bags to kill off all of the grass and weeds before I lay down Mulch along the paths, although they will be pulled up just before the Mulch goes on.

One other use I have made of these is to re-bag some of my chemicals which have sat around for several years and whose bags have deteriorated by just trying to slip the new bag around the old and printing out new large labels for the fronts of the new bags. Worst case is to shovel the contents into the new bags!
 
Douglas Alpenstock
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Thomas Dean wrote:THat's a neat idea.  Enough light gets through for growth?  Any photos?  


No photos, sorry. My mother has been doing this for 50 years. She rolls down the bag just enough for the top leaves to get direct light. It seems tomatoes need extra heat as much as light in order to thrive (up here anyway, our nights are cool).
 
pollinator
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John Polk wrote:

... WOW, $20 for one bag of trash at the dump


Yeah, insane.  But it is a double edged sword:
If it is too cheap, the city loses money on it...they should at least break even.
If it is too expensive, many people will just abandon it on the road, or wherever they can.



My dump just went up from $11.75 to $15.50 for multiple bags up to 360 lbs, and that is the min.
 
Devin Lavign
pollinator
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Just something to think about, we live in a lot more disposable time. Now days it is next to impossible to get away from plastic. Thing aren't built to last. There is so many layers to get to a product.

It is hard to reduce and reuse, because things are just not made that way. I would suggest looking carefully at what you buy, and if it produces too much waste stop buying it. There is a lot I stopped getting because it generated too much waste.
 
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I agree with you Devin,

It is hard to reduce and reuse, because things are just not made that way. I would suggest looking carefully at what you buy, and if it produces too much waste stop buying it. There is a lot I stopped getting because it generated too much waste.



My grandmother always said "We're too poor to buy cheap stuff".

Sometimes I buy an item I need based on the package. For example - powered laundry soap - it comes in large plastic buckets. I have reused the buckets as planters for herbs and medium sized produce. I also screwed the open buckets to the back of the bunny hutches to make nests/beds for them. Since they are square-ish, I was thinking that I could make a veg bin for the root veg and winter squashes I am hoping to get this year. DH is very good at making my crazy ideas work, and he has stopped rolling his eyes.

I had not thought to use feed bags as grow bags, I am going to try that. Currently I fill dog food bags with dog poop...what goes in, must come out. I saw a pinterest item on how to make floor mats out of plastic bags. I am not sure I am that talented. But it looked interesting. I have used the bags, white side up to try and defeat squash vine borers with limited success. Clemson did a study that white plastic mulch confused pests, including SVB.

I like to go to Habitat and Good Will (at least I did last year. 2020 the year we all stayed home.) when I have a need. I find a lot of good stuff to re-purpose. There is a lot of junk too, you have to shift thorough carefully. I got a solid birch floor to ceiling kitchen cabinet for $20. It needed the paint scraped off and be repainted. DH said that I turned a $20 find into a $120 project. It was worth it.

I made garden art from #10 cans, a deep fryer pot and some scrap duct-work.

Food scraps are composted or become animal feed. I buy all cotton clothing - which is getting harder to find - so I can use it all up.

But it is getting harder and harder to use everything all up. I think we are shoving against the tide.

Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout, Would not take the garbage out! ~ Where the Sidewalk Ends, Shel Silverstein.


20160821_190227.jpg
Robbie
Robbie
 
Anne Miller
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For those of you that save feed bags, here is a handy tip:

We wait until we have may 5 or 10 bags.  We use an old piece of PVC that is bigger then the width of the bags. We lay them flat on a table (our table is outdoors).  We start at the bottom of the stack and make sure the bags are all very flat.  Next, take the PVC pipe, lay it on the stake at the bottom, then roll the bags onto the pipe. When we get to the top of the bags we remove the pipe. We use the string that was at the top of the bag opening to tie the bags together in two places so that they don't unroll.

We have a bag that is attached to the wall that we put these rolled bags in to store them.  That way mice don't get them.
 
Anne Miller
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Here are some neat things to do with feed bags:

I wish I had seen this when we were getting really pretty bags since my lawn chair cushion need to be replace




This says that it is an egg gathering apron, I would have never guessed that is what it is




More aprons




How about wallpaper for the barn or a shed





 
Jesse Glessner
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My mother used to use the feed sacks that had designs on them for dress material way back when.
I guess these crinkly, tough, bags wouldn't be too useful for that purpose though.

They can rot out withing a year if set on the ground or outside. But, they sure come in handy at gardening time to carry soil mixes, compost, tools, etc. in when you need something to "grab-n-go".

I don't know what they do with these when picked up in the garbage. I would assume that not too many places would want them as many of these types of bags have threading embedded, making the melting of the plastic a horror - unless the threading is the same plastic material.
 
Anne Miller
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While reading a project thread I found a great way to use buckets like cat litter comes in.

Make a chicken feeder:

Jay said, "Solution: Take two plastic buckets recycled from a local company and 3 stainless #8 machine screws,  1 washer, 6 fender washers and 3 nylock nuts and spend an 1 1/2 hours cutting and assembling it.



it needed to not rot and be easy to clean. The square bucket will easily protect it from rain from 3 sides, and half the second bucket will act as a "visor" to protect the opening on the 4th side at least moderately well.







From HERE

Visit that thread for some other great project ideas!
 
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Pearl Sutton wrote:Somewhere in this thread there was talk of feed bag reuse, my feed comes in the heavy paper bags, great for weed suppression!



This spring when I was building and rejuvenating soil for my container garden (by screening together old soil, semi-fresh stallion poop, composted wood chips, and various amendments) there was no perlite to be had at any of the usual outlets within the radius of about 1.5 hours of driving time (one way).  So I ordered a 4 cubic foot bag on Amazon.  To my surprise, it came in a huge multi-layered feed-type paper bag instead of the plastic sack all the big box stores use.   Had to transfer it right away into a half-barrel because I didn't have rain-secure storage for it.

Ended up opening up that empty bag, laying it right down on the weedy sod in the side yard with a bit of stallion poop underneath it (for the worms) and another thicker layer of the poop on top of it. Opened up a tiny hole in the middle, filled that hole with about a quart of new potting soil, and planted summer squash in that. Then covered the whole area, lasagna style, with about six inches of "fresh" (a year old, but not heavily composted yet) wood chips.  A couple of passes with a borrowed mower covered the whole pile with grass clippings, but that was more-or-less accidental.   That hill of squash is presently by FAR the most robust of my half-dozen.
 
Jesse Glessner
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I just found a new way for more recycling some of my plastic trash.
I buy a few of the 'bowl' meals each week while shopping. These make quick efficient meals with only the bowl as 'waste'.
I always save the bowls assuming that some day I will find a use for them. I did just that this Spring.

I have a temporary potting table on my front porch, where I use many of the black 4" planting containers. Those have the necessary drainage holes in the bottom. SO, I just stick the 'meal bowl' underneath each pot. It takes a bit of room, however, it saves a lot of toweling and mopping cleanup.

They are perfect for keeping the plants watered and if water flows through it is caught in the bowl. The bowls are a tough, semi-translucent plastic and can be recycled for many different purposes. For instance, they make great pet bowls - if set on a rubber mat so they don't scoot across the floor.

I also use my 'Wild Bird Seed' bags to cover the 2 ft. wide OSB board that is the shelf. Those bags make a perfect, mostly water proof, cover after being cut length-wise and cutting the bottoms off. The white looks much better than the OSB board also.
 
Jesse Glessner
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Redd Hudson wrote:I made garden art from #10 cans, a deep fryer pot and some scrap duct-work.



I always get to smile when I see you little "Hobbit - Robbit", er Hobbit Robot!
 
Thomas Dean
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Jesse Glessner wrote:I just found a new way for more recycling some of my plastic trash.
I buy a few of the 'bowl' meals each week while shopping. These make quick efficient meals with only the bowl as 'waste'.
I always save the bowls assuming that some day I will find a use for them.


Back in the day, TV dinners came on pretty solid plastic plates.  How do I know this, being a young-ish guy?  Because we inherited a stack of them and used them for 5+ years as our dinner plates, this was after they had been used for several decades by my in-laws.  Family story is that when a certain relative was ill and in the hospital, the spouse ate a lot of tv dinners and saved the plates.  Eventually, there were enough that several members of the family had them for dinnerware.  I think that we are the last to have them, and we have compiled what is left of all the collections, but even now we don't have a "full" set, so we had to start using other plates.  
Here are some that people are selling, so others must have re-used them like our family:
https://www.etsy.com/listing/253921669/le-menu-armour-600-plate-microwave-tv?show_sold_out_detail=1
 
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