Monday, April 22, 2013

Earth Day: Being Green

Being Green shouldn't just be for 1 day of the year.  Yes, it's Earth Day, but let's talk about some sound practices that can make a difference all year long.

In the spirit of that I'm recycling a previous post about how we are "Green" at our shop:

Most shops buy cups to mix stain in….I save my soda cans, cut off the bottom and have a cup.  After I’m done using it, I send it to the recycling plant.  

Most shops buy bottles to properly store stains after mixing them.

 Did you know that soda bottles (the plastic ones) are resistant to acetone, lacquer, thinner and basically every other chemical used in the common wood shop?   I've known this for years and use them all to store these items.  This saves money for the shop and reuses (recycles) these ‘throw away’ products giving them a second life before I send them to the recycling plant.  I pay for them once and use them twice.

Lumber.  I have a ‘firewood pile’ in the shop.  It’s all the scraps from projects worked on.  I even draw from it all the time in the shop if I need a small piece for a moulding , test piece, peg or dowel etc, etc. Then, as a last use, when the pile gets too big I take it out camping with me and…firewood it is (cherry makes some fine tasting marshmallows btw).  I’m currently using the sawdust in the shop to store my olive tree slabs to dry them for my Master’s Project.  Said and done right now only about 3% of all lumber coming into the shop ends up in a landfill.   Judging from the 17 other woodshops outside my door, other shops seem to average about 10-15%.

Rags come from friends, neighbors and old work clothes.  I haven’t bought a rag in the entire history of my shop.

Glass/aluminum are used whenever and wherever I can.  10yrs ago I bought aluminum bottles for my water out camping (the kind you can see in every environmentally friendly hand today)….all my friends said I was crazy and bought lexan bottles.  Mine are all still in use and all of theirs are now in landfills.

GLASS! The miracle product!  It needs no recycling! Hey people…it’s a ROCK it started a ROCK and it’s still a ROCK and it will return to being a ROCK when humans are all dead and gone from this planet!  There is even an entire beach in northern California, known for its beauty, that’s totally made of glass shards due to a now defunct glass factory located nearby.  It’s all been rounded by the sea and re-deposited on the beach.  And study after study cannot find any detrimental effects to the environment…it’s a ROCK people!

Am I an eco nut?...not on your life.  However common sense and a general care of where and how I live goes a long way towards being green.

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