I don’t know why the media has to come up with stupid terms for everything. Reading about sustainable living, every time I see the word “lifecycling” I feel like I am hearing nails on a chalkboard. Everything has to be trendy and new, so apparently, the word recycle is out. Now recycling is a lifestyle.
Lifecycling takes recycling to the next level; it’s a philosophy that embraces new, creative uses for products as a way extend their cycle, positively benefit your personal life and keep as much garbage out of landfills as possible.
Of course, I think recycling is great. I really love efficiency and hate waste, so reusing everything I can is pretty satisfying. But thriftiness is a big motivator. I take pride and find satisfaction in keeping my expenses a fraction of my overall income.
On the ten acre mini-farm I live and work on, there were a lot of random materials left when we moved in. We found a way to recycle almost everything.
One of our chicken coops is 90% wood that was left on the property, and the other 10% was leftover wood from building a shed. I removed an old concrete walkway in front of the house and made a berm as a backstop for shooting. Old buried bricks were turned into a patio under the live oaks. I also lined some garden beds with more salvaged bricks and cinder blocks.
We compost the insane amount of leaves which fall off the huge oak trees and use the compost in the gardens. We are expanding out rainwater collection, and one structure is getting solar panels next week!
We used pallets to make a gate and the floor of an outdoor kitchen. In fact, the counter and sink for the outdoor kitchen were snagged for free off craigslist when someone threw them out. Craiglist is a great resource to find cheap or free raw materials for any number of projects.
My brother-in-law, who owns the mini-farm with my sister, works for himself buying used items at yard sales, thrift stores, and estate sales, and selling them on eBay. His whole business is centered around reuse, finding good items a new home, not in a landfill.
So even though I hate the term “lifecycling” I do love the concept. It’s just funny to me that it is being sold as a cool new movement of youngsters! Actually, it was the norm back in the day. People sewed and patched holes in clothing. Composting veggie scraps was a no brainer. Fences were even sourced from backyard lumber.
Recycling has the potential to free up a lot of capital. Since we find so many free and cheap materials, it means the mini-farm can grow that much quicker. Even things like buying used chicken processing equipment instead of buying it new meant that money could instead be spent on building a fourth chicken coop.