"You must be the change you wish to see in the world."
-- Mahatma Gandhi
One person’s trash is another’s treasure”-- an overused cliché but when it works, it works. Not too long ago Castlegreen Cooperative was renovating a few of their buildings by replacing old patio doors with some new ones. The old doors were offered up for purchase and Helen Alaksa purchased a few, actually more than the average home owner would need, 14 in total! Of course she had a plan--one she’s been dreaming up for over 20 years. Helen wanted her own greenhouse and these doors provided a great opportunity for her to construct one out of reused and recycled components.
Construction began by creating a basic house frame. The sliding doors with original sliders were installed to create the glass walls. Helen now had moveable walls which are non-existent in most privately owned greenhouses. This multitude of doors makes moving stuff in and out of the greenhouse very easy. You can go in and out on any side. Fitting the glass for the roof was a bit different. The sliders and frames were removed and the entire glass sheets were fitted in. Maintaining a safe structure is imperative and Helen ensured the glass used on the roof was sturdy enough to support an adult and a winter snow load. Keeping the indoor temperature warm and un-desert like is important to the survival of the plants. Fortunately this greenhouse is equipped with a remote access temperature and humidity gauge. “At a glance I can see the temperature as well as the humidity in the greenhouse,” beams Helen. With possible openings on every side Helen can quickly cool the greenhouse down by letting a breeze in.
With the greenhouse now functioning, there are still further plans to improve it. “This is truly a green project,” says Helen as she details the future additions to her greenhouse. She has already planned to use recycled/reused ceiling fans to better circulate the heat and who knows what else may find its way into this green structure. EcoSuperior is happy to see someone locally take the initiative to turn something old into something brand new. It’s inspiring to see how one person’s dream can be fulfilled with another person’s trash.
Do you have a green project you’re proud of? Contact us and let us know! We be happy to tell the world for you!
Reuse in action
Posted By Rose B on 2/7/2011 9:17:21 AM
Shortly after purchasing a home, a woman made it her goal to furnish it with only second-hand items, absolutely nothing new. Every piece of furniture, spoon, towel — all of it would be reused. She told friends and family she was doing a sort of "reverse yard sale," and would accept any dormant or otherwise neglected belongings they no longer had use for. Cullen had only one stipulation: They weren't allowed to use their donations as an excuse to buy new things for themselves.
For larger items like couches, chairs and other bulky furniture Cullen used craigslist.com or went to yard sales. For the smaller fodder, she frequented the swap shop at her local transfer station, as well as The Freecycle Network, an online resource similar to Craigslist, with chapters in communities across the country
Six months later, the experiment not only proved financially sound — she furnished her entire home for less than $1,000 —
To read Kelly Cullen's blog, go to kellygoesgreen.blogspot.com
Scavenger Office Building
Posted By Rose B. on 2/3/2011 9:52:23 PM
In Berkeley, California: A whopping 53 percent of Brower Center construction involves recycled materials, which makes this complex of offices, conference rooms, public space, art gallery, theater, organic restaurant, and more into the world’s biggest scavenged building.
Patio Door Greenhouse
Posted By Katherine Edmund on 2/4/2011 7:54:55 PM
A note to Helen Alaska: It may not be a fan you need. We discovered that even though we put in fans we still had too damp conditions. Turns out, after some Google research, shade cloth was what was needed. Worked like a charm. Because of the implementation of shade cloth, last summer was our best harvest by far. (As a side note: the 'cloth' we used was recycled round bale cover, left behind by the farmer's we bought our property off of)
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Page last updated on Thursday, February 03, 2011