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Sunday, March 9, 2014

Using Salvaged Materials to Cut Costs

Poor Man Survival

Self Reliance tools for independent minded people…

 ISSN 2161-5543


"The welfare of humanity is always the alibi of tyrants."
-- Albert Camus


Seeking Salvaged Building Materials? PlanetReuse Can Help

Make decorative and functional things for your home and garden out of recycled items. With a little imagination, you can create furniture, lighting, garden art and personal accessories from materials destined for the recycling plant or the landfill. Get the kids involved with your recycled crafts to teach them to think outside the box.

Where I lived in AZ it was easy to find materials being readied for the dumpster by area contractors.  So much home building had taken place, free stuff was easy to find…all you had to do was ask or spend a few bucks at the local Goodwill.  We now live in MI and the pickings aren’t as easy to find but we manage none the less.

After spending a decade working on projects to design and build LEED-certified projects, Nathan Benjamin saw a major flaw in the supply chain. He noticed that, while builders sought to create “green” environments, they were sending tons of disposed materials to the landfill and replacing them with new items.

“Sourcing used materials for LEED projects was difficult, and therefore was not accessible to most design professionals,” explains the LEED-accredited architectural engineer. “We also knew that job site superintendents were looking for an alternative to the Dumpster for their demolition and construction waste.”

Those two simple but profound observations led Benjamin to create PlanetReuse, a sort of for people who are looking for materials for building projects. Connecting used or discarded materials with contractors, builders and architects has created a new life for the materials while keeping tons of building products out of landfills. Many of the materials found on the PlanetReuse site come directly from reuse salvagers and deconstruction companies, Benjamin says — and are companies most people have never heard of.

“They are out there salvaging materials every day,” he says. “Our job is to match up their great stuff with the folks that are looking for things you can’t find in a box store.”

That may include everything from bowling alley lanes and church steeples to reclaimed materials from a 120-year-old farm house. The constantly changing inventory includes materials from commercial and residential projects…

Locally, you might tap into the resources offered by Habitat for Humanity and their ‘ReStore’ salvage outlets.  Find one year you at:



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Save It, Fix It, Keep It, Use It

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Yours in freedom,

Bruce ‘the Poor Man’

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