(written on February 18th, 2019)
The definition of salvage is to rescue from destruction.
Occasionally K and I will write a word on our white board to focus on for the day. The words we pick are random but meaningful, and sometimes the kids help us decide.
A couple weeks ago K chose the word Salvage and our son immediately wanted to know the definition. We described salvage as a way of rescuing items from the trash and started to give examples in our household. As we gave examples we were amazed at how many items in our home were salvaged and the unique stories behind them.
Here are some of the items and the stories behind them:
- Green Teapot: While camping in Payson last summer, we stumbled upon a Firehouse with tables out front that said, “Free Stuff.” We had been wanting a teapot, and there sat a beautiful forest green one on the table. Score!
- High top bistro table: Our sweet neighbor actually found this by the dumpster and gave it to us. We have had many coffees, breakfasts, lunches, dinners and discussions at this table. A huge blessing.
- Desk Chair: Definitely my favorite story! K was on a 15 mile bike ride and on his way back he spotted this chair. I am not sure how, but he biked the last 6 miles in the dark carrying this chair. We love how its antique look contrasts our white IKEA desk.
- Jogging Stroller: We were finally done with strollers in the fall, throwing our umbrella double stroller away. It felt good to be out of that phase of parenthood, but then we realized our 4 year old still needed the stroller option on longer journeys. So one weekend K found the jogging stroller by a dumpster with a flat tire. He repaired the tire and it has been a great asset on runs and walks!
- Patio Coffee Table: K found it by the dumpster with the glass in-lay missing. While contemplating what material to put on top, the maintenance crew threw out some cabinet doors. So he sawed a piece of the cabinet and put it on top. Perfect fit.
- Bike rack: My daughter and I were on our way to our trolley stop for school pick up. We passed a dumpster and sitting next to it was a bike rack in excellent condition. This was an item on our list to save for, so we grabbed it and took it home. We still made it to our trolley on time! Now we can get more creative with one car because we can take K and his bike to work and he can get home on his own.
- Basketball: One day while waiting for the trolley my daughter and I found a basketball floating in the lake. We grabbed it, pumped it up at home, and have shot many hoops at the park with it!
- Colorful backpack and purses: My daughter and I were thrilled one day to discover a large box next to our apartment dumpster. Inside were dozens of purses, a colorful backpack, and some workout clothes. We took about 6 purses, the backpack and workout clothes.
I understand that salvaging items from dumpsters is not for everyone. But for us it is a very fulfilling way to keep items in circulation that would otherwise sit in a landfill. We love seeing how much life is left in some of these items and showing our kids how to be resourceful.
There is so much excess in our world today that I am convinced most items we need could be found for free if we just keep our eyes open.
So if salvaging is for you, keep your eyes open for those diamonds in the rough.