Change the World Wednesday – 16th Nov

*Checks to make sure date is right*

Last week I mentioned that my papaya tree was giving shade to the kitchen. Small Footprints also mentioned that she had similar success with tomato plants. Just thought I would share the best heat control (Yes, I know most of you are heading to winter, file this away) I ever had (even beats air conditioning) was when I lived in a previous house.

Amendoeira Tree

We had an ‘amendoeira’ tree growing in the front yard. It was huge and apart from supporting the kids’ tyre swing it shaded the house. I have a photo, but cant find it, so I have added this one.

As you can see, plenty of shade.

The one we had shaded the lounge and even on the hottest days the lounge was cool and refreshing.

Plant a tree, do away with the need for costly air conditioning. The only problem with the amendoeira tree was that they shed leaves twice a year, but what a wonderful addition to the compost heap.

This week’s Change the World Wednesday challenge:

At this time of year, many people are planning holiday dinners, family get-togethers, etc. Typically, decorations play into these events. So this week, we’d like your tips & ideas for decorating in a “green” way. And, of course, we’d like you to choose Eco-friendly decorations for your event.

Or …

If you are not planning to decorate for a special occasion this year, we’d like to know how you generally adorn your living space. For example, do you purchase recycled items (wall hangings, knickknacks, etc.). Is your furniture made of Eco-friendly materials? Again, we’d love your tips & ideas for creating a comfortable, “green” living space … and if you’re thinking of adding anything new to your home, please choose an Eco-friendly item.

Well, I am not planning on celebrations at home, so I guess I have to consider the second part of the challenge.

My house has only three new items. My bed, the chair I am sitting on and a small cabinet in the kitchen; the rest is secondhand and recycled.

My sofas (2 & 3 seat) I salvaged after the larger one was thrown out by a family down the road a little. They later offered me the smaller as well.

The cabinete in the lounge, was donated by my previous landlord, I just had to repair it and it was mine. The coffee table was off the street and my liquor cabinet is old fruit boxes. The wine rack came from a brechó (Op Shop, secondhand shop). The TV (second hand) sits on a computer table that I salvaged from the street.

My fridge I bought secondhand from a neighbour. The drawers in my bedroom came from the street.

Improvised kitchen

There are many other items that I have salvaged and I have improvised a lot. Yes, those are old wardrobe drawers that I used to make my first makeshift kitchen cabinet and it’s still there; and a brick that holds my utensils. The portable stacker (left obscured) also came from the street; after a good scrub, was as good as new.

Now mostly this was buy necessity, but now that I am financially better off than when I began to set up house again. I usually check out the brechó before I buy anything. I can’t see the sense in buying new if secondhand is available and in good or repairable condition. Buying new is for the birds and those with status problems.

I learned along time ago to shuck my pride.

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Thank you for expanding my vocabulary — brecho is a new one for me. I like to use reclamed paper to decorate my space!

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  2. @La Alicia, glad to be of service. In Portuguese reclaim = complain, so be careful; papel reciclado is better.

    AV

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  3. I Love your ideas; especially the wardrobe dresser and brick utensil holder. We have a giant honey tub that homes our pens and pencils and my DH made me a beautiful chest from 3 old drawers; the sort of thing you’d see for sale for a fortune in some arty shop 🙂

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