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Day 173: Recycle Reuse Restore

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Today my give is a reflection of the title’s 3 environmental “R’s” of the day, recycle, reuse, and in this case restore. I like to think I do many different things to help the planet every day. I have posted often on the ways my family and I give to the planet. We have started new recycling options at our home to cut our garbage in half, we bought an extra composter, we turn off the lights when not needed and one of my favourite ways to help the planet is to reuse, recycle and restore old furniture. Don’t tell anyone but I love to neighbourhood street pick. I could say garbage pick but what I collect is not garbage. It’s items that people have left on the street which they no longer have need for and would like someone else to take. The garbage men won’t take these items as the pieces I pick up are too large. They have included pieces of furniture and large play items for my son including a children’s basketball net, picnic table and even a small house with a slide. I get this great feeling that with a little elbow grease I can turn one persons junk into my treasure!

Day 173: Give 173

You can see the before and after shots of my resent treasure. I drove past this cabinet a few weeks ago. It had been left outside someone’s house with a “free” sign on it. I am blessed that I am pretty strong so I was able to get it into my SUV (hybrid) without breaking my back or needing an extra set of hands. I saw the potential in this piece – great lines, interesting design and the perfect size for a new toy chest. My husband and I were getting a little tired of having toys all over the living room and wanted a storage unit that was big enough to house a lot of toys but still looked good. It needed a little work but the key was it was free and I was saving the planet from yet another piece of garbage that will sit on a landfill forever.

Step 1: Full sanding on the exterior. The colour wasn’t bad but it was old and chipped. It would need a new coat of stain or paint to get it up to snuff for our living room.

Step 2:- Finding a stain that was low odour and eco friendly. A quick trip to Home Depot. (I also paid an addition eco charge that Home Depot now adds to your bill to help restore the planet.)

Step 3: Two coasts of stain.

Step 4: A full interior clean – fill with toys

Cabinet is ready to go. My son is so excited to have this new cabinet Mom painted for him. I am proud of the fact I saw the potential in a piece of “garbage” and I am thrilled I didn’t add yet another “new” item to our world. Reusing is one of the best was to help our planet. We have so much “stuff” that goes unwanted and not used in our homes every day. Why not make not make it your mission to shop at 2nd hand stores, garage sales or like me just pick it off the street and see what you can do!

Time Commitment: 3 hours to complete the refinishing project

Cost: $15.00 paint


  1. Lucas says:

    That’s a nice cabinet Jacqueline!
    Way to go.


  2. veronica lee says:

    Hi! Stopping by from MBC. Great blog.
    Have a nice day!

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