Looking Back at July

July was a busy time for me.  We celebrated my son’s 26th birthday, Independence Day and I had plenty around here to keep me busy.  It was an exceptionally wet month for us with cold temperatures which meant every time the rain stopped I was outside weeding.  I also took on the challenge of No Plastic in July and collected even more furniture which needed to find new homes.   Here’s how July looked from here.

No Plastic in July didn’t turn  out too badly if I look at it from the perspective of the typical American, but for me I failed.  I needed certain items this month that could not be found without plastic on them. There were:

  • 3 packages of underwear, (this is where I draw the line on  used clothing),
  • plastic wrapping on 8 packages of clothes line to repair  the patio chairs,
  • 3 plastic bags that came home with me from the farmer’s market
  • 1 plastic bag from tortillas
  • 1 bag from store-bought organic apples and the plastic tie on the bag
  • Plastic wrapping on the end of a bunch of bananas
  • 3 plastic containers of plants purchased at the farmer’s market ( all are being repurposed) :-)
  • And the worst offender, I purchased a new notebook (computer) which as well as having a plastic case, had 4 small plastic bags on components.

This type of spending is not typical for me, I grew most of my plants from seed this year, but after the deer ate all my tomato plants I purchased one to have fresh tomatoes, this was the first time I can ever remember buying clothes line, but it was a better option than throwing out the patio chairs, and as for underwear sorry that’s where I draw the line on buying used. :-)

Okay so I didn’t reach zero plastic in the month of July, but I did save several items which were headed for the landfill. :-)

There was this metal piece which was removed from a mirror that is now a wreath, all the fabrics were purchased used.


I saved 4 more chairs

8_1_2013 8_32_03 PM_jpg

Two storage baskets

8_1_2013 4_13_21 PM_jpg

A wall clock


A  Patio Table


A flag and flag pole, a set of home stereo speakers, two tiki lamps


I freecycled the speakers and the 2 hose reels I found over May and June..  Then using some fabric purchased at a yard sale and some paint I updated a cheap-o shelf I found back in May.

From this

From this

To This

To This

Then there were the items set out by a neighbor who is moving across the country to further his education.

art canvas and pencil sharpener

art canvas and pencil sharpener

wooden pop crate, pens and markers in a lovely metal holder, and two lamps.

wooden pop crate, pens and markers in a lovely metal holder, and two lamps.

The two lamps already have a home, one my granddaughter picked the color and took home for next to her bed.

7_25_2013 5_55_54 PM_jpg

I also found a liquid soap dispenser which appears to have never been used, it will go out for a yard sale as soon as we have a nice weekend.

Porcelain, although made in China and sold under the Better Homes and Gardens brand.

Porcelain, although made in China and sold under the Better Homes and Gardens brand.

Next came a bag of T-shirts never worn that were being walked to the dumpster.  13 in all.  My son, his wife and a friend of hers each took one, a neighbor said he would take all I had in his size (for a total of 5) that he would wear for work shirts  That leaves me with 5, a couple of which I will keep for myself.

Promotional T-shirts never worn.

Promotional T-shirts never worn.

Another project I wanted to have completed was the dining room table, and 3 various chairs that I restored and added the one wooden chair found in July to make this set.

I didn’t get the table finished, I’ve only just started on it.  But I do have the chairs finished.


A toaster oven I forgot to photograph before sending it to its new home.

Finally I saved 10 DVD-R in cases, never used.  My son was thrilled with this as these are quite pricey.


This brings my total of saved items for the month of July to 44 items plus a good-sized collection of pens and markers.  Some small some larger, but all would have taken up precious space in landfills when they were still usable.  It didn’t take much to repurpose these items,


What I haven’t counted here is the food scraps I have been able to save.  Starting a compost section in the garden I have been able to convince family and friends to drop off food waste here rather than tossing it in their garbage.  Surprisingly they have responded by doing just that.

Did you find anything this month that was destined for the trash?





  1. You achieved such a lot looking back through July… trying to think if hubby made anything out of anything he is always collecting bits here and there on his travels or what others throw away and he says he will find a good use for it… in fact our Garage has no room for a car, lol full of his collections that ‘Come in handy’ someday… And normally they do… Someone was throwing away a three seater swing, He took it and its now next to the shed in the allotments… just the thing after a mornings weeding as we take a drink of water or a flask with hot drink in… We get many a curious look.. :-) ;-) lol… Swinging our feet off the ground!…. Happy Days! :-) xxxx

    • Sue, I have collected so much and been so busy I haven’t taken the time to update my Saved from Landfills page which is on my list for this weekend. Love the picture I have of your swing, what a great thing to have at the allotment when you need a break from work. Do others use it as well or is it only for your use? Normally, someone who has a garage full of stuff makes me shake my head as it’s stuff they bought and have no where to put it, but a garage of found stuff makes me smile. :-) Good for your hubby.

    • We had our heatwave briefly during the first week of July then it got cold.I’m still waiting for it to warm back up. It’s now August with temps more common for the end of September. With the university just opening back up this month I probably won’t find much discarded but that should give me time to work on some personal projects.

  2. At my sister’s apartment complex, anything someone thinks that someone else might be able to use gets put in front of the dumpster. The stuff never stays for long before someone picks it up. The system seems to work well. It’s hard for me to imagine, people putting good things into the dumpster.
    I don’t remember seeing the mosaic table before. Did you have to do anything to fix it?

  3. I haven’t rescued anything from the trash, but I am working on a t shirt reclamation project. I seem to have acquired a lot of ridiculously huge oversized t shirts, and I’m never gonna wear them. I pulled a few out to use as nightshirts and the rest I’m modifying into things I might actually wear. I’ve done 2 so far and the results aren’t half bad.

    If you want to avoid the plastic from the tortillas, you could try making some. My favorites are the TexMex gordita tortillas made with this recipe:


    I’m not sure if you can make them without a skillet; maybe in the bottom of the rice cooker or crock pot? They are totally yummy and worth the extra effort. I usually use whole wheat flour instead of white.

    • Cat, I’ve wondered if I could make them with what I have on hand, but really need to stop eating bread products which don’t seem to agree with me, but I will definitely give it a go when I have company coming.

      I got a couple of books out of the library on modifying t-shirts, but haven’t tried any yet many of the finished shirts in the books weren’t anything I would wear. Like to see what you have done for some inspiration.

  4. You know, we’ve taken a lot of looks at the dumpsters, since we moved to our apartment. It’s a pretty transient population here, and when people leave, they throw everything away. I might get started fixing things up, too!

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