Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Green Walking, Turning Trash to Treasure, Part II

The MoneyWalkers French Quarter style patio. Many of the fence boards were recycled as were all the patio bricks.

Journal Entries

Oct. 19: Weight = 173. Lbs; Coinage = $1.33, 18 pennies, 3 nickels, 5 dimes, 2; 7 glass bottles; 5 ground scores

Oct. 18;
Weight = 174.6 lbs. (12 day excursion to NYC and DC with unchecked consumption); Coinage = $9.08, $5 dollar bill, 1 dollar bill, 88 pennies, 12 nickels, 11 dimes, 2 quarters; 11 glass bottles; 2 ground scores; one super find (2 quarters in a telephone return).

Oct. 7: Weight =172.8 lbs.; Coinage =$1.42, 42 pennies, 4 nickels, 3 dimes, 2 quarters; Glass bottles = 11; Ground scores = 2.

Oct. 6: Weight = 172.4 lbs.; Coinage = $2.08, 48 pennies, 7 nickels, 10 dimes, 1 quarter; ten glass bottle, two ground scores.

Oct. 5,
2010: Weight = 173. lbs; Coinage = $1.48, 37 pennies, 7 nickels, 5 dimes, 1 quarter; 6 glass bottles; ground score = 2.

Feature Entry: Green Walking, Turning Trash to Treasure, Part II

More and more, the MoneyWalker’s blog is reflecting the consciousness of the go-green movement. I walk to complete most shopping experiences if the destination is one mile or less. In our neighborhood that includes the bank, grocery store, dozens of restaurants, the post office, and the drug store. The practice avoids gasoline emissions, saves gasoline consumption, and contributes to the MoneyWalker’s weight loss maintenance strategy.

It is no secret that the MoneyWalker is motivated to maintain his walking practice by the chance of finding money. Pennies add up and finding nickels, dimes, and quarters scattered around the curbs and hotspots of Mid City New Orleans tickles the ventral striatum. But there is a new joy—finding and restoring other people’s trash. Turning “trash to treasure” is a hot topic in the going green movement. I call it the 3R method of sustainability--recycling, reusing, and repurposing.

Boring is the word to define all the types of items that have been found and recycled by the MoneyWalker. To test your stamina suffer through these: jewelry, books, office supplies and equipment, vacuum cleaners, weight lifting equipment, antique gum ball machine, floor lamps, book shelves, desk and credenza, and area carpets. Others include collectibles, TV table, coffee table, extension cords, jumper cables, oil paintings, art work, cleaning supplies, barbecue cookers, and clothes. Even more items include towels, baby strollers, tricycles, bicycles, tools, paint, lumber, bulletin boards, chandeliers, purses, beds, and gas cans.

Perhaps the most significant find occurred after Katrina. Many people with old houses with coal-burning fireplaces restored their homes and tore out the fireplaces to achieve a more modern look. The MoneyWalker retrieved the bricks, cleaned them, and created a “French Quarter” patio. More than 3,000 bricks were used in the project, bricks saved from the land fill.

One problem with the 3R method is distribution. How does the MoneyWalker deal with all that junk? First, he has a large storage area. Second, he is very handy and can repair most things. Third, he conducts a charity yard sale once a year to recycle the finds. He has also purchased “EBay for Dummies” and plans to sells his really good finds on EBay. All proceeds including coinage go to a local charity.

Walking while looking for money and other ground scores is a great one-two punch for weight loss and weight management and for going green. The more you walk, the more lbs. you lose and the more treasures you find to recycle, reuse, or repurpose the more you help sustain planet earth. Both contribute to personal meaning, an outstanding antidote to depression and stress.


1 comment:

  1. The patio is beautiful! I love the bricks!

    Roadfinds are fun. Mostly I stick to smaller items that fit in my pockets or wrapped in a bandanna tied to the handlebars. Neither I nor my hubby are very skilled at repair nor do I have the patience to store things long enough for a yard sale.

    I get the impression from your past posts that in the south it is not unusual to find "treasures" on the side of the roads. Also, you have written about putting recycled articles out that are quickly picked up by others. That would be rare out here in the wild west. Occasionally I will see an item in a yard with a sign marked "free" but not very often. Generally unused items are given to the local thrift stores or sold at yard sales. And by the way, I love thrift stores.