Be Resourceful – Use What You Find!

Last winter, we were facing another cold season of high heating bills and increasing food costs, we got creative with what was available to us.  You can do the same by keeping your eyes and ears open!  By using under- or unutilized resources, you can save money while using nothing that isn’t readily available, decreasing strain on resources.
Our church here in NE Ohio bought a piece of property several years ago and has left it undeveloped.  We found out that the property had an apple tree that wasn’t being harvested.  With the elders’ permission, we went and picked – and picked up – three large buckets of apples.

Yum!

Yum!

Plus, G, who was 2-and-a-half at the time, loved eating them!

G eating our apples

G eating our apples

We didn’t stop there – with heating oil prices so high, we looked for cheaper ways to heat.  Now, I’ll admit  – our first goal was to keep decently warm.  However, we found that heating with locally and sustainably harvested wood was ecologically about the same as oil – which I’ll go into on a later post.  To keep warm, we searched out locals who had cut down trees on their property for other reasons than selling the wood, but who were selling the wood as a residual effect.  If we couldn’t find anyone in this situation (and with seasoned wood) we bought from local businesses who obtained their wood the same way, but were a little better at it than us!

Of course, there are lots of other resources – dumpsters (check your local codes for the legality of dumpster diving in your area), your community groups – churches, legions, freecycle, and guilds, and finally, your friends and family!

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