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#homesteading
a-rum-of-ones-own · 4 months
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Met this lady on a hike recently, and she reminded me autumn is close
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dovesandlove · 1 month
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~ oh fall
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thewildyonder · 1 year
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ssssoooopppphhhh · 2 months
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firesidecottage · 9 months
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appalachiaisforlovers · 6 months
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i’m dreaming..
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allura-raine · 5 months
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feminineforestmaiden · 4 months
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tightwadspoonies · 7 months
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The Salvage Economy in Your Local Area (And Why You Should Use It)
A salvage economy is an economic system that incentivizes the use of existing ("used") materials over the use of virgin ("new") materials to create products and generate income. They are more circular economies, where profits are more equitably shared, waste is reduced, and items have continuing value beyond a single consumer.
Let’s give the example of a piece of clothing. In a mainstream economy, raw materials would be grown (in the case of cotton/linin) or mined (in the case of something like polyester). They would then be manufactured (a water- and energy-intensive process), shipped to a store (another energy-intensive process) and sold for a profit. Once the end consumer was finished with the item, they would throw it away, losing their investment entirely, as well as losing the material and energy investment in the production of the product. Depending on the disposal method, the item would either go to a landfill (which has a limited amount of space) or burned (which releases the remains into the atmosphere where it can be a danger to human health and the natural environment- even with the most stringent of filters/re-burners).
In a salvage economy, however, the piece of clothing is diverted at the point of the first consumer no longer wanting it. It may be donated or sold to a thrift/consignment shop (where the person may get a small return on their initial investment). It could then be re-purchased by someone else repeatedly until it was no longer in a decent enough shape to be re-sold, then it would be sold to a re-processing facility, where the material itself could be deconstructed, re-woven, and returned back into that cycle (energy intensive as well, but less so than creating a garment from new materials). Everyone gets a small cut of the money involved in the item.
If the material was too damaged to continue in this cycle in a meaningful/economical way, and it needed to be disposed of, it could be added to building materials like concrete (ideal for things like polyester, for which other disposal methods would be environmentally damaging), composted (cotton/linin) to create biogas (heat/energy/cooking fuel), or burned for heat/energy (same problems as burning just to get rid of it, but at least you get energy from it, and you’re displacing some of the fossil fuels that would otherwise have to be mined just to burn for energy)*.
Salvage economies exist in parallel with more mainstream economies throughout the world, with varying levels of accessibility and cultural acceptance based on a person’s location, generation, and background. You’ve probably shopped at a “thrift” or consignment store or bought something on Craigslist or Facebook/Amazon Marketplace- this is participating in a salvage economy. But it goes deeper than that.
Culturally in the US, salvage has traditionally been seen as a cheaper second-best option if you can’t afford something new. However, in younger generations and as new items become harder to find and of lower quality, older items are becoming more desirable, and purchasing pressure is shifting, if only a little bit. While I am no economist (my highest degree is in environmental health science) I also think that as the scales start to tip to raw materials becoming less viable economically, companies will look at alternatives, and those alternatives will be existing materials.
I’m not here positing that we should abandon mainstream economies entirely. People will always want new things and be willing to pay for them. But we have a problem of too much trash and too few (and too expensive) raw materials, which create both pollution and shortages** (a problem that has been increasingly in the spotlight in recent years). And I believe that over the next few decades, the pressure (both from market demand and difficulty/expense creating/mining raw materials) will begin to shift, and with it, if you believe traditional economic theory, so too will companies looking to maintain profits. CEO’s gotta eat, (and purchase his 14th yacht), you know.
But I am here saying that you can start putting this pressure on corporations early. Avoid the rush, as they say- before shortages mean everyone turns to the salvage economy all at once with not enough infrastructure to support them. Here are some ways you can participate and build up that infrastructure:
Borrow or rent things you don’t use regularly
Hardware stores rent tools/machines
Look into tool exchanges in your area
Libraries for books (eLibraries like Libby are great if you can’t go to an in-person one, especially if you like audiobooks)
Libraries for toys/games/kits/electronics
Industrial kitchen rentals if you preserve or sell food in moderate quantities
Buy as much as you can used:
Need clothing and home-goods? Thrift stores like goodwill and consignment shops are great at this.
Some thrift shops have a fabric or yarn section if you have/want the skills to knit/sew your own clothing. I’ve gotten some excellent quality wools from Goodwill for super cheap.
Need building materials or furniture? Salvage yards run by demolition companies and charities like Habitat for Humanity ReStore have your back.
Pull-A-Part for car/engine parts
Need books, textbooks, physical media, really specific tools/items, etc? Facebook/Amazon Marketplace, Craigslist, eBay, Thrift Books, etc…
If you can’t get it used, at least save it from a landfill:
Shop for clothing/ home goods/furniture/food at overstock and “damaged goods” stores like Marshalls, Ollie’s, Gabe’s, Rose’s, local wholesale stores and the like.
Look into salvage grocery stores. Some are run by charities and specifically serve low-income clientele, but many are open to the public (especially in areas with high Amish populations). These stores buy overstock, expired (doesn’t mean bad), and food with damaged packaging in bulk and sell it for an extreme discount (like 90% off). Some even have frozen, refrigerated, and fresh sections.
Craigslist sometimes have people advertising fruit trees in their yards that are a nuisance to them d/t falling fruit, and want someone to come collect it
If you already have something, but it broke, try to get it fixed instead of replacing it. Look into:
Appliance repair places are still a thing
Electronics repair and referb places
Repair cafes (events where people with repair skills, people with tools, and people with things that need to be repaired can meet)
Mending circles and learning to mend and alter clothing yourself
Tailor/clothing repair shops
Watch/jewelry repair shops
Shoe repair shops
Car repair places (it’s like I’ve always said- the best car for the environment is the one you’re currently driving, especially if you keep getting it maintained and fixed appropriately as needed, but even if you don’t, it’s better than creating demand for something new)
Gardening! (look at it as making something you have or have access to (land/a yard) into something you need (food))
Most of these are cheaper options, some of them aren’t, but it’s great to create a list of resources in your local area as you find them- that way you’ll be less tempted to go straight to Target for a new item.
Additionally, with the exceptions of a few chains and online resources, many of the “salvage” stores are small, local businesses. And you want these to thrive, both to stick it to Amazon and Wal Mart, and because they keep skills and resources circulating in your local community. Yay!
*You’ll notice I didn’t say the word “recycling” anywhere in there. While traditional recycling works for some materials, it is expensive and the infrastructure just isn’t there currently to handle the demand, largely because as it stands there wouldn’t be a lot of return on that investment. To the point where most recycling is either sent to US-based landfills or sent abroad (where we’re not really sure what happens to it- some of it is sold back to US corporations as post-consumer materials (primarily for “greenwashing” efforts, but that’s a whole other thing), but we think the majority of it just ends up in foreign landfills or above-ground dumps). While recycling definitely has a place in salvage economies, as we do it today it is divorced from the end consumer/waste generator and has little purpose or accountability beyond making people feel like they’re not just throwing stuff away.
**You wanna know how that happened? We abandoned buy-it-for-life models popular before WWII and adopted obsolescence models that provided extreme short-term profits for corporations at the near-immediate expense of human health and the planet.
We also developed the absolute scourge that is disposable packaging. Think about how much of your trash is just packaging from things you bought. Did you know before WWII you purchased most of your goods by purchasing your first metal can or glass bottle of consumables with a deposit, then came back and got the same can/bottle refilled a bunch of times? And if you no longer wanted it, you returned the container to get your deposit back? It’s true. Some companies (liquid manufacturers, like soda/milk, up until the 1970s) had a system where you returned your empties for a return deposit each time, and they’d wash and refill them, and sell you full bottles + deposit for the next go-round? Imagine how much less trash we’d have today if we still worked on that model. We literally had to teach people to throw things away with advertising (see below). But I digress…
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mossyredwood · 1 year
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By Natasha Tarasova
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megssssw · 2 months
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veiligplekje · 8 months
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dovesandlove · 3 months
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✿ i cant wait to live in nature ✿
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thewildyonder · 10 months
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Cutest thing I've seen all day 😌
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valentihomestead · 5 months
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balkanradfem · 1 year
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Homesteading survival knowledge
Growing Food:
The basics of Growing Food
Crops to grow for Maximum Production
Seed Starting Plan
Grow transplants for free
How to get Seeds for Free
How to find good soil for Free
Amending the Soil
How to Collect Seeds
Re-potting and care for tomato transplants
Growing dry beans
Growing Garlic
How to grow a lot of Leek
Plants going to Seed Explained
Food you can grow and eat in the Winter
Climate change and Food Security
Plant Lemon Trees from Seed
Why is rain much more effective than watering?
Stashing Food
Storing the Food from your Garden
Living in nature and food conservation
Making a Meal from foraged and Garden Food in Winter
Sun-drying Strawberries
Sun-drying Cherry Tomatoes
Citrus Tips
 Canning
Blackberry Jam
Strawberry Jam
Salsa (tomatoes, peppers, onion, garlic)
Đuveđ (mixed vegetables preserve)
Ajvar (preserved peppers)
Preserved sugar Cherries
 Foraging: 
Edible Mushrooms that grow on trees
Edible Wild Plants to Forage for in Spring
Make Honey out of Dandelions
How to cook with Nettle
Incredible value of Pine Needles
 Herbalism
Rose Water
On herbal infusions and poison tea
Herbs to Collect for Tea
How to safely make Elderberry Syrup
Yarrow and Lemon Balm
Basic Medicinal Herbal Tea Uses
 Tree Care:
How to grow trees
Where are the Tree Roots?
What is Root Flare
Tree Pruning Mistakes
Types of Pruning cuts
How to Prune Correctly
 Other:
Building a Cob House
How to make Earthen Floors
Cooking with minimal use of heat
Processing Forest Clay
How to hand-work clay
How to make laundry detergent out of conkers
Creating baskets out of Newspapers
How to keep your space cool during heat waves
How trees create a living atmosphere
How to get rid of ants
Survival Recipes
What garden plants can be used as poison
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