Thursday, January 14, 2016

PLAIN - Part 3

Today we are going to talk about recycling.  The Amish are soooooo into recycling.  MAXIMUM reuse is their goal.
They don't tend to recycle like most of America does.  They don't go down to the recycle bins and drop off, nor do they have fancy little containers to put out for the trash guy to pick up.  Recycling to them is giving an item a use for the second, third or fourth time.........
They are habitual recyclers, it is normal for them, not something that they have to stop and think about like we do.  They are constantly seeing the function of an item way beyond what it was originally used for.

They are not 'plugged in' as we are, so they are constantly coming up with ideas for ways to 'harness' non-electrical power.  They like for their lives to be easier as well, they just have different constraints, do to religious rules, than we live by.  If we didn't have power for an extended or unlimited amount of time - we would have to find new ways as well.  I don't think we would survive nearly as well!

The Amish tend to be natural if not organic gardeners, and they tend to raise their livestock without all the hormones we use.  They were GREEN before it was cool to be green!  In Amish life 'being green' is not as much about the earth as it is about 'saving green' - as in $$$$$$$.

Many skilled workers take great pride in reclaiming flooring, lumber, hardware, windows, etc. to use in new building projects or their homes, thus saving thousands of dollars.  They reclaim bricks and mortar as well, to use in road ways and parking areas for their businesses and homes.
The woman make the most out of every piece of clothing.  It is often remade into a new clothing item, or used in a quilt, or made into rag rugs when it is suitable for nothing else.  Those rag rugs bring top dollar in barter and in sales!
Jars, bottles, cans etc. are all used for other purposes.  Any garden scraps are put in compost or fed to animals.  Everything is reused.

Farmers often go the English junk yards, and cabbage onto parts that they can use to fix or make new farm equipment out of.  They are so resourceful and innovative.

The Amish do not yet have ZERO waste - but they are so much closer to it than we will probably ever be.  That is a goal we should all strive - and it is nearly doable.  That will be another post at another time - as there is much to talk about on zero waste.

Use it up, wear it out, make do or do without.  Reuse, reclaim, repurpose.  However you want to say it - we should be trying hard to do it!  We have nothing to lose except our hard earned dollars!
Shoot, if they can find a way to recycle mortar, I think we can find a way to do better every day!!!!!!!

In my opinion the Amish are so far behind - they are truly ahead.
I wish we were all more respectful of our money and our resources.  I try hard to recycle, but I can be lax at it.  One of my goals this year is to be more resourceful.  I will keep you posted as I accomplish new ideas.

I hope over time, we can each encourage others in recycling and share many of our ideas.  By sharing ideas we all learn and grow and save!


  1. I do know of a few people who are heading into zero waste. I know for us we have cut down tremendously on packaging going to landfills and finding a use for packaging. But it is also hard for us to store things until we are ready to use it!

    1. You are so right. It's hard to keep things organized and neat till using, or even remembering that you have something!! I hope to do a post in a while about zero waste. My trash has really been cut in half in the past year due to recycling.

  2. I like to repurpose or reuse but sometimes my brain does not come up with a way! I could use my cloth grocery bags more at the store but I also need enough plastic bags that I use to clean up the doggie do or use in waste paper baskets. Nancy

  3. the storage for my grocery store bags has changed many times over the past few years...I used to keep them stuffed in a drawer, then in one of those cylindrical 'socks', then in the breadbox (during the summer when we keep the bread in the fridge), then back into the drawer, then into each other in the garage, then folded and in a box on the counter, then recycled them all, and now back into the do you all store yours?

    1. Right now the ones I have are in one of those cylindrical holders and others in another bag. Our newspaper comes in a bag many days and they are colored (different at times). I keep those thinking that I will make strips and crochet with them! I do take them at times back to store to the recycle bin.
      I try to use my cloth bags as much as possible.

  4. I want to retire so that I have more time to recycle hard goods like old bricks, my neighbor did a walkway this way, and another neighbor took seconds on concrete pavers and did garden paths

    I go home from work so tired sometimes, that if I sit down, I don't get back up to do stuff that I have the hours for after work...perhaps I should get rid of all the soft and comfortable chairs in my house! Do the Amish have couches? lazy boys? probably not!

    1. One time my brother pulled up a paver patio, and I took the pavers. I placed them between the garage and fence over black trash bags on the ground.(about 2' wide). It is a difficult area to try to mow - so this worked perfect. They have been there for years. FREE is wonderful.

      The guy in the alley behind us has a pile of cement and what looks like blocks piled out back. Come spring I will getting some of that to put under garden pots to keep them off the ground.


    now, I haven't looked at this research article closely to determine it's validity, but it may be that the Amish of nw Indiana and Ohio age well because of physically inherited traits that lend themselves to successful aging...

    is it even possible for us English who might not have the (genetically) requisite hand strength, leg and torso stability and strength, beyond the age of 65 to work as hard as they do?

    so many factors to consider!

    But this I DO know, that I could move a lot more, and be active a lot longer than I practice right now!