Back in early December I mentioned that I had a few things I wanted to get started on prior to the new year. One was earthquake/disaster preparedness, and I think we've made good progress on that front, getting the go bag started, the car bag finished, and the kids up to speed on shutting off the gas and water. We bought a fire extinguisher and we'll show them how to use that soon.
But we didn't make any progress on the desk. We had grand plans of having one built to our specifications, something constructed from recycled materials. Something made local.
Instead, we ended up getting a desk for free off of the local Freecycle. If you don't know about Freecycle, you're missing out. It's simple. If you have something you don't want/need, you offer it up on the email list -- for free. If someone wants or needs it, you work out the handoff. And vice versa.
So we found a desk that fits very well in our space and while it's not made from recycled materials, the whole thing is, in a way, recycled. It's fine for what we need and we kept it out of the land fill.
Over the last several years we've used Freecycle to recycle dozens and dozens of items. You'd be surprised (or, at least, I'm usually surprised) at what people will come get from your front yard. When we pulled up the carpet to refinish the hardwood floors in the office, we had several people offer to come take the 10 year old green carpet.
We don't have a lot of space, which is good because there are often items on Freecycle that are tempting. I've seen large barrels that could be used for rain water collection, used wood pallets, plywood scraps. All sorts of things I could find a use for...