Reusiversity of Biodiversity
"The Good Samaritan of Scrap"-- recycling plus education[edit | edit source]
This article aims to protect our climate by promoting reforestation through Creative Reuse of second-hand or discarded goods, especially reclaimable wood, which are thrown away today mainly because of lack of knowledge about how to Rescue, Reprocess, Remarket and Reuse them.
The strategy here will be to list several dozen most important categories of materials "now being wasted both in the forests and in manufactured products" , devoting a paragraph or two of discussion to each, including links to other Wikiversity.org articles such as especially Pre-school education/Essential toys and technical instruction articles on Wikibooks.org, wikiHow.com and other sources about many meritorious products which can be easily handmade by anyone from materials rescued from the waste stream without recourse to overly expensive tools. A personal mastery of such redemptive handwork skills may be seen as a part of the duty every living person has to the environment and society protecting the personal health and safety of every Child, Animal and Tree (CAT).
Need for a Creative Reuse promotion strategy[edit | edit source]
This article and others it refers to are to be designed to supply the missing education element, lack of which has been a main cause of failure of "Creative Reuse" programs up until now. Much devoted effort has been given to rescuing discarded wood, furniture, plastic, metal products etc. and, at best, laying them out in a sales room-- which attracted few customers mainly because no way had been invented to "advertise" the concept, meaning educate future purchasers why to buy the goods, how to use them or how to adapt them for reuse in a new product.
As correctly stated in advertising by the Chicago-based Resource Center, "Recycling, while a good idea, is not the final answer." Recycling companies until recently have had to severely limit the categories of material they could rescue from waste to a few dozen types-- aluminum, other metals, cardboard, paper, various recyclable plastics-- which a few buyers were sure to purchase and process using an expensive inventory of specialized machinery. This has required fuel for delivery trucks and other energy costs. Thousands of other discards are abandoned ("left in the garbage") because hardly anyone knows how to process them into reusable product, or parts therefor, and make anywhere near enough money ("sustainably") doing it.
The result of this education-failure has most often been that the salvaging operation made insufficient money, the effort was judged "unsustainable", the lease was canceled, the operators abandoned hope, the resources were thrown in the garbage from which they had previously been laboriously rescued. To avoid that fate, a way must be invented to advertise, educate, recruit future workers and/or purchasers (who might ideally be entrepreneurs) how to
− (a) arrange, organize, categorize, shelve the materials to make further work possible later once a strategy for redemption is figured out (and not get accused of "hoarding");
- (b) perform further transformative, adaptive, alterational processing work on materials (which may have been bought from the original salvagers who usually lack time to do it on every thing they find);
− (c) finish them into a salable product some buyers will know, or can be taught, how to retail or use;
− (d) donate or remarket the finished product to knowledgeable retailers or users or
− (e) mass-educate a potential buying public, maybe for the first time, how to use or remarket to users even a newly invented product made from such rescued materials, thus creating a new sustainable market and productive remunerative JOBS.
== Highest priority resource: "roundwood"-- tree logs and branch parts ==
Consider going out and picking up some of the millions of dead branches that litter forested areas, causing a trip hazard and deterring visitors (from entering and possibly servicing the forest in some way), and trimming them down to pieces that can be bundled and transported out to workshops to be used as parts for various products. Each spring urban citizens are confronted with a winter-harvest of dead branches from local trees-- which sanitation departments warn not to deposit in garbage receptacles, but many do that anyway. There need to be '''organizations''' which gather and process these into two main categories:
(a) mulch, by breaking off up to four-inch segments from each dead dry branch and dropping them on the ground locally, or into a bucket or bag for transport, or
(b) parts of the branch too thick to break by hand, which are instead trimmed into transportable sticks for crafts uses.
A natural wood walk stick or "cane" can be made from a stick, most commonly 30 to 40 inches long, up to about an inch in diameter at the handle end and about 3/4 inch at the ground end, optionally sanded smooth and varnished. Longer straight sticks can be used as handles for rakes, hoes and other tools. Shorter pieces can be made into croquet mallets or various types of smaller hand tool handles, toys or other manufactured goods-- thus preventing deforestation which results from the profitable but harmful harvesting of large live trees to be cut down into shapes for the same purposes.
The Chess Piece Diagram (which will be redone when I understand the mechanism for uploading a corrected version) contains examples of how a product can be made from shorter lengths of log or stick. Table-size chess sets can be made from pieces as small as a quarter inch in diameter, or for a large set to be used on large outdoor boards (such as painted on a driveway, or laid out temporarily as carpeting on the grass), 3-6-inch diameter log lengths, and 1-1/2", 1", 3/4" and 1/2" sticks, forming "arms" which jut out at different places indicating the differences between the chesspieces. It is highly probable that many schools and libraries will be interested in having such a "mega-chess" format in their adjoining garden, and the game sets can be made much more cheaply than the "traditional Staunton design" ones seen selling for hundreds of dollars on line.
Tooling for manufacturing[edit | edit source]
For the many cuts needed for the mega-chess set shown, an electric table-saw or hand-circle-saw is highly desirable, but for some other products hand-powered saws might be enough. Both machine and manual rasps, files and sandpaper can be used, especially for rounding edges to avoid bark-spoilage or splinter-hazard at the endface of a stick. (Links will be furnished here to detailed articles describing the tools needed for each manufacturing step.)
Getting started with handmulching and sticksaving[edit | edit source]
Something anyone can do here and now about soil carbon storage is to go into any nearby woods, pick up ground-cluttering dead branches, and starting from the outermost narrow reaches, start breaking off two-to-four-inch pieces and dropping them on the ground. Once you get the click of it, it's relatively fast and easy and averaging 17 per minute you can do over a thousand in an hour-- good exercise for the fingers, a tune up for some later guitar playing. It's fun to do and groups can schedule outings and-- with help of some music-making using toy instruments made from wood finds-- create a party atmosphere. Carry along signs to advertise what the group is doing and take before-and-after pictures to advertise how the safety and beauty of an area is enhanced.
(a) Once the short pieces are lying on or near the ground, water gets in readily from both broken ends, bringing bacteria which speeds up the conversion to fertilizer for future vegetation!
(b) If two-inchers are dropped along where a walk-path is intended, it makes for safer walking and helps avoid getting shoes muddy. Or you can instead drop the sticks in a bucket, and from it fill sacks to be transported to other locations where their mulch value is more urgently needed to aid gardening, erosion prevention or de-desertification.
(c) This helps abate the nuisance of hazardous litter on forest floors, mainly large branches which lie high in the air, where they dry out and don't rot, creating a trip hazard for someone attempting to walk through, thus deterring efforts to harvest and make use of forest products-- including the supervaluable firm hard workable sticks worth gathering and delivering to woodworking studios.
(d) After you have broken off as many 2-4-inchers as you easily can from a dead branch, use an anvil pruner to trim the most potentially useful shape or shapes from the remaining larger-diameter stock, making cuts as warranted by shape, side-branch spacing etc. to produce units which are to be future toys, tool handles, furniture or parts therefor. Very straight ones can be sorted by length and thickness category, and wire-bundled for transport: 30-36" walksticks, 5' hoehandle, thinner long pieces destined to be planting stakes for use in gardens, etc. You might as well trim many of these, especially curved ones, where they are harvested to make them easier to bundle and carry out (and you'll be doing the work in the inspiring woods environment).
(e) Also flushcut away, with the convenient anvil pruner or the somewhat more expensive bypass pruner, some live low tree branches which, though alive, are not exactly a benefit to the host tree-- they suck off some of the root-gathered nourishment and represent a hazard barrier to benign human visitation-- you can get stuck in the eye by a deadfinger hidden among innocent-looking leaves. Use your pruner tool to trim these down as you do the crack-off deadwood, dividing them into narrow or weak pieces for mulch and larger, crafts-usable pieces for transport to workshops.
(f) A time-saving technique: from tall weeds, redundant seedlings (when established mature trees of same species are nearby) and low branches, after craft-usable pieces have been saved, gather a bundle in the holding hand (opposite to the cutting hand which manipulates the cutting tool) as many stems or sub-branches as form an inch-thick round mass, holding it 3-5 inches from the thicker end, and use the anvil pruner to bite into the mass, chopping off the entire bundle-end in one cut or, after rotating the blade partly around, two or more. Then slip the holding hand a few inches up and do another cut. When it gets very easy to cut because thickness has dwindled far below an inch diameter, double the bundle V-wise so you are cutting twice as many stems or leaves at a time.
(g) To save time you can drop the mulch wherever you are cutting, or (1) cut and drop 4-inchers in a mulch ring around a young tree that you think could use some encouragement, or (2) cut and drop 2-inchers on a walkpath or proposed shade-tolerant garden space or other area where a more homogeneous surface pavement is desired, especially to alleviate mud conditions-- mulch to the rescue against muddy shoes.
Supplies to carry in a belt or rucksack[edit | edit source]
Light, cheap tools to take along on your outdoor excursion include an anvil pruner (for any wood however hard under half-inch), a ratchet pruner (squeeze while swinging around a 1-incher), a reasonably portable handsaw, and optionally a bypass pruner for cuts wherever it is judged important to avoid bruising the stem or bark of a plant which is being retained. Also string, twine or rope, or even better, the thin 1-mm-o.d. shielded-solid-core-copper "telephone wire" ("CAT5E") -- available at some recycling centers after being salvaged from old buildings-- is particularly useful for transport-bundling groups of firm reusable sticks organized by similar length for ease in transport from harvest area.
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FOREST SAFETY LABOR PROGRAM-- a "Reply" submitted to AlterNet.org[edit | edit source]
"Contribute to our society and culture in a positive way..."-- yes, this almost any immigrant can do, provided local authoritarians succeed in setting up the forest-trimming jobs program, now largely lacking, in public safety gardening, for which billions of labor hours are urgently needed to prevent disasters such as the recent fire damage in California.
Almost any person from age 3 can learn how to pick up fire-hazard DEAD BRANCHES now littering the forests nationwide and break them down into four-inch sticklets, and either drop these on the ground as mulch to benefit the root activity of standing major trees there, or into a bucket or bag to be transported to agriCultural sites,
Also remove and mulch most dead branches up to several meters from the ground by means of ladder, ANVIL PRUNER and/or saws. LOW AND DROOPING BRANCHES that impede walkspace or access to work in the forest should also be removed and converted to mulch and crafts lumber-- but on reaching a part of any branch which does not break off readily by hands, TRIM it to a practical reusable shape and size, group it with others of similar size and type, tie up bundles and deliver to manufacturers of walksticks, tool handles, wood toys etc. replacing petroleum-based plastic where possible.
Similarly WEEDSTALKS will not have lived and died in vain if converted to mulch; sometimes you can cut a dozen or more of them with one anvil pruner bite.
Any immigrant able to participate in this (and we need millions) should be provided with cannabiscanvas tent housing at family campsites near the worksites, cooperative nutritional catering, innanet computer access, language classes, daycare for under-3 infants (kids from age 3 can crack sticks just fine) and other work-enabling services.
References[edit | edit source]
- Forest-and-Rangeland-Renewable-Resources-Planning-Act-(1974)- Sec.-2,-16-U.S.C.1600