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Dumpster diving
ReMake it! : recycling projects from the stuff you usually scrap
by Tiffany Threadgould.
New York, N.Y. : Sterling, c2011.
To the green and crafty kid, vintage LP covers, empty tissue boxes, and broken umbrellas are not trash--they're treasures! Written in a teen-friendly style, ReMake It! presents 95 cool eco-smart projects--like turning an oatmeal container into a super-cute tote or creating a picture frame from an old pair of eyeglasses. Step-by-step instructions, plus a Stitchionary and fantastic full-color photos of each project, make it easy and fun to get creative ...with stuff that's FREE! ¬  Includes: Paper Pizzazz¬  *¬  Fantastic Plastic¬  *¬  Re-fabbed Fabric¬  *¬  Metal Makeover¬  *¬  Glorious Glass¬  *¬  Junk Pile Jazz-up ¬  Printed on eco-friendly FSC paper!
     
Trash origami : 25 paper folding art projects reusing everyday materials
Michael G. LaFosse and Richard L. Alexander.
North Clarendon, VT : Tuttle Pub., c2010.
Two famed origami artists and award-winning authors offer 25 fun and innovative origami projects from their renowned Origamido Studio as well as many of the world's most talented paper-folding designers.
     
American wasteland : how America throws away nearly half of its food (and what we can do about it)
Jonathan Bloom.
Cambridge, MA : Da Capo Press, 2010.
What Tom Vanderbilt did for traffic and Brian Wansink did for mindless eating, Jonathan Bloom does for food waste. The topic couldnít be timelier: As more people are going hungry while simultaneously more people are morbidly obese,American Wastelandsheds light on the history, culture, and mindset of waste while exploring the parallel eco-friendly and sustainable-food movements. As the era of unprecedented prosperity comes to an end, itís time to reexamine our culture of excess.

Working at both a local grocery store and a major fast food chain and volunteering with a food recovery group, Bloom also interviews expertsófrom Brian Wansink to Alice Waters to Nobel PrizeĖwinning economist Amartya Senóand digs up not only why and how we waste, but, more importantly, what we can do to change our ways.

     
Eco-chic home : remake, reuse & recycle your way to sustainable style
Emily Anderson ; photography by Seth & Kendra Smoot.
Seattle : Skipstone Press, c2010.
By featuring more than sixty projects that embrace the popular eco-ethic, Emily Anderson takes the DIY genre to every room in the house. From detailed instructions on turning old sweaters into hand-knotted rugs to tips on assessing local thrift shops and estate sales, Anderson makes re-styling a home practical and fresh at a very low cost. Projects encourage first-time crafters and DIY pros alike to use repurposed items-old lamps, extra sheets, mismatched dishes-to create new decor. Turn old bed pillows into stylish floor cushions, teacups into candles (soy wax only, please!), and old fabric into festive holiday garlands.Creative and resourceful domestic advice throughout inspires readers to shop local consignment stores, raid grandma's closet, and recycle a home's excess clutter through craigslist or garage sales. Eco-Chic Home proves that with a little ingenuity and thoughtful changes, everything old can be new again.
     

People who pick through trash all agree: itís amazing what gets thrown away! The idea of getting goods for free is irresistible. Taking them from dumpsters can be another matter entirely. In some circles trash picking is seen as dirty and disgusting. But those who brave societyís disapproval can be rewarded with great finds.

Some people collect garbage for added income. Scrap metal has long had a good re-sale value, well worth the search.  In states that pay recycling fees for aluminum cans, walking along roads is both good exercise and a good money making venture. You can pick up several dollars worth of cans in a couple of hours.  People who are handy can fix up small machines that have been abandoned. Itís not unusual for a broken machine to need just one small part or a simple adjustment.

Best places for trash

College dorms when school lets out

Monthly bulk pick up days in suburbs

Joint neighborhood garage sales after closing

Trash pickers like digging through piles of abandoned items for the thrill of the hunt. Itís exciting to find an interesting or beautiful object. Antiques of value are often thrown away. Useful items, in perfect condition and with good value, are common in dump sites. Pickers may take the item home and use it, they may sell it, or they may give it as a gift. No one is the wiser as to its source.

The next time you see a dumpster, open the lid and check out its contents! You may be surprised to find something that you would like to take home.

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff