How We Made Sustainable Money Investing in our Baby

Over two years ago, my husband & I felt ill listening to friends share what they spent in preparing for their baby’s arrival.

In order to reassure our concerns, I decided to turn our baby arrival preparations into a fun challenge. We agreed on the maximum limit allowed to be spent for the baby and nursery.  Also we agreed that once those items no longer were needed, we would attempt to sell them for the same or more money than what we purchased them for.  Therefore the money could continually be reinvested along the way, for items needed for our growing child.

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Today I purchased second hand, over 1000 large leggo blocks for $12.  I know in years when she has outgrown the blocks, I will be able to sell them for at least the same amount.

My tip?  Buy well, second hand.  Look after the items so when the time comes, you will get a good price for them.

Warren Buffet was correct, wealth is passed from the impatient to the patient.  Buying and selling items second hand, at times takes patience. 

Who would of thought patience can improve bank balances and protect the Earth’s resoures.  Have I lost you or are you with me?

** On a side note, generosity and compassion must always be in balance with our fun challenge.  We sell items and we give alot away too.

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Creative uses for Tree Branches

Days ago I gave our ‘wattle like’ bush a massive trim, to allow more light onto the far top vegetable patch.  As I previously mentioned, I used to place the trimed branches of this tree bush in the green recycle bin.

It only recently dawned on me what a waste of resource this was and hence I needed to start getting creative, with the trimmed branches.

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Long straight branches, to be used as garden trellis - for peas, beans and tomatoes etc.

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Fire wood

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Branches used as fence stakes - allowing light through but not toddlers or small white fluffy dogs.

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Long skinny and flexible branches to be used for weaving - baskets and fences

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Leaves and small branches used as mulch in an area we need to rejuvenate the top soil.

Finally my Upcycled Security Door, Garden Feature is Finished

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My friend and neighbour Janine, gave me clippings from her gorgeous ‘ground cover like’ succulent plant.

I felt the tiny, yet hardy succulent will grow well in these old recycled coffee mugs.

The coffee mugs now hang on an old security screen door that I upcycled – painted racing car red and mounted outside, on our back verandah frame.

Finally my upcycled, garden pot plant hanger is completed.  I will post an update  in a couple of months time with photos – it will be interesting to see how the plants grow.

Lack of Imagination Creates Garden Waste?

What I considered as garden waste is now a treasured resource.

Two years ago I was raking the Autumn leaves to fill the Council’s green recycling bin.  Even last year, I was chopping up tree branches to also fit into the green recycle bin.

Yes it is good that these items will be turned into mulch by the council but I was throwing away good resources.

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Now the above tree branches are being used for numerous weaving projects like privacy screens and fencing.  Also the strong ‘bamboo like’ branches have now been turned into garden stakes. It is crazy that I was throwing the branches away then buying bamboo stakes from a garden centre.

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Autumn leaves fallen from our large deciduous trees are now being used as mulch and compost.  A large sandy area where nothing but weeds previously have grown, now has a very thick layer of mulch leaves.  The leaves will stop or slow the weeds over time (leaves takes awhile to break down). Then the leaves will turn into a nutrient rich top layer for the garden – helping the soil to support future growing plants.

I doubt there really is ‘true’ waste – just our own lack of imagination, knowledge and motivation to see things differently.  To see waste as a potential resource.

Reduce, Reuse, Restore, Recycled and RESCUED

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Reduce – to limit the amount of our consumer purchases or to buy 2nd hand.

Reuse – finding other uses for items we no longer need, limiting the need to throw out those items.

Restored – old stuff becomes new again with a coat of paint, glue etc and some love.

Recycled – turning unwanted items into new items that we do need.

Rescued – my new ‘R’ word. Rescuing items, other people throw out and giving them a ‘second life’.

These children’s toys where left on the curb, destined for the tip – for landfill.  I still intend to give them a new coat of paint and love (to restore them).  In the meantime they are outside but under cover, near our clothes line.  Our Little One now plays with these rescued toys, as her Mummy hangs out the washing.

Brand new is rarely better. Our belief that new is ‘king’ is robbing our Earth of natural resources, our back pockets of funds and our minds of fun and creative solutions.

Do you get what I mean?

Where to Buy Second Hand, Disco Balls

On a recent trip to Sydney for work, I decided to pop into Reverse Garbage at Marrickville.

For 40 years, Reverse Garbage has been committed to diverting useable resources from landfill.  Apparently they are the largest creative reuse centre in the world.

I’m a ‘pig in mud’ when searching through this store.  As you can see, our little one’s first visit to the centre has not failed to delight – as photographed donning a pair of children’s 3D glasses found in the store (incognito toddler).

Searching particularly for items to decorate the kid’s cubby house, I am currently working on.

A large framed painting, numerous silver stars and a handful of tiny disco balls were acquired.

The cubby house grand reveal is drawing closer!

You Can Even Recycle Bras!

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An old sports bra lived under my side of the bed for months.  It was my constant reminder to find a way to recycle or reuse all my old bras.

Throwing unneeded items out, is often societies first choice for disposal – but it isn’t mine.  ‘Being time poor’ is not an excuse for producing unnecessary landfill waste – which is where my bras would of ended up, if I threw them out.

After a quick Google search, I found a noble use for my old bras.  Donating them to Upliftbras. From their website:

“In the Solomon Islands it is quite difficult to access a comfortable bra. Some of the second hand shops sell bras but mostly women have to buy their bras from the Chinese Trade Stores. These bras have some problems; they come in smaller sizes, are made of nylon and perish quickly in tropical conditions. You cannot buy maternity bras or mastectomy bras in country. For the women to be given free bras is an unbelievable experience for all of them. Women feel a tremendous obligation to meet the needs of their families, and so for any woman in the village to spend money buying a bra for herself can almost be seen as an unforgivable sin. The priority for women’s spending is food and education needs of children.”
spacer.gif – Rose Wale, 2012, Report of Bra Distribution, Solomon Islands

In Australia we take much for granted, even our waste.

My old bras have now been posted and donated to Upliftbras.