Dumpsters, Job Sites, Garbage Night Streets, Damaged Store Stock, Craigslist, Neighbours, Salvage stores, Ebay, our building… these are some of the places we get our materials from. The rules are simple: it needs to be dangerously close to being sent to the dump or once used.

Here are some of the things we have saved:

Old Joists from other jobs, our building or Fine Lumber salvaged wood in Williamsburg:

The joists in action:

Flooring from the dumpster of a neighbor. He then let use come into his house and rip out the rest.

The floor in action:

Metal and wood studs from a garbage heap of a fellow contractor.

The studs in action:

Bricks from various job sites, including ours.

The bricks in action:

Chain link fence:

Fence used as rebar:

Insulation from another building:

We used it everywhere:

You get the idea. People say, “But what about all the time you spend looking for stuff?” The truth is that it takes very little time. Most of the stuff I pick up on my way to places. I just stop and check the dumpster or job site. It takes two seconds. NY is a land of plenty. Other peoples’ huge amounts of construction waste is our gain. They are happy to see us take off their hands. We are like little birds pecking at their buffalo ears. We provide a small service to them and in return we get bounty.

The irony is that we are building a green show house and companies want to put their products into the home for exposure. For example Lumber Liquidators offered their flooring. They have pretty green low VOC Bamboo (F1 European VOC levels) and some nice cork. I like the manager at the Brooklyn branch a lot. He is a very helpful and sincere person. He knows his stuff. Dave. So I would be very happy to put their floors in the house. But we have so little space because of all the great wood flooring we have salvaged from the streets!

They helped us out because we found about $6,000 worth of wide plank maple in a dumpster but it wasn’t enough to fill the floor so they gave us 100 square feet to cover the rest. And we’ll probably try to find a place to put their cork. It is really nice in a place where you go barefoot like a bedroom.

The same goes for counter tops. We have somebody offering counter tops. But we salvaged massive amounts of great glass to make our own ice stone counters (glass and resin mix):

It’s not like I want to take business away from these great companies making good green products. I want to push them. But part of the problem our world is facing is the amount of over consumption. I’m aware of the fact that reducing consumption reduces sales for green companies, but long term I think it is the best option.