• stop plastic
    Recycle Blog

    How a Plastic Ban Would Change Day-to-Day Life

    Our planet is quickly becoming overrun by plastic waste. It’s in our oceans, lakes and rivers, it’s scattered along our highways and it can be found in some remote locations in the entire world. Disposable plastic has become a huge part of our lives, and while it’s convenient, it’s taking a serious toll on wildlife and the environment. A quick look at the statistics shows a growing problem. Roughly a decade ago, about 300 billion plastic bottles were sold worldwide. By 2016, that number had risen to 480 billion. Around the world, nearly two million single-use plastic bags are used every single minute. That adds up to roughly one trillion…

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  • halliburton
    Journal,  Recycle Blog

    No Fracking Way!

    Last night, Elisia and I attended a meeting of the West Virginia Legislature’s Select Committee on Marcellus Shale, which was held in the Robert C. Byrd auditorium in Clarksburg, WV.  This was the 3rd and last meeting for the Committee members to hear from their constituents before writing rules that will (hopefully) better regulate this controversial “new” mining technique. Since you are reading this blog on BuiltFromTrash.com, you already know we moved to West Virginia and bought this land to live our dream.  We found a magic slice of ‘almost heaven’, then, with plenty of sweat, tears and literal blood, we built a house using recycled construction materials.  We planted…

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  • how-to-cut-a-tire
    Recycle Blog

    How To Cut & Pack a Tire

    It is nearly impossible to fill a tire without cutting out the top wall. If you don’t, it takes twice the time and effort, and when the clay dirt settles, there is always a small gap remaining. By cutting away the top, you can fill the tire with dirt and tamp it in using a standard concrete tamper. This makes for a really solid and awesome foundation. Cutting out the side wall of the tire is easier than most people think. If you use the saw to cut a hole and start in the soft part of the tire just below the steel belt, it only takes about a minute…

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  • dufflaurel
    Recycle Blog

    Get Off Your Duff & Don’t Rest on Your Laurels

    This the story of Duff & Laurel*, a rather apathetic and passive couple who slog through life unenthusiastically. As a young woman, Laurel had been involved in a community action group which was organized to get a smoking ban enacted in her home town.  After the town council passed the anti-smoking ordinance, Laurel felt contented and satisfied that she’d accomplished something important. Unlike Laurel, Duff has never been involved in any activism and has no desire to do so in the future. Because they are both so passive, it is a miracle that Duff & Laurel ever got together in the first place.  But, as luck would have it, they…

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  • quote-by-martin-luther
    Recycle Blog

    A Realistic Cost-Benefit Analysis of Natural Resource Extraction in WV

    As a citizen of West Virginia, I want our state to have a vibrant economy so that every person living here is able to provide for their families. Equally important to me is the ability to breathe clean air and drink safe water, for what is the point of making money if you destroy the very essence of life? In the rush to take advantage of the so-called Marcellus shale economic boom, WV lawmakers must weigh the value of a short term boost to the economy against the long lasting contaminatio to our air and water supply. There is a test to determine whether a WV lawmaker is sincere in…

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  • oil-catastrophe-in-the-gulf-of-mexico-
    Alternative Energy,  Recycle Blog

    Don’t Just Gripe, Do Something!

    As I am writing this post, oil is gushing into the Gulf of Mexico (resulting from the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig) at a rate never before seen.  The environmental consequences from this one disaster are probably too vast to comprehend. At the same time, coal continues to be extracted miles beneath where I am currently sitting in rural West Virginia, and just a short distance away, they are blowing the tops off of beautiful and ancient mountains — just to remove more coal. What may be even more devastating than the negative environmental impact of oil drilling and coal extraction is the talk of building new nuclear…

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  • papercrete-recipe
    Recycle Blog

    Our Papercrete Recipe

    When we were researching papercrete, we found many different recipes and mixer-types. After trying various recipies and because we have a clay-based soil on our land, we settled on the following papercrete recipe: 5 parts drained paper mulch 5 parts sifted clay 1 part Portland Cement 1 shake of Borax Soak newspaper and magazines in water for at least 24 hours (the longer the better). Sift dry clay (or other soil) on a screen of 1/4 inch hardware cloth to remove the larger lumps and rocks. After it has soaked in water for at least 48 hours, place the newspaper in mixer, add water and mix well until paper pulp is…

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