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Oregon Family Magazine

The 3 R’s for DIY Around the Home

04/02/2021 ● By Sarah Grimm
Are you planning on improving living areas or landscapes this spring? Well, don’t break the bank! Here our Waster Reduction Specialist from Lane County Public Works, Sarah Grimm, offers tips to save money, while also reduce pollution and environmental damage— which, also helps protect our children’s future health and well being.
  • Instead of buying a tool to complete just one task, borrow one from a friend or neighbor. This not only saves money, but reduces clutter in your garage and reduces pollution caused by buying a new item. Local rental companies have an amazing selection of tools, both large and small; consider this option for any tool or equipment you’ll only use once a year or less. Better yet, check out Toolbox Project at …a tool lending library with just about anything you might need, from basic pliers, hammers, shovels, and drill bits, to clamps, apple presses, string trimmers and lighting. Membership is easy and fees are on a sliding scale—everyone is welcome!
  •  For renovation projects that involve purchasing structures or supplies, consider the benefits of reuse. Re-use can add special character and personality to a renovation—whether it’s a bookcase, fireplace mantle, tile, or material for a garden path. Good options include Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore, BRING Recycling, or local thrift stores. Also, Craigslist, The Freecycle Network, Next Door, and Facebook Marketplace all have buy, swap, trade, or free items to review before heading out to buy new.
  •  When it’s time to clean up, use the swap or donate websites mentioned above to give away or sell usable lumber, furniture, house parts, even dirt and concrete chunks!
  •  Leftover house paint can be recycled for free at most paint stores or at the Glenwood transfer station. Similarly, fluorescent bulbs and short tubes are accepted at many lighting and hardware stores and the Glenwood recycling area. For larger tubes or paint cans that are rusted, or the label is unreadable you may need to make a hazardous waste appointment. While you’re at it, this is the best disposal option for any other chemical products you may have - but no longer need. It’s easy and free—download the new WasteWise Lane County app, go online at or call 541-682-4120.

Lane County has recycling requirements Glenwood Transfer Station for loads of construction debris are over 6 cubic yards. These loads must be either sorted for recycling (i.e., wood, brush, metal, cardboard) before dumping; or they must be delivered to a sorting facility such as Ecosort.  An easy approach is to load your vehicle with non-recyclable wastes on the bottom, then load wood and brush, then metal, and then cardboard. This way when you arrive at the transfer station recycling area, you can offload items following the flow of traffic before you get to the garbage pit.  You’ll find a quick “know before you go” video for the Glenwood transfer station at

Incorporating an eco-friendly lifestyle into your home is easier than you think, and especially rewarding if you have young children. Reusing what you have, sharing leftovers with others, and creatively adapting materials for reuse rather than buying new—these are not only good ways to save money, they also build community and reduce global pollution.