There are aspects of whimsy and responsibility to using old items in new ways. That is probably why the old idiom, "One man's trash is another man's treasure," has held its footing throughout the years.

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While there were a few decades during which people might have acted particularly wasteful, today's age possesses a renewed energy, no pun intended, to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Utilizing reclaimed materials is one of the most environmentally responsible acts of concerned world citizens today.

Using reclaimed materials can take on both large and small forms. If the desire is there, a new house can be largely constructed and an older house can be rejuvenated by using reclaimed materials. Whether you desire an antique mantel or aged French doors, you can find the perfect piece to reuse if you take the time to look at local antique stores or even online. These time worn additions are sure to bring much character to your living space.

If you are particularly adventuresome, you may even consider approaching the owners of derelict homes or businesses. These old buildings, many of them falling into great disrepair or scheduled to be destroyed, have hidden treasures within their walls. While all owners will not accommodate your request, many others will be pleased to have someone save bits and pieces to be reused in new ways.

Instead of looking through the local advertisements for the reclaimed materials you need, place an advertisement describing the items that you seek. You might be quite surprised to discover that multiple sources exist for what you desire. If you want old barn wood, for instance, you may just find that there several old barns in your area that could serve your function.

If you are not looking to redesign your entire house, you can still add touches of reclaimed materials to your abode. There is a vast array of usable, unique items that boasted another life before the one they live now. These products will give your home a unique personality while preserving the planet for future generations.


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Danielle DeSoto for Hipcycle
Danielle is an upcycling, green living, environmentally friendly, recycling, tree-hugging freak of nature... in the most eco way possible of course! She spends her weekends saving the planet and will now be writing about it for the Hipcycle Blog.