Saturday, November 17, 2018

Goldilocks and the five chairs

I might have mentioned a time or two that my neighbors, on garbage-collection days,  often put out things that aren't really what I'd call garbage.  It kind of astounds me:  so much perfectly good stuff gets left at the curb, just because its owners got tired of it.

For example, speaking solely of chairs: within the last year alone, I've trash-picked five different chairs within a radius of 3 blocks of my house.
  • There's a cute wooden chair that kind-of matches the style of chair at our dining room table.  Since we often have a bazillion guests coming over for dinners, it's lovely having an extra dining-room chair at the ready.
  • There's an antique-looking, low chair.  This one serves wonderfully for reading the paper in the morning, because it's so low that I don't even need a foot stool. Since I'd been looking for a comfy reading chair for my sewing room for a while now, I was stoked to find this for free next to my neighbor's overflowing garbage can.
  • There have also been three (3!) different office chairs at three different neighbor's curbs.  One had two semi-kinky wheels; a second was getting a little worn, but was in perfectly serviceable shape, and the third is practically new.  (It has the lever that whooshes the seat up and down, five rolling wheels, shiny chrome, . . . it's fab, really).  It floors me that someone left that for a garbage truck:  why not Goodwill?  Yard sale?  Refugee resettlement?  
I can't save the entire world from becoming an assemblage of one-way conveyor belts between shopping malls and landfills.  But, seriously, what's with this mode of thinking that the best thing to do with a bicycle (or chair or ladder) that you no longer need is to bury it?  Sheesh!

So while Goldilocks went into the bears' home to sit in their chairs and break them, I've gone on walks  that ended with carting home 5 new-to-me chairs this year.  And four of those chairs continue to work out great.  And one of them (the office chair that was getting a little worn) finally developed a kink in the back-support piece.    Which meant that, like the chair's previous owners, I no longer wanted it (and guessed that no one else would, either, because it didn't seem to be repairable).

So I played Goldilocks again:  I was sitting in that chair, and then I broke the chair into pieces. I really love taking things apart -- it's kind of therapeutic, I think.   
  • I unscrewed bolts and tossed the metal pieces in one pile.  The metal from the chair will go to a scrap dealer.  
  • I snipped strings and tossed the fabric and foam in another pile.  The foam will get posted on Freecycle, for crafters or package-shippers to use.  
  • There are a few inevitable plastic pieces that will, alas, go to the landfill.   Darn it.  
As much as I love taking things apart, I love even more using the stuff that I take apart to fix other things -- a win all around.  So the last thing I did was, I pulled off the wheels, and used those to replace the kinky wheels on office chair #1, so now that chair is essentially perfect.   Just right.   

Baby Bear would be pleased, I think.

1 comment:

  1. I absolutely love your outlook on this. I hear what I imagine to be your voice in my head these days when I do similar to discarded or broken items. I've gotten quite familiar with our local scrap metal place!