Recycling Your Woodworking

Recycling is so important for helping to conserve many of Earth’s limited natural resources.  Fortunately, a growing number of people are on board with that goal!  Trees are one of those limited natural resources.  Because trees are necessary for the wood used to create woodworks, woodworking is directly affected by, as well as directly affects, this goal.  In an effort to help reduce the number of trees that are cut each year, woodworkers can continue to pursue their craft while still taking an active role in conservation by implementing recycling into their woodworking.  Undoubtedly, woodworking projects will result in wood scraps.  However, there are numerous ways the woodworker can recycle wood by using those scraps.

Donate your wood scraps to an elderly woodworker who resides in your neighborhood or in a local assisted living center.  Perhaps he or she still enjoys the art of woodworking, but no longer has the dexterity often required for larger, more time-consuming woodworking projects.  Small projects are possible from recycled wood scraps and help to keep the woodworker active and encourage creativity.

On the same note, consider donating your wood scraps to a local high school, scouting troop, or 4-H club which may teach basic woodworking and offer small woodworking projects for children.  Perhaps an art teacher can encourage young students’ creativity with art projects made from recycled wood. 

Use small wood scraps to make toys with or for children.  Cars, trains, puzzles, or blocks are great ideas!  Use a scrap segment of a wood dowel with some plastic and string to make a kite for fun on a blustery day.  Consider making these simple woodworking projects with the children or grandchildren in your life.  Or, consider making and donating them to the children of a family in need during the holidays or to a neighborhood daycare or educational program.

Take supporting the goal of recycling one step further by not only reusing your scrap wood, but by using it with other eco-friendly goals in mind.  For instance, you can build a compost bin for your garden or have the scraps grinded for use as mulch for a flower bed or as an insulator for trees during cold weather months.  Use scraps to make stakes for a garden or for supporting a newly planted tree.  Build a birdhouse, a squirrel feeder, or a bird perch by using the scraps of a sturdy hardwood dowel.

Recycle wood scraps by making small items for your home.  A scrap”title=”Wood Dowel”>wood dowel can be used to create a hanging key holder, picture frames, desktop organizers (for pens, pencils, scissors, thumbtacks, etc.), and small wooden storage bins.  Perhaps consider making these items to give to others as a housewarming, birthday, or Christmas gift.  Not only would this help efforts to recycle, but by doing so, you also conserve yet another limited resource: Your money!

Finally, consider playing a role in supporting your local economy by donating scrap wood to a new business that could use it.  Perhaps a business could use it to make signs for advertising or to make organizational bins for storing parts or supplies.  Perhaps a freighting company could use wood scraps to make pallets for loading or separating freight or a construction or home improvement company could make sawhorses for use at job sites.

Whatever residual you may have from your woodworking projects, there is still more that can be done.  Be creative, and recycle leftover wood.  You may be surprised by the number of ways you can make a positive, lasting impact on the environment while still pursuing your passion for woodworking.