Our big red fence along the alley is a living example of my attempts to reduce, reuse, and recycle. The fence was weak after standing for, we estimate, about 20 years and nearly blew down in one of this past winter’s storms. Instead of having the entire beast rebuilt, which would have cost upwards of $8k of our hard-earned bacon for that section alone, I instead learned how to build a fence by apprenticing with my dad as he rebuilt one of his fences. Then, after a fruitless Craigslist search for supplies, I purchased and installed the highest quality untreated cedar fence posts and rails available (unlike treated or painted wood, untreated cedar wood can be recycled at the end of it’s useful life, and/or be used in hugelkultur beds as water sponges since they don’t break down easily). We then re-mounted the existing fence panels to the new foundation. Yes, it looks non-traditional with the two colors of wood, but it’s a small (and dare I say charming?) quirk that I’m happy to have in exchange for wasting much less hard-earned money, time, and resources.