I am really stretching the parameters of our charge in this post, but recycling and reuse have everything to do with green. And we like green, right? The nice-looking man you see above (photo by kc kratt) is Michael Gainer. He founded Buffalo ReUse, a group that is featured in the New York Times Sunday Magazine today.
What Buffalo ReUse does is salvage materials from buildings scheduled to be demolished and collect them for the future use of DIYers who might be in the market for original Victorian hardware, vintage doors, classic molding, and yes, fireplace mantles, slate or otherwise. Often, the ReUse gang will engage in “deconstructing” houses that would otherwise be crushed into oblivion by a bulldozer, so that more materials are left intact. And that’s not all; ultimately, they’d like to make sure more homes are saved and restored rather than obliterated.
What’s this got to do with gardening? Where vacant lots exist (the result of demolitions), Gainer says: “We want to get a green space program rolling in the spring where we mobilize volunteers on the weekends to try to convert abandoned lots into productive green spaces. If we can get the funding to do it, we can hire more people to focus on that and let that be their project.” By productive, he means urban farming, a concept that is becoming widespread in Buffalo, just as it is in Detroit.