When we first moved into our house sustainability wasn’t the first thing on our mind. We were more concerned with cleaning and updating a few items to fit our style and needs. The very first “green” project was a happy accident.
Of the many outdated features of our kitchen, one of the most obvious was the range hood over the cooktop. Large, ugly, and completely void of function – it didn’t have a vent, just a single light bulb inside – we quickly decided to take it down. It was headed for the trash, until someone (a relative, but I can’t recall who) suggested it might have another life in our back yard.
I flipped it over, lightly sanded it, painted it, and filled it with dirt. Since then it has served as our herb garden right outside our backdoor. For the most part we have grown parsley, basil, and cilantro in it each summer, mostly from seed. Most years it has provided enough for us to freeze all of the parsley and basil we need for the entire winter.
This is where our sustainability projects started. While we never intended to be wasteful, we simply thought ‘get rid of it.’ Instead, a change in perspective allowed us to see it in a new light, and it has become a valuable fixture in our backyard. Though it did not have as dramatic of an environmental effect as, say, installing solar panels, it was from here that all the other projects began.