Using permaculture ethics & design principles to transform an old energy guzzling bungalow into a showcase of sustainable design. It's about energy cycling, building community, self-reliance,creatively using & reusing materials... all without spending heaps of money.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Opportunity missed

Principle 3: Obtain a yield

When the local newspaper arrives I head straight for the readers' bargains. You never know what people are getting rid of that may be useful. I found an advertisement for a demolition job in town and rang up the guy to check out what was available.

I was interested in the framing timber. Seasoned hardwood framing timber is very hard to work with, as joinery needs to be pre-drilled - but it's perfect for decking. I asked the guy if he was interested in exchanging labour for materials - and he was. I called up a couple of days later and he had changed his mind. The reason? I should have a 'red card' (see below) to go onto a building site.

I asked about accessing the building site with a registered builder after he had removed all that he wanted from the site, but he refused. I guess there was nothing in it for him, except the risk of something going wrong... fair enough.

I did some research and found out that a 'red card' is now called a 'Construction Induction Card'. It's a day-long course that trains you in safety on a building site and costs about AU$150. I've decided to do one - if another opportunity like this one presents itself, I'll be ready to act.

Meanwhile, none of the framing timber was salvaged - it was all chewed up by big machines and sent to the tip. What a waste! The proverb for the second principle of permaculture - 'make hay while the sun shines' - points out that opportunities of abundance are only available for short periods of time, and you need to be ready to take advantage.

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