Is It A Dump Or A Resource Centre?

Aichele’s wood storage bin
Aichele’s wood storage bin. Photo: Susanne Aichele

Last fall, I moved into a new place that didn’t have a good set-up for storing wood. I like to have some chopped wood close to the door, for easy access, while most of the wood is stored at a sensible distance away from the cabin. Fire Smart both ways.

I have always been interested in understanding how nature works and have wanted to play a part in protecting the environment for future generations, so I studied environmental science. As I believe in reincarnation, this might be less selfless than it sounds.

I used to demonstrate against people who harmed the environment or helpless animals, but something always felt off about that. The more I understand the law of attraction, the more I realize that what I resist persists. By giving attention to what I don’t want, energy flows to the unwanted. By giving attention to what I want more of, solutions come into being.

As Einstein said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” We cannot approach a solution with a mindset or consciousness that created the problem in the first place. We have to shift from not enough, to enough. 

I wonder if I would have seen about 20 beer cans on the side of the road if the refund for recycling was 25 cents per can instead of only 5 cents. Aluminum recycling is very important, as using recycled aluminum cans to make new aluminum cans uses 95 per cent less energy than using the raw material aluminum is made from.

There is also enough food for all, but the distribution is off—and so people go hungry.

Education is not as much of a solution as raising our consciousness is, because otherwise we probably would have fewer people risking their health through smoking. In my experience, if people don’t care about themselves, they are not going to care about the environment.

For me, saving resources is an easy way to keep my footprint small. First of all, buy less, save more—more money and more resources. I grew up with people that were directly affected by war and I was told not to throw away anything that I might need later. My nomadic lifestyle doesn’t allow me to keep a lot or I end up paying to store things I might need “someday.”

I play a game so that I don’t have to buy new stuff all the time. I set out an intention to find the things I need, easily and effortlessly, before I even know I need them. Sounds crazy, but it works.

When I go to the dump or “transfer station,” as they are called now, I go through the “free store.” In most cases, I don’t look for something specific. It is more that I look for what is calling me. It is almost as if certain things are highlighted for me—a blue vase, a blue-glass plate and a blue mug—even blue curtains. I usually don’t go for blue things, but they found their way into my home.

One day I saw a bike trailer for kids and it called my name. I didn’t have a use for it, as far as I knew, but I trusted my intuition. The way it used to be, people would get what they needed from the dump’s recycling area and return it free of charge when they were done using it. Since the government changed the rules, that flow has been disrupted.

I can pick something up from the free store, for free, but if I decide it doesn’t work out the way I planned to use it somewhere down the line, I now have to pay to return it, even though someone else had already paid the tipping fee for the item. Being conscious of my expenses, I had missed out on a couple of items, but you live and learn.

I needed a nice winter jacket for the -30 C or colder days, but I didn’t want to spend the money.  One lucky day, at one of the free stores, I found a brand-new winter jacket with the tags still on. Other people might want to go to Tiffany’s in New York. I prefer “Tiffany’s” at the Tagish dump.

Getting back to the wood storage … I had gotten some pallets for free in town and had already screwed them together and needed something to cover them. I went to the dump to get some pieces of corrugated sheet metal that were someone’s trash and that became my treasure. I now have a nice shed for my wood and all I paid for were the screws. And it turns out that the bike trailer is perfect to get the firewood from the big piles to my four- by four-foot shed by the cabin. 

A few weeks back, a friend of mine told me that she had a rough day and was going to take a bath. I felt like I could use a bath, too, but as I don’t have running water, that was not going to happen. I have to carry all the water I use up the hill to my cabin, as there is no driveway to take the car up, so a bathtub is not in my imminent future. Having to carry the water is the reason I hardly ever make pasta. Cooking rice takes much less water.

To manifest my new home and not forget the bathtub, preferably a claw-foot bathtub and running water, I noted it down on my manifestation to-do list for my next place. The next day I went to visit a friend in Tagish. It was late in the day but I needed to get water, anyway, and make my way to her place. As I was about to drive by the Tagish dump, Tiffany, the free store, called me. I had nothing on my mind that I needed, but as I drove by, I checked in anyway to see if something jumped out at me. It looked empty, but I still got out of my car to browse.

When I bent down to look into a white box, I saw something oval. I lifted it out of the box and it was a miniature bathtub. Not just any miniature bathtub. It was a miniature claw-foot bathtub. It’s now sitting on my window sill, with a rubber ducky in it, reminding me that almost impossible manifestations can happen. 

I want to thank all of you for your part in saving resources—for reusing, recycling, trading and however else you do your magic to ease the burden on the environment and our resources. 

For me, manifesting something that I don’t have to pay for, while keeping my footprint small, is like winning the lottery. I wonder what I will find tomorrow.

Every morning I ask the universe to surprise and delight me. Sometimes that delight is an interaction with one of you, and sometimes it’s a second-hand treasure at Tiffany’s.

Happy Earth Day!

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