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Your green projects

We asked our readers to submit descriptions and photos of the green projects they're doing at their places. Enjoy this slideshow of great submissions.
  • Camper coop

    "The day I received the October issue of Living the Country Life, we were about to start a new project that involved recycling," says Lorraine Keegan, of Billerica, Massachusetts. "We purchased an old popup camper to turn into a chicken coop. We used to see a lot of popup campers for free in this area. People just wanted them out of their yards. Unfortunately, we couldn't find one for free, but we did manage to find one for $100. We sold the awning for $75. Everything else we used was stuff we already had. So the total cost was $25."

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: October 31, 2012
  • Coop nesting boxes

    "Basically, my husband removed the tent sides, using the plywood from the bottom of the beds for the walls," says Keegan. "Additional plywood that was going to be thrown out at a job site was used for the front and the back. Leftover wood from other projects was used for the nesting boxes and roosts."

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: October 31, 2012
  • Coop roost

    The Keegans used leftover wood from other projects to build the roosts.

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: October 31, 2012
  • Coop windows

    "We had an old double-hung window in the attic," Keegan says. "My husband installed it as two separate windows on the back of the camper. He removed the channel in the door that locked the top and the bottom together so each section can open separately. In the cold weather we can leave the top closed during the day, and the chickens and ducks can still have access to the coop through the bottom part of the door."

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: October 31, 2012
  • Bucket traps

    "Here is an inexpensive solution for ridding the area of bugs," says Ron Stiteler of Clarksville, Florida. "The buckets are available from dollar stores for $1.00 to $1.50. Use any old lamp fixture with a 13-watt compact fluorescent bulb to light up the bucket. Coat it inside and out with brush on "Tangle Trap" formula available in quart or gallon size from Gempler's Hardware. I went through six of these this summer."

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: October 31, 2012
  • Soft, glowing light

    "With photocells at the connections, you will also have soft, glowing, (moonlight-like) outdoor light in the front and back of your house," says Stiteler.

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: October 31, 2012
  • Detergent traps

    "You can also coat bleach and liquid laundry detergent containers and hang them without a light anywhere you want to slow down being 'bugged,'" Stitleler says. "Bright blue seems to attract the biting insects better than any other color. As you can see though, white works quite well."

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: October 31, 2012
  • Recycled doghouse

    "My husband, Tom, recently built this doghouse for my sister's dog, Rodney," says Melissa Nathan of Buellton, California. "Tom and I are always looking for ways to lighten the way our 'footprint' impacts the planet," she says. "So when we recently took down a gate in the yard that we no longer needed, instead of viewing the planks as trash, we thought: 'What a beautiful pile of vintage-looking lumber. What can we make this into?' My sister, Nancy, has done marvelous work over the years, raising funds for homeless animals, so what better way to honor her and her contributions than a gift to her and her favorite pooch? The doghouse is made from the fence, the roof from some landscaping bender-board scraps, the cushion is an old pillow with a pillow case that had a small tear, and his monogram from some old twine we had in the garage. All these things normally would have been tossed eventually, but were PERFECT for Rodney, the once homeless Chihuahua."

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: October 31, 2012
  • Goose pool

    Kerry Allen, of Edgar County, Illinois, has conducted two great "green" projects over the past couple summers. "The first was a goose pool and shelter/nest box that we made for our geese." Allen says. "We were able to get our hands on a large plastic vat that was originally for agricultural use. It must have held Round-Up or some other chemical. First I had my husband help me cut the vat so that the base would be at about 18" deep using a Skilsaw. Next, we drilled a drain hole in the bottom. There was already an indentation for this and the vat is conveniently made to drain to the center where the drain is. Using plumbing supplies from the farm supply store, we installed an 1 1/2" hose long enough to be accessable and then a garden hose adaptor at the end. We had a valve at first, but this kept getting broken by the freezing water in the winter. Now we just raise the hose up above water lever and hook it above."

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: October 31, 2012
  • Recycled vat

    "The top of the vat was also used for the geese," says Allen. "All we had to do was put three legs on with some scrap 2x4's and viola! We now have a nest box in the spring and summer and it is used during winter to keep their feed dry. When they are nesting, we stack bales of hay around it to give them the privacy they want.

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: October 31, 2012
  • Water catchment project

    "Our second project is a rain water catchment barrel also made from old ag vats that are no longer used," says Allen. "Again I cut the top off with a Skilsaw, this time as high up as possible. I smoothed the cut edge with sandpaper and then painted a brick pattern on the vat using Krylon spray paint for plastic, trying to match the side of our house. My dear husband then helped me drill a hole and install a spigot for a garden hose. Done! I was lucky to have a circular slab of concrete that was the old lid of our cistern. This made a nice slab for my rain barrel to sit on."

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: October 31, 2012
  • No wasted water

    "I use these for watering my container plants and if we get a particularly rainy period, I run a hose out to some new trees so that the water won't be wasted by overflowing," Allen says.

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: October 31, 2012
  • Traveling house

    Paul and Melissa Johanson moved a house from Webster City, Iowa to their farm, north of Leland, Iowa. "The pictures are of the house going through the bean field and them being set on the foundation," Melissa says. The Johansons also had a tornado pass through their property in June and plan on recycling the salvageable steel from their Morton building to cover an old chicken house and corn crib.

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: October 31, 2012
  • Firm foundation

    After moving their house to a new location, the Johanson's house sits on a firm foundation.

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: October 31, 2012
  • Rainwater harvesting

    Retired NASA engineer Bob Stuckey participated in a course on rainwater harvesting, coming away from it with a desire to build his own system, "which became a yearlong endeavor that I documented as I went along so that I could share the process with others," he says.

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: October 31, 2012
  • Used for outside watering

    "I designed the system with some advice from one of the class instructors, and performed all of the installation and construction by myself, except for help from my son and nephew in placement of the three 3,000-gallon collection tanks," says Stuckey. "The water is only filtered to remove particulates, and is used just for outside watering. For each inch of rainfall, we collect about 1,100 gallons of rainwater in the three 3,000 gallon tanks. Eventually I will install underground pipes to all of our flowerbeds and put drip irrigation lines in each bed."

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: October 31, 2012

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