Look what I Can Do!

What do you do with old wood planks or pieces when you don’t need them anymore? Throw them out? Nope, I’ll tell you.

My name is Josh and I’ve been building things since I was 9 (I’m 11 now) from old wood and lumber. It’s my hobby because I like the feel of it, nice and worn in like a broken in soft baseball glove that I’ve used for the past 3 years.

This spring, my dad was getting ready to replace our back deck. It was in pretty bad shape with cracks and some warping because of the weather and snow. When he started the new deck, he was going to throw out the pieces of the old one. I had learned about the 3 R’s in school and tried to convince him for days not to throw away any pieces. They could be reused. He finally said yes, as long as I did the picking up and sorting.

I spent an entire spring break sorting the wood into piles so it could be recycled. There was some lumber that was rotted and unusable too. This pile was ground up for mulch in our backyard. My dad loved that idea because he wouldn’t have to buy any – saving money- and he wouldn’t have to haul it from the store home-saving his back.

I liked it because we were not only reusing it but the mulch would still smell like cedar, especially after it rained.

The wood that could be recycled, I used to make a swing using our front tree for my sister and me to share. I helped my dad make my little sister’s book shelf with some of the lumber. The rest was hauled off by people who could use it. One person used it to make some outdoor chairs.

I think when I grow up, I’d like to design and build things from reused lumber. It’s better for the environment and looks really cool.

Joshua is a 5th grader in Evanston, IL who loves playing middle school rugby, rollercoasters, and camping outdoors.

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