PDX Carpeting Ready for Upcycling
Mar 6
You know that saying, it's not what you know, it's who you know? Well, it's probably true. It's entirely possible that connections are more important than actual knowledge. During a job search or when trying to get your child into that high society kindergarten, having an IN with a board member is probably your biggest asset. Likewise, if you're interested in locating odd bits of salvage in Portland, it's helpful to be dialed into the Repair Café folks.

See, one of the Repair Café volunteers (he does speaker repair) manages the waste at PDX. (Wild. What a cool job!) He is interested in finding a good home for the six acres - that is not a typo - of carpeting recently pulled out of the airport. Jeez, can you imagine all the things you could do with some of that carpet? If you cannot imagine it, here are a few ideas, found mainly by searching the comment fields in online articles about re-using carpet.

1. Cut the carpet into rugs and runners.
2. Make warmers for your compost bins or green house. Apparently some people wrap their compost bins in carpet, and put carpet down in their greenhouses for warmth. (No wonder my tomatoes are not prize winners - no insulation.)
3. Make cat scratching posts. For your little lions and all of your cat-loving friends. If Facebook is any indication, there are lots of you out there!
4. Donate the carpet to animal shelters and groomers, who use it in pens.
5. Calling all crafters! Dollhouse collectors and model train enthusiasts might find this carpet an intriguing bit of memorabilia to be used in their hobbies.
6. How's your attic? Does it need insulation? How about some carpet? Probably.
7. Welcome mats - for the rest of your life.

Now that you're excited about what you can do with that PDX carpet, let's keep rolling with upcycling ideas. Why? Every damn thing we upcycle does not go in the landfill. So, here are some random links to creative ideas for getting rid of the really bad stuff - plastic:

- Make outdoor pillows with those hideous plastic grocery bags.
- Need a charging station? Use old detergent bottles.
- Kids' Halloween costumes - you know you always need cool ideas for this annual project!
- And for fun, how about making curtains out of that old box of slides in the attic?

Does this pique your interest about uses for old carpet and creative upcycling? Hope so. And, for those of you focused on PDX carpet reuse efforts, more details will be forthcoming: where to pick up the carpet, if it will be in pieces, how much one person can pick up, etc. Personally, I'm going to make some phone calls to designers and big DIYers around town to drum up more interest. And there's always Freecycle. But I would be shocked (shocked, I say!) if this piece of Portland history doesn't generate a lot of interest. That's the kind of town we are. This is a spin on buying a brick in Pioneer Square: instead of your name being out in the square, the Portland history will be in your home. Pretty cool.


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