I first heard 'Waste not; want not." in my Grade 4 class at Chalmers Elementary. Mr. Wheeler found a clean piece of 8 1/2 x 11 paper in the garbage can. He blew up and just ripped into the class for what felt like an hour. He had done some volunteer work in an a tiny little town in Mexico. He talked about how the kids there would cherish a single piece of paper, filling both sides with drawings, wearing their pencils to tiny nubs. He wrote 'Waste not; want not." on the piece of paper and put it up on the wall, next to the clock. Every day, I looked at that paper and read that sign. I don't know if I put in the garbage, but it could have been me. I have thought about that saying ever since. It is now one of the biggest drivers of what we do at Hammer & Tidy.
Hammer & Tidy is my current path, but I have been a 'suit' (okay, a green suit), in the NGO, academic and government worlds, focusing on the money side of conservation projects. I have managed large projects and teams with a focus on protecting the species and spaces that make British Columbia / Cascadia such a special place.
The further up the chain, the further away I was from what made me tick. Now, with an emphasis on up-cycling, I couldn't get more hands on. Success is not only in the completion of a project. It's in getting the word and the work out there so that it inspires more folks to bring the salvage aesthetic and purpose into their homes and commercial spaces.