12/27/15 - Scavenger, n. a person who collects abandoned things. Randy and I can certainly identify with this definition. We are always on the lookout for anything that someone else has deemed “unnecessary.” For example, when the old Cobb Field ballpark was being demolished, we purchased some green outfield fence posts. We frequently check out the Habitat for Humanity Restore where we have found tile and glass blocks. We purchased a significant amount of wood shelving out of an old building that was of no use to the owner. That shelving now clads one of our interior walls (as of the day after Christmas) and made excellent vertical railings for our stairs. Our stair treads are from old corral boards off the Brenden farm near Scobey, Montana. The advantages of scavenged building materials are numerous. One, the price is often reasonable. Two, the items have been diverted from the landfill. Three, the items tend to have inherent “character” and an associated story that can’t be found in newly manufactured products. And, four, the manufacturing sources of scavenged items do not need to be tracked for the Living Building Challenge! This last one is huge because, as we have discovered, tracking the ingredients and manufacturing source of every item in the house is extremely taxing and time consuming. Wouldn’t it be nice if all building materials contained nothing on the Red List? Hopefully, being a scavenger will pay off in the end.