Part of down-shifting has to include a nod towards living in an 'eco' environment where recycling should really be second nature to you. In South Africa we are still way behind the rest of the world, but we are at least giving the whole recycling thing a bash. Even before I moved permanently to the countryside we had our different kinds of bins in which to separate our garbage, though now we have Muncipal refuse removal they do tend to just bung everything into the same lorry. I am assured by my friend that people scouting the dumps for things are still happy to find bags of the same thing which they don't have to sort through.
I also have a huge compost heap, ( nothing quite like spreading your own waste on one's garden) which I love, as well as a little wormery that we keep at the back door (my son's baby). My compost bin, inside the kitchen, is an old recyled pedal bin, painted in the colours of the Union Jack (yes patriotic!) with 'compost' written on it, so there's no making a mistake which bin is which.
Then there's nothing quite like recycling furniture. This is obviously one of my favourite past times. My best recycle of late has to be a matching pair of vintage Barbers chairs which I had recovered in Nguni skin. They now look stunning and could fit into any vintage or modern home.
I have to punt the fact that we sell Wormeries at our shop, though still have't quite figured out how they fit into a Brocante! We have a special on our wormeries at the moment with a discounted price, to encourage recycling in our area. So instead of the normal price of R450 they are now R400 until the end of March 2010. Click here to order http://www.simplysam.co.za/s.nl?sc=7&category=&search=wormery