As may readers might have already guessed, I really don't like waste. So when my beautiful leather couch was ruined. (first the dog as a puppy chewed holes in the leather on the cushions...fine covered that with a blanket...Then, the middle springs became sprung...but the piece d'resistance? The new kitten mistaking it for his litter box. Repeatedly.) No amount of vinegar, baking soda or other 'odor neutralizers' would get rid of the scent.
So I had to say goodbye to my couch. Managed to trade a friend for a new/used one, but needed to get rid of this one.
Now, often, if the furniture was still in working order, I would have freecycled it. (Don't know Freecycle? you should. Check here: http://www.freecycle.org/ for more information.)
But no one was going to be able to use this again, not even college kids.
But there was yards and yards of lovely leather. I couldn't just throw it out. Didn't matter I wasn't sure what to do with it.
So I carefully took a razor blade, and cut, and cut, until I had all the useable pieces of leather cut off and rolled. The back alone gave me a 7'x3' stretch of leather (rather stiff from disuse) to the 2'x2' pieces from the back cushions that were soft as kid leather from the constant use.
My daughter took some pieces, and make leather bracelets and necklaces from them. The rest I have stored. Perhaps I'll make a few purses, or maybe, just for fun, I'll try making those viking shoes. (http://earthandliving.blogspot.com/2008/08/viking-shoes-tutorial-sort-of.html). But the point is, it's still useful, and it isn't in the landfill.
The American Pickers always say, the time to buy it is when you see it. Same basic principal...the time to harvest, to save is when you have it. Even if I just give it away, It's still fulfilling a use.