Some people get politically motivated when they see campaign signs blanketing the community during elections. For the last few years, however, those placards have inspired Township resident Wally Martin to help the environment.
“I know people hate all those signs all over the place, but honestly, I have seen so much of this stuff go to the landfill and I’m a bit of a tree hugger anyway,” he said. Martin’s solution was simple. He’d use discarded signs — made entirely of reusable material — to build furniture for his grandchildren.
“Basically, the sign has three parts. It has the plastic, it has the wood and it has the screws to put it together. Those are the exact three things you need to make a bed,” Martin said.
So he got to work three years ago and began knocking on his neighbours’ doors asking if he could take the jumbo-sized campaign signs from their yards.
Using just a saw, a screw gun, a tape measure, a knife and a straightedge, Martin made the first bed for his grandsons to share.
His second effort was for his two-year-old granddaughter.
He said the latest bed is both flexible and sturdy enough to also function as a trampoline for the toddler.
Although the current owners are all children, Martin said the beds would have no difficulty supporting a grown-up.
“I’ve slept on it. It’s actually quite comfortable,” he said, explaining the bed immediately has enough strength to support an adult’s weight when the corrugated plastic is placed in the wood frame.
He worked on each of the beds on-and-off, but he said the process would only take about an hour if he buckled down.
“There was an element of humour to it,” he said, “but also like everything in life, things that are funny also have a serious side, too.”
Martin said he has no plans to turn this enterprise into any sort of business. Rather, he just wants people to know about innovative ways to repurpose material that is often tossed away.
“You could always use an extra bed when the relatives come over. You don’t want to have to go buy one, so go and support your local election candidate and ask him for his (sign).”