My Dad was recently recounting how he secured the building materials that he used to build his own house. It occurred to me that he was and always has been "green". Let's just say that he never throws anything away unless it's absolute junk. For all of the questionable stuff, he keeps it "just in case" and for the really good stuff, like a coffee can, that's just an opportunity waiting to present itself!
Here's how he built his own house with little or no money: Lots of sweat and effort.
Before my parents were even married, he paid $100 for a barn that was soon to be sunk (literally). The barn was on property that has since become Lake Arthur in Moraine State Park. He and my Mom would go out to the barn on Sundays and dismantle the slate roof, beams and siding. He later used some of the beams and siding in the barn at the farm, he used the slate to put a nice roof on his house.
The beams in the house came from Olbum's Furniture Store in the North Side. Apparently Olbum's was being torn down to be replaced by better things (not) and Big Mike was contracted to do the demolition. Dad just can't stand to see perfectly good building materials wasted, so he paid Mike $3 a 3X14 floor joist. He bought most of the 3rd floor. It was all he and his friend could do to get those beams down to the second floor and then lower them out of the window and onto their truck. The windows in his house are 1/4in. plate glass that used to be the display windows from the store.
The hearth used to be a curb stone from the streets of Evans City. Apparently he happened by when road workers were removing some of the curb, and was fortunate enough to have them put in the back of his truck.
So, he's "green", or resourceful or just plain grew up having to figure out creative ways to accoplish goals. I give him a lot of credit, and hope that I could do as well, if I ever need to.