Saturday, June 25, 2016

Random reuse and recycling

During their last week of school, my sons had a field trip to our local solid waste management facilities, and they were given a packet of brochures and other small goodies all packaged up in this:
Yes, it's a small plastic bag they don't need (so much for reducing and reusing), and the waste management place doesn't accept this kind of plastic for recycling.  Erghh.  Talk about mixed messages!

And then I offered to help a former student who's running the "Zero Waste Center" at our city's summer celebration.  They had a slightly different definition of "zero" than I do, but I was glad to help.  (Different as in, the first two other volunteers I met had a styrofoam cup (with straw) and a plastic cup (with straw) in their hands. Dude! They didn't even bring canning jars to get their servings of Rita's Ice!  My husband says it just goes to show that I'm so much more weird-extreme than other people, even when I'm with people who claim to hate waste.)
My small contribution was to suggest the organizers hang paper plates and waxed cardboard cups on the outside of the "Compost" container, to let people know what that container was for.  Totally my good deed for the weekend.

At home, I looked out my windows and saw, to my surprise, a pair of Turkey Vultures.  They were huge.  Their red heads were stunning.  And they were recycling a dead squirrel into live birds. Highly effective recycling, I might add.

I tried to get closer, but they got all hoity-toity; they picked up their squirrel and strutted away from me.  We found this first; you don't get to crash the party and take our dessert!

And earlier this week, we went with several dozen members of our church to help at GAiN.   We packed clothes to send to refugees -- did you know there are now more refugees world-wide than at any time since World War II?  We also packed blankets and seeds.  (Um, but not together, because those would be some itchy blankets!)   J-son managed to find some highly sociable teenagers to work with.  N-son, as usual, gravitated to the adults, who worked with him on baling the clothes and also on operating the manual forklift.  Mad skillz, there.


  1. I don't know if this is consolation re zero waste, but the styrofoam may actually be biodegradable.

    1. Huh! That's interesting!

      At our "Zero Waste" station, there were three ways people could dispose of things: recycling (obviously), composting, and landfill-bound. The whole reason for separating out composting from landfill-bound is that biodegradable things that go to landfills don't really biodegrade. And at our station, the styrofoam wasn't one of the compostable possibilities, so (alas) I doubt any mealworm will ever feast on that particular cup.

      But I'm glad to know that styrofoam isn't as hopeless as I thought.