April 24, 2011

City Repair Earth Day fest follow-up

I’d said I would follow up on some of what I saw at the City Repair Earth Day fest ~

Goat Rental NW The basic idea is that these folks will rent you goats to help clear brush and invasive species from your yard. If your yard looks like mine, you’ll agree that these are good deals. I have no connection or experience with this business – if you have, I’d love to hear about it. I just love the idea of having goats meandering around my yard, taking care of the blackberries and thistles for me. They’ve definitely got good press – read here and here.

Cornerstone Funeral Services & Cremation offers green burial options, including burial without embalming, funeral services at home, and cremation. The website says they also work with organ donation organizations, so you’ll still be able to be an anatomical donor. Again, I have no connection with the business, and I’d love to hear from anyone who has worked with these folks.

I did buy myself a Snack Taxi. It’s a reusable sandwich bag. I’ve been looking for one for a while. I’ve found other similar products, but the ones I’d found were too small for the breads I tend to buy or make, or were made with fabric I wasn’t exactly thrilled to be seen with. Mine has hedgehogs romping around on it. I also bought my husband a Wrap-n-Mat. It’s like a reusable sandwich bag that folds all the way out to a placemat. His is dark blue and has chalk outlines of sharks and fishes all over it. We’re both set and stylin’ now!

E-cycling round-up

Utah just passed their e-cycling bill. Go Utah!
HB 153: first fail
HB 102: second fail
SB 184: pass!

New York’s e-scrap program begins too

Will County in Illinois has started an e-scrap program as well. It’s an already existing program, not costing county any money, and the program is now tentatively expanding. Hopefully the program will expand to the whole state soon.

And while it seems everything else in Wisconsin is falling apart, their e-cycling program has not only demonstrated real success, but it’s resulting in more jobs (and lower state fees?) as the programs expand. Check out the 2010 report here.

And South Carolina’s Free E-Cycles Day!

Dell is working with Goodwill to help keep electronics out of landfills.

Meanwhile in the Portland/Metro area - don't forget Free Geek, Best Buy, and Oregon E-cycles when you're ready to recycle your computer, smart phone or other electronic device.

My day in the sun

A couple of brief notes on yesterday's lovely outdoor event ~

So much sunshine!  Probably the last full day of sun for another few weeks, but hey, it was still sun!

I learned about another e-cycling company in Portland - City Recycle LLC.  It looks like their website is either still under construction or has some bugs.  I haven't personally worked or talked with anyone in the company yet, but it looks worth checking out. According to their website, their focus is on e-cycling (recycling electronics), but they will take metals in general along with paper and cardboard. If you've had experience with City Recycle, let me know!

I saw baby goats!  No bigger than the 2-year old children scampering about. I never did make it over to their booth to find out what the goats were helping promote, but gosh it was fun watching them. And watching people pet them.

I talked with a lady about her eco-friendly burial service. More on that later.

I talked with several people who want to know when Portland will finally get our residential composting program. It's coming, Portland, honest!  They gotta make sure all the bugs are worked out and all the permits are in order. Trust me - it will suck far more to start the program early and then have it taken away because Permit 146Xz12 wasn't signed off properly.

I finally got myself a Snack Taxi. More on that later.

I talked with a couple of people who reallyreallyreally want to garden but they have apartments and don't think they have space for anything. I know there are books out there that specifically address container gardening and gardening in super-small spaces.  I didn't find it till this morning, but now I have something to share with people who rent a single room in a house and don't even have space in the kitchen for a pot. If you have a window, you can grow stuff! Merry Farming!
What are your favorite recommendations for super-small space and container gardening?

April 23, 2011

City Repair Earth Day (PDX)

I will be at City Repair Earth Day today from 2:30-7:30. It's shaping up to be a party, all right!  I'll be at the Be Resourceful! Get More of the Good Stuff! booth.  Come by and say howdy!

April 13, 2011

Recycling humor

Check out today's xkcd comic.

What do you think the sorters would say about your recycling?

April 9, 2011

Craft Magazine: April is UpCraft Month

In spring a young man’s fancy may lightly turn to thoughts of love, but my thoughts usually turn to crafting. Something about spring gets me thinking about new projects. Maybe it’s the whole outdoors coming to life thing making me want to create something along with it.

Craft magazine usually has some great projects that involve some or all of the parts being recycled or reused in some way. This month, however, the whole theme is UpCraft. Check out some of projects here. One of my favorites is “Homemade Pantry Staples”. I’ve been getting more and more into making things like these at home, and I’m looking forward to adding a few more to my repertoire. I also rather like the cardboard and rubber band “guitars”. I may have to make some of these for my kids at work.

Kraft/Terracycle Team Up for Minor League Baseball Promotion

More good recycling news for baseball fans! On the heels of Free Compost Night at Seattle Mariners games comes the KRAFT Singles “Tuesday Night Tickets” promotion at Minor League Baseball games around the country.

TerraCycle is working with Kraft Foods to “turn donated wrappers into functional lifestyle products while furnishing a donation for each wrapper collected to charitable organizations”.

For more information about the promotion, check out Kraft Singles Tuesday Night Tickets.

While I am not a huge fan of processed cheese food products or hermetically sealed individually-wrapped slices, I am all for trying to recycle the plastic bits that are already out there and I am all for steering some traffic towards TerraCycle.

“Every Bottle Counts”: video

Hey, what do you know? Turns out, recycling is easier than you think! This video, put out by the International Bottled Water Association, encourages recycling of the bottles. What did you think? Me, I think I’m going to stick with my durable water bottle.

Got a favorite video about recycling? Let me know and I’ll share them here.


I’m a little behind the curve when it comes to electronics and technology. I mean, I have a computer (obviously), I have a old (old) cell phone, and I have an iTouch (mostly because I killed my Palm a while back by dropping it one too many times). I’ll probably give up both the cell phone and iTouch within the next year in favor of a smart phone of some sort. The cell phone is easy enough to recycle – I can take it to my local library or police precinct, who will then send it off to be cleaned up and donated to a women’s or family shelter. The iTouch is a little trickier. It’s not a phone, so it can’t be reused that way. It’s also not the latest, hottest, hippest version on the market, so it’s got limited resale value. Heck, at this point, it might even be difficult to donate to much of anyone. If you’re into personal technology at all, you’re likely aware the iPad 2 has been released, within a year of the original. So what happens to all those original iPads people bought? Do you chuck ‘em in the trash? Holy cow, I hope not.

So what do you do with your old iPad, iTouch, or other fancy electronic gadget?

-->Hang on to it as a back-up. You never know when you might drop the new one or spill your soda all over it.

-->Sell it to someone who wants it. Try Craigslist, eBay, a garage sale, an electronics website, even a note on the bulletin board at work or school. Maybe they don’t need the latest, fanciest model. Maybe they’re looking for something for their kids. Maybe they’re looking for a quick replacement after theirs broke. Maybe they’re looking for antiques. As long as they’re willing to pay, you’re good to go.

-->See if you can get store credit. If you’re planning to get the newest, hippest version, see if the electronics store will take your older version in as a trade-in.

-->Speaking of trade-in, maybe you can trade your old electronics for something you want or need. Check out Craigslist, U-Exchange, or Care-to-Trade and trade your old iPad for a couple of hours of someone painting your house, or maybe for a set of weights, or possibly for guitar lessons.

-->Find out if the manufacturer has a recycling program. Apple, for instance, will take their products, working or not, back by mail or in their stores. According to their website, if the item you send them has monetary value, they’ll give you credit towards a new product. If the item doesn’t, they’ll “recycle it responsibly for you”.

-->Donate it. Schools are finding more and more uses for iPads and iTouches. Special Education departments would especially love to use your old electronics to use with children with Autism and communication disorders. Libraries and senior centers would also love to have them. Help save the world –and- take a tax deduction.

-->What if the gadget no longer works? What if it’s flat-out broke, busted, kaput, dead? That’s still no reason to throw it in the garbage! In the Portland (OR) area, you can also take your items to Free Geek to help support the Portland non-profit dedicated to recycling electronics, providing Internet access and education to everyone, and teaching computer-related job skills to anyone who wants to learn, all in exchange for community service. For the rest of the US - Best Buy also has an electronics recycling program. They don’t even care what brand it is or where you bought it or what it is (for the most part – as always, double-check with their e-cycling info first). You can also check out the electronics section on Earth911’s ideas for reusing and recycling electronics.

Consider reading:
Donate your iPad, be a hero…: Tainted Green
Find a recycling center near you: Earth911
iThink this will add to eWaste: Australian Broadcasting Corporation

April 3, 2011

Giveaway winners

The winner of "Healthy Soils" is Leigh, and Katie won "Let it Rot".  I'm expecting regular updates from the two of you on how your composting goes.  Everyone else - thanks for entering!