Spring Cleaning

I live over 2000 miles from my high school yet every time I return home I visit the building – which is now an old folks home. I also walk by my family home in a neighborhood that is undergone a brutal overhaul. Ten years ago the elm tree disease destroyed all the trees on my street so what was once blissfully shaded and cool is now stark ugly. The sidewalks jut up and out as the tree roots continue their reach to nowhere. Houses go unrepaired, trash is tossed and the end result is something that one would move away from (if one hasn’t already done so).

Sometimes we just ‘land’ somewhere and make it work. Other times, we seek our new quarters and spend time with colors, counters, carpets and other important items that turn the everyday space into something amazing.

The act of relocating is simple – most of the work comes before. Where, when, how, what… are the questions that happen before the move. Should I… where to… when… how to …what to take? And once the decision is made, things fall into place.

The overall concept is exciting. A new environment, new walls, new neighbors, new sounds, new views. The reality may be too many sounds, nasty neighbors, no views, unhealthy environment, and bland walls. And yet … juices are flowing, body is recharged, hope is in the air.

A relocation forces you to clean up and condense, toss and throw, reduce and recycle.  The end result is something to be proud of … empty closets, clean spaces, bare cupboards, room to breathe. Ahh, doesn’t it feel wonderful?

The gift of Freecycle on 12/12/12

freecycle1My Gift to you on 12/12/12 is the gift of recycling using Freecycle. This nonprofit organization is a way to recycle your items to others who are in need of your discards. And it’s the perfect way for you to locate items that others are discarding.

I’ve used Freecycle many times and just last month someone who was in need of a 32 in JVC color TV that I wanted to give way – emailed me to say she could use it for her church group. Done. Out of my door and into hers.

Once I post what I have to offer … I get to decide who receives it. It isn’t about who responded first – It’s my item and I decide. Below is the official information about it. Once you sign up, you can go to the website and see who is offering what items. You can also have emails sent directly to you as they are posted.

I love this idea and the fact that it’s global makes it even better.

Welcome! The Freecycle Network™ is made up of 5,082 groups with 9,244,525 members around the world. It’s a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It’s all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. Each local group is moderated by local volunteers (them’s good people). Membership is free. To sign up, find your community by entering it into the search box above or by clicking on ‘Browse Groups’ above the search box. Have fun!


Recycling: Just Do It

Trash can and recycle bin.
Image via Wikipedia

In my neighborhood, our garbage removal service charges us extra if we want to use a recycle container. We can take our recycle items to our nearest town (about 10 miles away) or we can just toss plastic and newspaper in with the trash.

Here’s a great chance for our community to educate us on the benefits of recycling.
In the U.S.A., over 2.5 million plastic bottles are tossed each hour! Think about it – soda, milk, water and juice bottles along with plastic grocery bags, shopping bags and all that nasty packaging that surrounds most of the products we purchase.

All plastic can be recycled yet a mere fraction actually is.

Why not? Because when there is an additional cost tacked on to my trash bill, it’s easier to just  put the plastic and newspapers in the trash.

It takes me a few weeks to fill up my recycle bin and then to haul it into town – but I do it because it’s the right thing to do.

Now, if my trash service felt that way and educated us on why we should recycle and made it possible – imagine the impact it would make. One plastic bottle at a time … Imagine!

Internet Goodie #22: 50 Ways to Help the Planet

Happy Earth Day to my fellow Earthlings!

I found this wonderful website about 50 ways to help our planet. There is no great A-H-A moment in these ideas – just things to do that make a difference at the end of the day. These ideas are like putting away $1 a day. No big deal and yet at the end of the year, you have $365 smiling back at you.

By not running the water while you brush your teeth, using a car wash instead of washing your car in the driveway, hanging up wet clothes outside instead of using a dryer, resisting the urge to rinse your dishes before you put them in the dishwasher … simple, do-able, affordable and they make a huge difference if we all became aware of our actions.

50 Ways to Help The Planet

Any others you might suggest?

Internet Goodie #21: Recycle using Freecycle

The next time you want to toss your trash – think Freecycle  first. It’s a forum where people can offer their ‘stuff’ or request items that others may have to give. You know those items that you don’t want to toss … high chair, weight bench, bicycle parts? Offer them on Freecycle and decide who gets them.  You’ll find a way to clean your clutter and give back to someone in need.

Freecycle (TM) provides individuals and non-profits an electronic forum to “recycle” unwanted items. One person’s trash can truly be another’s treasure!

Everything posted must be free, legal, and age-appropriate. Whether it’s a chair, a fax machine, piano, or an old door, it can be posted on the network. Maybe you’re looking to acquire something yourself? Respond to the posting directly. After that it is up to the giver to set up a pickup time for passing on the treasure.

“Think globally, recycle locally.” The Freecycle(TM) Network is open to all cities and to all individuals who want to participate. Freecycle(TM) groups are run by local volunteer moderators from across the globe who facilitate each local group — Grassroots at its best!


Internet Goodie #20: EARTH DAY!

April 22: Earth Day? Or Everyday: Earth Day, right?

P globe
Make Earth Day count via Wikipedia

10 things to do to make our earth smile:

1. Buy less stuff. According to Jeffrey Hollender (co-founder of Seventh Generation), if we commit to buy less stuff rather than green stuff the earth will benefit. He says we consume way too much and it’s way too difficult for the earth. He challenges us to abstain from purchasing anything new for 30 days, except for food and gasoline. Care to try?

2. Set your timer for 15 minutes and clean out a closet. Clothes that take up space, that are too big, out of fashion or no longer worn should be tossed into a pile.

3. Once you have a pile of items find a way to recycle them. Goodwill takes your items and resells them to benefit the community by offering programs and resources.

4. Want to clean up your garage? The Salvation Army takes clothing and household items, tools and vehicles as well.

5. Help someone during a crisis. Donate your unused United and Delta miles to the Salvation Army to help move personnel quickly during a disaster and provide travel for people in need of emergency medical care.

6. Sell your gently loved electronics on gazelle.com. This service helps people sell and recycle their iPads, cell phones, camera lenses, hard drives, LCD monitors, eReaders (Kindles & Nooks), computer desktops, PDAs, movies, and all those wonderful electronic gadgets that are bought today and obsolete tomorrow.

7. Wonder where all those store plastic bags end up? Watch this video “How Plastic Bags Get Recycled.” Reduce your use, use your canvas bags and be sure to recycle any plastic bags you’ve collected.  But do your recycled bag efforts really matter? Some studies show that it isn’t cost effective to recycle plastic bags so instead they get shipped to other countries that end up burning them. Not what you intended? Pull out the canvas bag and help eliminate the production of plastic bags.

8. Not sure where to take your ‘stuff’? Earth911.com is a search engine type website that directs you to recycling centers near your home that take the item you need to dispose. Whether you need to recycle paint, oil, glass, paper or electronics, this site will guide you to a center near you.

9. Another small way to make a big difference is to refill and reuse your water bottles. Instead of a new bottle each time you’re thirsty, rinse the first bottle and fill it with tap water. If you have several empty bottles, fill them up and chill them for later use.

10. Find a way to use public transportation, ride your bike, carpool or walk. Combining your resources with others’ will allow for a sense of community, invite a healthy lifestyle and encourage people interaction. Smart trips and Ride Share create an environment where you can meet up with others who want to drive less by sharing a ride.

Taking care of the earth is a lifelong process, not just one day a year on Earth Day.
Each earth friendly action we take leads to a better world. Taking less time in the shower, using a power lawn mower, composting our table waste, walking, taking the bus, recycling magazines and newspapers, repairing instead of trashing, refusing to purchase items that are wrapped with wasteful paper, demanding healthy food and meat, choosing products that do not harm the body and much, much more. It’s a daily process which will help keep the planet a healthy place for many generations.

It takes work, action, focus and attention but the end result is SO WORTH IT!