oh mercy, mercy me

with sincerest apologies to marvin gaye.

today is blog action day. because i’m a lemming because i’m a bit distraught over the weekend’s events, it comes as something of a relief to write about something like the environment (which tells you how awful the weekend truly was)… although there is a part of me that wonders whether we are adding to the pollution in the blogosphere.

but i digress.

clearly, we need to use less, as my dear pal kellyo notes beautifully. i’ll try to tackle another piece, however picayune, of the puzzle.

recycling is a topic near and dear to my heart, especially on tuesdays when i start getting cans, bottles, cardboard, and the 57 editions of the washington post that BS has left under his chair ready for our friends in the recycling truck on wednesday. i dare not take them to the bins for fear i’ll get chastised by the Woman Who Haunts The Recycling Bins, she who informed me one day that some of my cardboard was not, in fact, cardboard. she wasn’t wrong, and i was chagrined, and now, i am pretty well informed about my paperboard and my cardboard. i’m strongly against segregation, but in this instance, i’ll try to keep the twain from meeting, so to speak. nevertheless, i’ll let my friends in the blue truck help me out in case i’m mistaken one day. i don’t want to be wrong on that and enter recycling hell. more importantly, i don’t want to eff things up and actually create more pollution than i would have if i left things well enough alone.

so i thought i’d share some of my favorite recycled products. just cos.

littlearth license plate handbags. i have been jonesing for a jersey plate handbag ever since i first laid eyes on one of these things on my thelma-n-louse trip to arizona with my pal murph. see — recycle license plates and make them a fashion statement. they should get prisoners working on THESE. correctional centers would actually MAKE money. (note to BS: the ho-li-days are coming…)

recycled aluminum wall clocks. these are SOOO cool, if you like mod-ren sorts of artsyfartsy stuff. which i do, of course. of course these look more like a craft i can take up one rainy day with the kids… speaking of the kids…

junkyard cats. these pups (no pun intended, though they also have dogs and other critters) are made from scrap and rejected garden tools, farm machinery, bicycle and auto parts, which is nice because it keeps them out of the junk heap. [note to self: contact them. your garage alone could furnish noah’s modern ark.]

laptop lunches lunchboxes. not just for kids (or vegans) only! do you have any concept of how much waste is created every day because we all use those little plastic bags or buy individually-packaged cookies or hohos or whatever it is you like in your lunch? yes, these lunchbox systems are made of plastic — it’s recyclable, although at this price, there ain’t no WAY you’re recycling it anytime soon. and they are so gosh-darn cute! if i weren’t afraid BC was going to lose these, i would snap one up in a second. instead, i am trying to reuse some of the little plastic containers i have amassed over the years to pack her lunches. inside a cute, tween-approved lunch sack, of course. (GAWD, mama, you embarrass me!!!) but one day…

now, since i’m just chanelling the hints from heloise chick (for the insane parent-set), some more recycling tips for you moms, dads, and caregivers out there.

1) you know how sometimes, you end up printing more pages than you wanted to off your printer or fax? stop telling the computer to piss off and save those pages. your kids can draw on them til the cows come home. don’t let that tree die in vain.

2) hey you working parents: you know how there’s always some forgetful person at the office who also prints a bajillion pages of things and then leaves them at the printer for a few days? i say, after two days, the statute of limitation ends. if the paper(s) hasn’t been claimed or put in a recycling bin, take THOSE home for your kids to use. my kids thought it was hilarious when they wrote official “mail” that had my company’s logo on it. i just resisted the temptation to actually mail that stuff…

3) all those little bits of crayon you have lying about, naked and too small to be held by even the tiniest preschool hand? make homemade crayons. jools loved coloring with his — it made automatic rainbows.

4) there are tons of things you can make from old computer stuff. i’m hoping i can get BC to make me a disco ball. hell, i’ll hang it from the rear view mirror of the Prius.

5) this one from BS, who has never considered himself terribly crafty: take old CDs or DVDs you don’t want. buy round cork, and glue it to the backs of aforementioned disks. Voila! you’ve got coasters. (and yes, we really, really DO have such coasters in our home. pity we’re so uncivilized that we hardly use them.) BS is such a dark horse. he’s crafty!

6) recycle clothes. (hint: they’re found at rummage sales, jumble sales, goodwill, garage sales…). organize a clothes swapping party with friends. (one of my clever friends does this. there’s always wine, so i’m always there.) i’m thrilled i have friends who take the clothes off my hands, and my friends seem happy that there’s less stuff to buy. happy happy all around. if you want to make money off them, then send them to a consignment shop. but the pain and heartbreak of that process sometimes is not worth the trouble. donate. it’s good for the earth, it’s good for your karma, and hell, it’s so freaking easy. (just don’t donate the things that are permanently covered in vomit. use those as cleaning rags.)

ok. all politics is local. all betterment starts with you. turn off your computer and change the world.


4 Responses to “oh mercy, mercy me”

  1. Look at you. Here I was trying to rid the landfills of purses and there you are pimping purses on your site. 😉 Those are tempting even to a purse-iphobe as myself.

    I see the junkyard animals (or someone similar) each year at a local art show. Tons of the cutest things you’ve ever seen and so cool to get a closer look to see all the nuts, bolts, and such that went into making them.

  2. I endorse the consignment shop idea, if it works for you. I brought clothes to a consignment shop for a couple of seasons, then my “luck” seemed to run out. I don’t know if they changed the person who judged the condition of the clothes, or what, but many of the items I brought were suddenly getting rejected. “This one has a stain on the arm.” “It does?” (as I get out my magnifying glass) So, I haven’t gone the consignment store route lately. I am not worthy.

  3. Hey there, ‘Havoc. I love this list — it is pretty comprehensive. I would like to add a number 6

    6) Sign a Petition to help pass the Aggressive, pro-environment, Energy Bill! http://www.energybill2007.org

    Congress finally has a chance to pass meaningful energy legislation. The bill they are about to pass includes the best fuel economy standards ever (35 mpg by 2020) and a renewable electricity standard (15% by 2020) that guarantees the growth of renewable, clean energy. But there is a chance these two key advances won’t make it through to the final bill. So, please sign the petition, http://www.energybill2007.org and sign the petition. This is a good chance for real progress, don’t let Congress back down!

    Me, I am working with a coalition to make sure Congress sends the president a strong energy bill with meaningful changes for our environment and planet.

  4. yay, chris. always glad to help, and always glad to hear you’re using your powers for forces of good 🙂

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