Friday, July 16, 2010

Terracycling up for a New School Year!

Yesterday, we had our Back to School Store at our church. The women's group organizes this entire event, which helps provide back to school supplies for about 100 students in our local community.
My favorite part is meeting all of the students and sometimes seeing students that I have had in the past! I had a chance to talk with more than 6 of my prior students, some parents and some possible future students! It was a wonderful day and the kids left with backpacks full of school supplies and stomachs full of home made cookies!

The night before, when we were setting up, I noticed that volunteers were putting cookies in small snack sized Zip-Loc bags.

Of course, my "trash-radar" went up and since I could not avoid the baggies, I could gather them and send them to Terracycle. So, I prepared a box with a sign asking for the empty baggies to be put in the box.
While I still had to raid the trashcans, there were many baggies put in the box! (mind you I had to take baggies out of the 'plastics' recycling can and cardboard boxes out of the 'plastics' recycling can!)

While I was helping to clean up and gather these baggies, Judy asked me about everything that I collected. She said that she really did not like to throw items in the trash as she understands that there is no "away" when an item is thrown away! So she wanted to know if anything that she had saved was something I collected. So, she will be bringing me her trash on Monday! I also sent her a link to my original blog post on what I collect with the brigades! Through the Terracycle Facebook page, I often find out about changes to the brigades or clarifications as to what is acceptable. The only recent change is that Terracycle now takes the Straws from the Drink Pouches. This is the comment from the Terracycle FB page:

"This is because we also now turn the drink pouches you send to us into pavers, bricks, fence posts and more. Through this melting type process (please excuse my lack of technical knowledge on the subject, but do see... See more the video in our video tab called 'From Flavia Fresh Packs to Pavers' to learn more) we are also able to use roughly 4x more drink pouches then before, which is really great for everyone. For example, a large juice pouch tote bag uses 26 juice pouches, but one paver stone uses at least 100! Happy TerraCycling."

Remember, the idea is to reduce the packaging that we put in the landfills. There are many ways to accomplish this.

First--really consider the items you purchase: do you really need it? how is it packaged? can the packaging be reused, composted, or recycled?

Second--look at what you are considering putting in that trash can: Can it be used by someone else (yard sales, thrift stores, freecycle, craigslist!!) Can it be composted or recycled? can it be remade into some other useful item?

There are many people out there who are successful at living life to the fullest while reducing their impact on the environment. It takes time and patience with your self. Our habits did not develop overnight, so it will take more than one day, one week, one month or even one year to change.
Take that first step.

Make one change this week.

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