Monday, March 29, 2010

You could win 10 grand with your recycling idea!

We all know that disposable items, such as coffee cups, are a huge part of our solid waste woes. If you have an idea that you think will help with that, check out the Beta Cup
the betacup's goal: find the best ideas to eliminate paper cup consumption and help bring these ideas to life.

Special thanks to my dear Uncle Dennis for sending me this.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Reusable bag ad

I recently saw this ad reminding people to bring their reusable bags to the store (Fred Meyer) with them. I think it's great that Freddy's (as it's known to locals) is using some of their valuable ad space to promote the use of reusable bags.

Sorry about the poor photo quality. My iPhone hates taking macro shots.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Reuse on parade

Yesterday, we took part in the annual Paddy Hough parade. I tweeted some images of the "plastic bag monster" (who later deemed himself "Bag-zilla") but, I thought I'd write a bit more about what we did, because it was great fun and really turned out quite well.

Here's Bag-zilla in all his glory:
The t-shirt was destined for the thrift store and the plastic bags were pilfered from our plastic bag display* (we need to replace those and get the display back out in the lobby!)

We also had some "support" staff for Bag-zilla. We had two sandwich board people. They had pictures of clogged machinery being hand-cleaned and messages about why we don't want plastic bags in recycling carts. The sandwich boards were made from old recycling signs we don't use anymore and some other materials purchased last year at S.C.R.A.P. We also used velcro, so the messages for the sandwich boards can be changed out to accommodate different events. They are reusable, of course!

It was great fun (especially for me, I just got to sit in the truck and wave to people!) and I heard a lot of comments about people interested in Bag-zilla and what he was all about.

* The plastic bag display reads: "These 400 plastic bags represent the amount used by every man, woman and child each year in America."

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

And the winner is....


Sorry it's taken me so long to determine and post the winner of the one-year blogiversary contest. It's been hectic lately. This is our busy season, with Earth Day and all the associated events/happenings.

Congratulations, Jenny- I will need your contact info so I can get your adorable little recycle cart out to you!

Potting benches made from reclaimed materials

My friend Alex (I've mentioned him before) made* these totally awesome potting benches at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. If you are in this area, I highly recommend taking a trip down to the ReStore to check out all the fantastic items they have down there. I'm always amazed by all the new stuff and how quickly items change over there.

* A little birdy told me they might start offering classes soon!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Vancouver, WA FREE computer class!

free GIS class!

I've posted about the CREAM program and their free computer classes before. There's a really great GIS class coming up that I would totally be signing up for, if I wasn't already giving tours that day. You should sign up for this class!

GIS Class Info: (Call 360-735-0888 to sign up)

Local computer reuse non-profit, CREAM (Computer Reuse Education And Marketing) is hosting several classes over the next few weeks including “What is GIS” taught by GIS expert, Ken Loveall. This class will cover types of spatial data, map layers and themes, local property information, and how to transfer this information to other databases and online tools.

CREAM's Education Program offers free computer education classes to the public. Please call 360-735-0888 during business hours to sign up for classes or get further information by going to Only preregistered participants will be allowed to attend classes.

Upcoming Computer Classes
What is a GIS? Come explore the fascinating world of digital mapping on the web! Learn about geographic information systems and data and how to use Clark County's online maps application. Saturday March 27, 11am to 12:30 pm.

Intro to the Web is a beginning computer class intended for seniors but open to all who want to start using the World Wide Web. This class is held on alternate Thursday and Saturday mornings. Please call for more information.

Google Docs Beginning class on word processing using the online word application Google Docs. Often this class focuses on using Google Docs for resume formatting. This class is held the second Thursday of the month. Please call for more information.

Apple Van, Vancouver's MUG (Mac Users Group) holds their monthly meeting at our Education Center the last Wednesday of the month from 7pm to 8:30pm.

Open Clinic for PC and other MS Windows products, hosted by the Clark College Help Desk. This clinic is facilitated by William Hafer, Instructor of Computer Technology at Clark College and held 2nd Saturday of the Month from 10am to 12pm.

About CREAM:CREAM is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that diverts used electronics from the waste stream in order to upgrade our community. Working with our partners: Clark County, The City of Vancouver, Clark College, The Salvation Army and Waste Connections, CREAM is able to make low cost computers and electronics available to the public. Proceeds from sales support free Internet access and education to the local community. For more information see:

Additional Information:
CREAM - Computer Reuse Education And Marketing
Electronics Donation Center and Thrift Store
5000 E. Fourth Plain Blvd. Suite F
Vancouver, WA 98661

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Producer Responsibility for Fluorescents

We get asked about fluorescents on an almost daily basis. This announcement comes as great news for Washington State residents!

A bill creating a producer-funded recycling bill program for fluorescent lights, supported by WSRA and several other organizations, received final passage by the Washington State Legislature yesterday.

Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) and fluorescent tube lights, which contain small amounts of mercury, will both be covered by the product stewardship program, which will begin by early 2013. Mercury is known to present threats to the environment and human health.

Curbside, mail-back and collection location options are all allowed in the program, which will be funded by manufacturers of lights sold in Washington, operated by an independent product stewardship organization and overseen by the Department of Ecology. Mail-back programs will be required to use vapor barrier packaging to contain the mercury if lights break during transport. Individual producers or groups of producers are allowed to set up their own collection and recycling programs, provided they adhere to the requirements of the new law, and those programs will also be overseen the Department of Ecology.

Steve McGonigal, Executive Director
WA State Recycling Association

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Reuse contest # 4

I believe this was the first place entry for this age bracket. This greenhouse is made from reused plastic packaging, straws, and bottle ends. Brilliant!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Reuse Contest #2

This was my personal favorite from the contest. We've all seen bottles smooshed down to make serving platters, but this one was bent at neat angles to serve as an appetizer plate. I liked this one so much, I wanted to buy it! (Again, the picture doesn't do it justice...) The bottle was a vinegar bottle, according to the description.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Reuse Contest #1

The other day, I was lucky enough to be asked to help judge a contest in which elementary school kids were asked to create something from reused materials. This is the first of the photos that I took that day.

Unfortunately, the photo doesn't do this justice. It was simple, but beautiful in its simplicity. It's a 2 liter bottle with slits cut at the top and bottom. The bottle is full of used dryer sheets, which the student said could be reused for dusting. I loved that it was reuse that encouraged more reuse.

More ideas for used dryer sheets

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Bags-what type?

Wondering if there's a comprehensive look at the environmental effects of different bagging options? Well, look no further. Waste and Recycling News reports that a California coalition of 12 cities called Green Cities California has created just that.

I love this quote: "We´re not going to recycle our way to a sustainable society." So true!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Reuse flower #2

You may have read this post about making a flower out of reused materials. I didn't make these, but I do think they're cute!

I was sitting in a board meeting the other day, admiring these flowers that a friend was wearing. Turns out, not only did she make them herself, she also offered to make me one AND she was using it to cover a hole in the cardigan, so it was helping her get more use out of the cardi, too! Beautiful!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

An article about a local Reuser

Earlier, I wrote a post about Matt and his family. The Vancouver Voice wrote an article about his art/handbags. There's also a quote in there from yours truly. Go check it out!

Monday, March 1, 2010

computer reuse contest

Dead Computer ContestFollowing in the vein of yesterday's post about ways to reuse e-waste, the author of the book is sponsoring a contest to see who can come up with the best way to reuse dead electronics. There's some great projects on there already. Go check 'em out!

Also, if reusing electronics isn't your game, but you still want to enter a contest, consider mine. :D (shameless self-plug done.)
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