Thursday, September 26, 2013

No Waste Wednesday #38–Donate Your Wedding Dress

28-Wedding PictureNext year my husband and I will be married 40 years.  Forty years.  We had a big wedding and I had a big wedding dress (the train behind seemed to go for miles).  My younger sister wore the same dress at her wedding (looking beautiful, of course).  After her wedding, the dress sat in a closet gathering dust and yellowing with age. 

For thirty years the dress moved from house to house as we moved, taking up a good portion of valuable closet space.  Until I read an article about a charity accepting wedding dresses.  This particular charity accepted older style wedding dresses and with the help of talented seamstresses, they updated and sold.  Proceeds are then given to cancer research, breast cancer in particular. 

After a thorough cleaning at the dry cleaners I donated the dress and never had a regret.  Someone else is enjoying a full-blown white wedding dress for their big day and I am making a difference in the fight against cancer.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

No Waste Wednesday #37–Hang on to Your Car

DSC_0015 - CopyA different point of view than our green-minded friends buying the latest hybrid…We are holding onto our gas-guzzling car (well, it is actually an SUV).  It is now 14 years old and well over 100,000 miles.  We plan to keep it another 14 years.  And our car commitment is not unusual.  The average life expectancy of a new car in 1930 was just under 7 years.  Many of today’s cars are expected to last 250,000 miles, ours included, if maintained properly and driven reasonably (avoiding an accident).

We like taking good care of our belongings.  We stand up a little taller and prouder when someone is surprised at the age of our vehicle. (We park way out in the “north 40” to avoid dreaded car dings.)   And really that is the way everyone should treat their cars.

Yes, you are right to say our vehicle is probably not getting the gas mileage of a new car.  But, the price of a new car will buy a whole lotta’ fuel.  AND I really like the fact, it is one less vehicle headed for disposal, at least not for a long time.

Yes, there will come a point in our car’s life when the maintenance becomes too costly.  When the time comes, we will invest in a fuel efficient model.  Maybe, when we are ready to buy, the cars will be off gas/diesel all together.  For now we are happy with our SUV--let the good times roll or “laissez les bons temps rouler”.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

No Waste Wednesday #36 - Communal Living

IMG_2797Not quite a commune, we live in a neighborhood of townhouses.  (Contemporary U.S. definition of a townhouse means an attached dwelling on land owned by the homeowner. )  In our case, the homes are paired (duplex) and surrounded by a small yard with grass and landscaped with flowers.   Although there are a few downsides to attached dwelling living, for us the benefits far outweigh the bad. 

[Photos of our home]

IMG_2798Ours is a very tight knit community with everyone watching out for each other whether it is helping out someone in poor health, keeping an eye on a vacationing friend’s home, or enjoying regular potlucks, a game of cards or holiday celebrations. 

The lifestyle is very much in tune with the zero waste concept, too.  In a single home, often the yard debris is thrown into large plastic garbage bags.  The grass and clippings will either wait on the curb each week for garbage pickup or the owner drives to the nearest landfill to dump.    For us, the small yards are tended by a single groundskeeper with grass and cuttings collected loosely in the back of his open trailer. 

One trip to the organic recycling location once a week and no plastic bags.  A very nice benefit to “communal” living.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


DSC_0026 (5)The Dungeness River (about a mile from our place) is now overrun with thousands (as many as 100,000) of Pink salmon or humpback salmon known locally as pinks or humpies.  They are small (about a foot to two feet long) and I am told they are the most abundant of our Pacific salmon.  We spent the afternoon watching their migration up the river to spawn.   During their spawning migration the males develop a humped back and yeah, you got it, that is why they are called “humpies”!  (The pink color of this fish's flesh is due to their diet of shrimp and krill.)

DSC_0003At different points along the shallow river, you can watch the females dig a trough with her tail.  The male swims up beside and I am guessing, he then fertilizes the eggs as they are deposited.  At least that is what is supposed to be happening, but you really do not get close enough to see the detailed “operation”.

Exciting to see so many salmon and hopefully they will produce a large hatch available for catching in next year’s fishing season! 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

No Waste Wednesday #35–Subscriptions

Reference:  Resolution posted 12/31/12

magazine_2I gave up magazine and newspaper subscriptions many years ago.  Not only do they cost (introductory offers are inexpensive, but eventually it adds up), the continuous receipt day after day, month after month means stacks and stacks of paper.  And the glossy pages of magazines are not always eligible for the recycle bin.  Plus, magazines are so full of advertisements, the articles are practically lost. 

Almost all magazine and newspaper content are now found on the internet.  International and National news are now real-time.  Local news feeds to my Facebook page throughout the day.  Informative blogs on subjects that interest me are everywhere.  You can even access favorite magazines on-line.  Colorful photos of creative ideas are endless.  Instead of tearing out a page to save an idea or image for future reference, the photo and link can now be saved or pinned to a virtual “bulletin board” on my Pinterest internet account. 

Why do I need a hard copy?  I do not.  Stop and save a tree!

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