When the Birmingham Covington Middle schooler’s reached out for me to help illustrate and produce their video to help raise funds for a tractor and water pump in a remote village in Zambia – I had to say yes! Funds were raised for not one – but two tractors! These students are truly inspiring, click the link to see….https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gx3P4Ll9mK4
Weeds. My nemesis. No matter how many I pluck, a million more pop up somewhere else just to taunt me. Kind of like the gopher in Caddyshack.
Pucker up, weeds.
Well, it turns out, vinegar has become my new best friend. Not only does it unclog drains and take the sting out of bug bites – it helps win the battle of the weeds.
Just put vinegar into a spray bottle and spritz the offending plants* in driveways, sidewalks, mulch and gravel. SHAZAM! All withered up the next day.
Vinegar. For your yard and for your salad, naturally.
*Don’t overspray onto foliage you want to keep.
The Yellow Pages. A very useful tool. Not only for locating a local pizza joint, but quite possibly use as a booster seat. Some make raised beds for herb gardens. And, on occasion Zoos actually give primates old books to interact with for enrichment – many even find them tasty.
No monkeying around.
Even though the Yellow Pages are made from recycled paper and lumber sawdust, you may not get as excited as the apes. If you’d prefer to let your fingers do the walking on the keyboard rather than on paper, you can easily choose not to receive the book at YellowPagesOptOut.com.
Rather than sending the Yellow Pages straight from the doorstep into the recycle bin, now you can be even more environmentally conscious. Just opt out.
Opt In To Learning With Green Living Science.
Rachel Klegon and Mary Claire Lamm of Green Living Science are up-cycling Yellow Pages in a very cool way. Find out about it in their guest blog below!
“Green Living Science is partnering with YP to provide a phone book recycling competition, Project ReDirectory, with fifteen Detroit Public Schools. This competition challenges students to collect phone books to win the first place prize of five hundred dollars. Schools will decide how to spend the prize money but some have already established that they will have a field day event while other schools will give pizza parties!
Green Living Science will be using some of the phone books collected to make a raised bed for herbs in the Lincoln Street Art Park. Those classes participating in Green Living Science’s in-class lessons will be given a free field trip to visit the Recycle Here facility and Lincoln Street Art Park. When students come to visit they will see how phone books can be reused to make neat new projects!”
Back To More Monkeyshines.
Interested in seeing apes interacting with the Yellow Pages? Click on these links:
See more of what “Just Bea” and gang have got going on at
Resolutions. Who can get their hands on last year’s list? It’s probably wadded up back in a drawer somewhere with forgotten aspirations. I guess the problem is sometimes the goals just seem daunting and unachievable.
Little Means Big.
If you’re looking for some green and cause minded resolutions other than putting your recyclables to the curb each week, here are some pretty easy ones to stick to. Even past the first week of January.
• Smile every day. It makes a difference. Really.
• Give someone an unexpected hug once a week.
• Pay it forward. Go “no trace camping”, start a garden, donate a little time to a local cause or shelter, or lend a helping hand to a neighbor.
• Cut back on paper towels and use dish cloths or fabric napkins instead. You’ll help to eliminate the 3,000 tons of paper towels that end up in landfills EVERY DAY.
• Try re-usable bags at the grocery. Over 1 million plastic bags end up in the trash EVERY MINUTE, so pop some in your vehicle to always have one on hand.
You’re probably already doing some of these, but think of this list as a thought starters for your own “resolutions” list.
So Happy New Year, everyone – make it happen!
Green Living Science is truly an experience. For big and small kids alike. Yes, it’s a recycling center, but it’s more than that. It’s a visual feast for anyone that appreciates art and learning. Rachel Kelgon, the Executive Director for Green Living Science, is guest blogging to share more with you.
“Raise your hand if you like art,
now raise your hand if you like dinosaurs.”
This is how I get even the most distracted third grader to get excited about the school field trip to the city of Detroit’s Recycling Center. That’s right, in Detroit, we use dinosaurs and art to teach about the three Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle). Students regularly visit Recycle Here! to learn about an alternative way to dispose waste rather than throwing it in the trash. However, no trip to Recycle Here! is complete without taking a walk down the street to the Lincoln Street Art Park, otherwise known as Frank The Dinosaur’s home. Frank is an art installation made out of plastic trash that was recovered and reused to create a life size dinosaur. Frank found a natural home in the Art Park, which was designed to transform a vacant lot into a creative use for reclaimed material and gathering spot for the community.
As Frank’s head bobs in the wind, the students look at the towering sculpture in amazement and begin identifying the different items they recognize and use. We are able to begin a discussion about other ways we can use things that we thought were just trash. Frank is a reminder to everyone who visits the Art Park about the amount of waste we produce and the non-renewable resources we are using up. Frank is made from plastic, which is made from oil, which was created by fossil fuels (non-renewable resource), which was created by the fossils of dinoaurs. Frank has come full circle.
Want to plan a field trip/recycling program for your group or school? Contact Rachel at 313.744.2294
The students at Anchor Bay Middle School’s Family Science night entered a caption contest in what they thought Buster might be saying while trying his best trying to help figure out why the honeybees are disappearing. Congratulations to Olivia Z! Check out “Just Bea” Cartoon on Facebook for honorable mentions.
I’ve never played guitar, and I know about two words in French. But, I have used gift cards. OK, hold on, there is a connection.
When I saw the posting “Handmade Unique Recycled Guitar Picks” on Facebook, I had to inquire. It turns out that Alicia, a student at Wylie E. Groves High School, is trying to send herself to France on next year’s senior class trip by up-cyling used up gift cards.
What’s in your wallet?
While thinking of ways on how to help fund her trip, Alicia remembered that she had a bunch of expired gift cards and hotel key cards and didn’t know what to do with them and – Viola! (that’s pretty much the extent of my French) the makings of Guitarishy was born. In Alicia’s fundraising effort, she is now making and selling “one-of-a-kind” recycled guitar picks all of which are custom and different from any other.
Did you know that there are 10 billion new cards placed in circulation every year? When these cards are replaced or reach their expiration dates, most of them are thrown in the trash – wouldn’t you rather contribute to a young student’s dream than to the landfill?
Really, $10 for 15 picks? So reasonable and just in time for the Holidays, you can order them here: http://etsy.me/tnNPfd
Don’t know what to do with your old and expired library card, video rental card, membership cards, shopper discount cards and retailer gift cards? For card donations or special orders, you can get ahold of Alicia at 248-645-0938 / email email@example.com.
Let’s make some beautiful music and help Alicia get to France.
I love to travel, and I must admit over the years I’ve learned to make due with just two (OK, maybe three) pair of shoes on a trip – depending. But, it turns out that all along without knowing it I was doing the planet a favor.
It goes to figure that the more a vehicle weighs, the more fuel it will take to power it. Alaska Airlines found that by removing just five magazines per plane they could save $10,000 in fuel costs a year!
Excess baggage doesn’t mean your significant other.
Same goes for when traveling by car. The U.S. Department of Energy wants us to know that by avoiding items unnecessary for our trips, we could reduce our MPG by up to 2% for each 100 pounds. That’s an equivalent gas savings of .04¢ -.07¢ per gallon!
At any rate, that savings on an up-coming trip could add up to a nice dinner. If nothing else, maybe we’ll get an extra bag of pretzels on our next flight.
I don’t know about you, but I sure don’t like to see my money get thrown out the window. I’m guessing you don’t either. With the rough winter months behind us, so are the high energy bills, right? Don’t let the lure of the warm spring weather lull you into a sense of lower utility bills, remember running the AC in the summer poses the same problem.
With the price of gas going up at the pump brings the promise of higher consumer energy bills, too. I’ll bet you’ve already felt it. According to dropyourenergybill.com, air leaks and drafty windows and doors, you could be wasting as much as 35% of your energy dollars through them.
Plug hole in it. Save some money
Well, here’s an easy way to find out if money is getting sucked out of your home and wallet. Hold a lit candle near the seam of the door or window and if the flame or smoke bends towards it – bingo!
Easily remedied. Just head over to your local hardware store for some window and door weather-stripping or caulk. Styrofoam plugs seal off energy loss around outlet plugs and light switches inside your home. I’ve even seen a “Weatherizing For Dummies Kit”, doesn’t get easier than that!
We all know the cost of energy isn’t going down, so get yourself one of those door snakes or dogs – or whatever they are – chances are you can get not only one, but two! Two! All for the same low price.
The Detroit Red Wings have done great things. Out of all the NHL teams in the US, they have the most Stanley Cup wins. With eleven championships under their wing, they’re right behind the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs. But, have those Canadian teams ever given a nod to the ones who protect the environment? I’m not sure, but I do know the Red Wings will be adding one more thing to their list of accomplishments.
Red Wings Go Green!
This time, instead of the team being honored, the Wings along with the DTE Energy Theater, will be acknowledging those who are helping to look out for our environment and the world we live in. On March 30th they’ll be recognizing companies, organizations and clubs with “green” practices at the first ever “Go Green Night” at the Joe! These groups will be offered discounted tickets and free food vouchers – I can’t wait to see what the item is that’s going to be given away!
With all of this cool stuff going on, I’m hoping the fans will leave the game a little more green – and St. Louis a little more blue!
You may be thinking to yourself during these recent snow events and record cold temps we’ve been having – “global warming? No way.”
Not so fast. The way I understand it, Michio Kaku, author of “Physics of the Future” explains what’s happening. In a nutshell, as global warming creates more heat it causes more moist air which causes more precipitation. This means more random fluxuations in the weather. In turn, record amounts of snow and storms.
Blizzards. Brought to you by Mother Nature, not the Dairy Queen.
Here’s one simple way to help decrease our contribution of global warming. Move your thermostat down 2° in winter and up 2° in summer. With this one simple adjustment you could save about 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. So even if it’s hard to imagine global warming is real in these arctic-like temperatures, let’s help Mother Nature out anyway. Maybe she’ll take it easier on us in the future.