My Vegas souvenirs! One’s environmentally friendly and the other eh…not so much!

Souvenirs, souvenirs, souvenirs!  I always have fun picking out special gifts for my family when I go on vacation.  2 of the 4 gifts are not pictured above. Not that they aren’t worthy of a photo op, but they have nothing to do with the substance of this post. The 2 missing are t-shirts.  Ana was happy to get a Spongebob t-shirt, and Max smiled when he got his red Vegas t-shirt! Max loves red and Ana adores Spongebob.  Who doesn’t love Spongebob?! Anyone?

The other two gifts are on opposite ends of the environmental spectrum.  The mini slot machine/bank is Carlos’s gift which has now turned into a  family gift. This was the best $29 spent.  Yes, I said $29!  I was in a Vegas Haze (lol) and didn’t look at the cost when I was shopping. When the clerk rang up my total, my jaw dropped.  $29 for a bank!?!? That’s crazy, but I was toooo tired to return it or even speak or moan or groan!  My jaw just remained open in shock as my credit card was being swiped!  When I got home and gave Carlos the gift, he put in a quarter, pulled the arm and I was transported back to Vegas!  This One Armed Bandit rang and lit up like it’s big brother! Wooohoo way to go Vegas Gift (trap) Store!  I know this toy will lose it’s attraction as all toys do and will end up in the landfill as another abandoned toy!  But who knows?! I hope to keep it for a long time ….. uh huh, yeah right.

The reusable shopping bag from Envirosax is so cool!  During our day at the Canyon Ranch Spa, we were given a $20 voucher to use at their spa and clothing store.  My girlfriends picked this out for me while I was busy basking in the steam room!  I am not a shopper what so ever and let them use my credit.  They came back with the bag and some lotion.  Unfortunately, I have no idea where I put the lotion (sorry biatches).  In my haste to catch my flight with an hour of “sleep”, I think I left it behind along with my over played Usher cds..boohoo!  (Carlos is happy though).

I am very happy to have packed the shopping bag.  I have many, many reusable shopping bags, but this one is the prettiest and the most functional.  As you can see from the picture, it folds up to the size of a fist and can be placed in a purse.  This is a cool feature because it’ll always be handy when shopping…..Unless you are like me and forget to put it back into your purse when you are finished unpacking your goods! Hey, life happens…..

Reusable shopping bags are awesome.  They are more durable than paper and plastic bags.  You can always sew any rips or tears, but that hasn’t happened to me.  My bags are over 2 years old, and they look as if they are brand new.  They are also washable which is another cool feature!

I am in favor of the ban on plastic bags.  There are many other options.  My girlfriend Kristi is sewing her own reusable shopping bag!  Little a has made her own shopping bag!  All it takes is some durable fabric, needle and thread.  A sewing machine would speed up the process, but if your watching a movie you can always whip one up in less than 2 hours!  Give it a try!

So these two gifts are cool, functional and fun!  I think I’ll have the most expensive reusable shopping bag in Bend and the most expensive, plastic bank too!

When would be a good time State Representative Conger?

After reading this tidbit of information on the local KBND website, I am confused by State Representative Jason Conger’s  reaction to the ban on plastic bags.  The website states that he believes the timing of the ban is poor, and their are bigger problems to solve.

My reaction…Problems will always exist and time keeps moving on.  If we let time move on without solving this problem, then this problem will become a bigger one in time!  Trash, trash, trash will always be accumulating with time.  This is any easy one to stop in a short amount of time.  Let’s evolve and be done with the plastic bag!

The Adventures of the Recycled Paint Cans!

Intro: This is Part 2 of the 2 Part series.

Yesterday, I dropped off this trunk load of paint cans at the Bend Garbage and Recycling Center. When I left, I felt good.  I was happy that these cans were not going directly into the landfill.  But on the drive home, I started thinking….  I had no idea where they would be off to next.  What would happen to the rainbow of colors?

So this morning, I called Bend Garbage and Recycling and chatted with a really informative, Mr. Brian.  He actually told me he had to conduct some research because he didn’t know all of the answers. I listened intently as he shared what he learned.

They are really off on an adventure.  An adventure to save the earth and be put to good use!

1.The cans are sent to a Metro Facility in Portland where they are sorted into Latex and Oil Groups.

2.The latex paints are recycled into more latex paints and some of those paints are used to paint over the graffiti…Good Job!

3.The oil paints, like linseed, are made into Bio Fuel….Very God Job!

4.The metal cans are shredded and then used as scrap metal.

5.The plastic cans are recycled into more plastic cans, tubs or containers.

There’s one bummer to this recycling program, though!  The shredded scrap metal from the metal cans is sold over seas.  Fossil fuels are being burned to transport these metals to countries who will produce a product that will then make it’s way back to the U.S. Just wish we could keep it on our soil.

At least there is less in the landfill.

Paint cans to the Recycling Center but where do they go from there??

Intro: This is the first entry to a two part post!  I am waiting for the Bend Garbage and Recycling to return my call because I’ve got some questions?!

After painting Little a’s room last week, I decided to go through our mega collection of paint cans in the garage.  We had about 30 cans stacked on the top shelf.  Most were completely empty, some were old samples, and others were colors that we used years ago on the walls which are now covered with a new color.  Our house is full of color and every room is different!

As I was inspecting each can, I was overloaded with memories.  Canary Yellow and Muted Orange were used to paint Little a’s room when she turned 2!  Gun Metal Gray draped our bedroom when we moved to Bend, making it a dark and cozy master.  Lime Green coated Max’s big boy room when he was 4 and then quickly changed to Ralph Lauren Blue once he decided he loved the Solar System. Our dining room and formal living room were transformed into a dark Forest Green. That lasted about 2 years!  We then decided to go with a bit more funk and pizzazz.  Three of the walls were painted Cappuccino and one wall was Teak (a dark orange).   Our great room, kitchen and kid’s bathroom have been the same color for about 8 years.  I couldn’t find the name of the color on the can, but it’s a blend of green and tan.  We are due for a change.  Any recommendations?  I loved sorting though the cans and letting the memories flow.

A majority of these cans went to the Bend Garbage and Recycling Center at Knott Landfill and some of these were left on the shelf …saved for the needed touch up from nicks and scratches. I was happy to see they were accepted free of charge.  I would have dropped them off any way but after a wild weekend in Vegas money is tight for the month! LOL!!

It is cool to see there is an alternative method of disposal for these cans rather than going directly in the land fill. I am not sure where these cans are off to next.  I was unable to reach the person in charge and left a message.  I am anxious to learn about the rest of their journey!  hmmmmm……Anyone out there have any ideas?????

iTunes gift card=Ingeo

Christmas is over!  After a week of fun, food and drink, the extended family is off to their homes and everyone here is returning to their routine.  As I was cleaning the house today and putting some of the decorations away, I came across this iTunes gift card.  One of many that the kids and cousin received for Christmas.  I wasn’t sure if it was used so I asked Max, the gadget guru. What a silly question!  Of course, it was consumed the minute it was unwrapped.  The code was scratched off and uploaded onto  the phone. Above the code, I saw the Ingeo logo!  So cool to see another product made from Ingeo.

Relationships evolve and so do food scraps!

I’m sorry.   This is not a very good picture.  Most of you are probably wondering why I even included this in my post since it is such a bad picture.  Well let  me explain, and then I’ll get to the “meat” of the post.  Here goes.  I just have trouble blogging if I can’t add a picture.  In my opinion, there’s something about reading a post with pictures.  When I read a post from other bloggers and there are pictures included, I scan those first to see what I’m going to be reading.  It brings the post to life, and it’s a way for me to relate to the writer. Blog posts are like short stories and some are similar to children’s picture books, connecting the pictures to the story.  Another tidbit of info for you, I am also a visual learner and therefore project that into my posts assuming my readers are too! Are you? Hope so! So on to the reason for this post!

This picture is so vague!  I could be writing about the car, the lampost, or the building.  I am not the best picture taker…photographer..(photographer sounds so professional). Any way, I took this picture in July and the purpose was to remember the name of the building, Discovery Park so I could call them and set up a meeting.  Discovery Park, as it is mentioned on it’s website, is a senior (58-80ish year old), affordable housing community. Last July, I had the opportunity to speak to the residents and share my interest in vermicomposting.  We chatted about the food scraps and the benefits of composting.  The residents were wonderful and fun!  One in particular, Suzy, was really interested in the process.  She and I talked for a bit after the meeting and set up a time for me to collect her food scraps. I have been collecting her food waste for 5 months, and she also got her neighbor to jump aboard!  So I visit Discovery Park Lodge once a week and my worms get some extra treats.

Weekly collections have truned into weekly visits.  It’s human nature.  As time goes on, relationships evolve.  In my mind, she is no longer the “lady I have to get food scraps from”.  She is Suzy, a friend I need to visit.