Archive for the ‘Recycling’ Category

A friend of mine from Canada sent this to me…

Imagine the effect (if it would really work):

“Our gas went up this week to about $5.00 gallon for regular. So I won’t pump gas on the 15th NO GAS…On May 15th 2007

Don’t pump gas on MAY 15th

In April 1997, there was a “gas out” conducted nationwide in protest of gas prices. Gasoline prices dropped 30 cents a gallon overnight.

On May 15th 2007, all internet users are to not go to a gas station in protest of high gas prices. Gas is now over $3.00 a gallon in most places.

There are 73,000,000+ American members currently on the internet network, and the average car takes about 30 to 50 dollars to fill up. If all users did not go to the pump on the 15th, it would take $2,292,000,000.00 (that’s almost 3 BILLION) out of the oil companies pockets for just one day, so please do not go to the gas station on May 15th and lets try to put a dent in the Middle Eastern oil industry for at least one day.

If you agree (which I cant see why you wouldn’t) resend this to all your contact list. With it saying, ‘Don’t pump gas on May 15th!'”

I checked with Snopes and this is what they said:

[well, unfortunately, I cannot provide you this information because Snopes emailed me and stated that:

“It is a violation of copyright law to reproduce copyright-protected material without the permission of the rightsholder. Whether or not you credit the source is irrelevant.


You did not ask for, and did not receive, our permission to reproduce our material. Please remove it from your blog immediately.”


According to them, it didn’t matter that I gave them credit of the quoted material for the context of supporting why I the “Gas Out” email is false in accordance to their research. I tried to get clarification on it and, even after several emails back and forth, they wouldn’t budge in insisting that I remove everything that I had quoted them saying. It would seem that, when their contribution to the world is dispelling myths and urban legends, they would appreciate being quoted and credited with the URL to their site.]


At any rate, I truly wish that we wouldn’t be a “Who” in “Whoville” waiting for “Horton” to hear our complaints about the gas prices. There has to be a viable alternative that we can do to make the “Who” in “Whoville’s” voice heard about the stammering increases of oil prices.

I know that the high prices have changed what I do during the week. On the days that I am off from work, I tend to just stay home, albeit who gets punished really? Me (and others out there like me), because it can be depressing to just stay home and not use up more gas that absolutely necessary to get one to and from work.

In Austin, I have seen many bicyclists travel on Loop 360. They have made an impact on not using any gas when they ride their bikes to and from work. Of course, we can have a bike or walk day; but, that is only effective for those who are lucky to live near where they work.

Something that might be interesting to try is to curtail vacations from being far away to those vacations that are in our neighborhoods. That wouldn’t be just shifting the date of purchase of the gas; it would actually have an effect by affecting the gas companies from less gas being purchased from June through August for the purpose to traveling to far away destinations for mere pleasure. So, perhaps, instead of a Gas Out per se by not pumping on a certain day, perhaps the campaign that should be floating around is a campaign to “Vacation at Home in Summer 2007!”

Do you have any ideas or suggestions that would be equally or more effective????

UPDATE: Texas Legislation Proposed Action – Gas Tax Out Vacation Option

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Beliefnet has distributed a quiz this morning via email to take on How Green Are You?.  Take the Green Quiz and find out how green you are.

I am:

Friend of the Forest

Though you’re not waving sustainable-timber picket signs, you do all you can in your buying, cleaning, and recycling habits to tread lightly. You’ve switched over some but not all of your light bulbs to LED or compact fluorescents and wish everyone else would do the same. You consider the earth a sacred sustainer of life that must thrive, but the green fight is not the center of your life.

What are you??? 

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to establish this is the first day to your recovery from a cluttering lifestyle!

When I was much younger living at home I was a much neater type of person and almost on the point of being obsessive to a degree.  I had a daughter in my later years and, eventually, as a single parent I had to choose my battles; be obsessive about cleaning or keep up with my daughter and my jobs I was working upon to afford things for us.

Fast forward. 

Eventually, I was in Houston, Texas, and read an advertisement about a Cluttering Recovery Group.  I had known that things had gotten out of hand and I went to their meeting to see what they would suggest to do.  One of the biggest things I took away from me was the idea of having plastic tubs to assist in the organization.

Then, I became obsessed about having millions (okay, well, not millions, but definitely a lot) of plastic tubs.   From Houston to Cedar Park and then from Cedar Park to Austin, all of these plastic tubs have travelled with me.  Since I have progressively moved to smaller places, it has forced me to actually go through these plastic tubs and eliminate the need for so many tubs and living with stuff all around me!

Speaking of “Stuff”, I have always thought that George Carlin was always speaking to me (similar to just like when you go to Church and the preacher always seems to be preaching directly to you) about “my” stuff being at one place; when going to visit someone, I take some of “my” stuff with me but, especially on vacations, I always manage to bring more “stuff” back with me than what I had left with, etc. LOL….

The Clutterless Recovery Group in Houston was founded by Mike Nelson, an author from Galveston, Texas.  Unfortunately, he also sustained a fire a few years later (after I had moved to Austin, I believe) wherein a lot of his stuff was destroyed.  It brings into perspective how little we often need all of this “stuff” we keep surrounding ourselves with, as well as humanizes the whole issue in that no one is perfect.   He was just happy that he had already begun to get a handle on decluttering his own life.

One thing that Mike mentions on his website about clutters and the Clutterless Recovery Group is: 

When we clutterers understand the psychological and emotional reasons for our cluttering, we can stop cluttering. Cluttering is often a manifestation of issues like depression, anxiety, OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), attention-deficit disorder or AD/HD (ADD) tendencies we all have. We do not use the terms, messies, packrats, slobs.  These are demeaning and a first step to changing our cluttering mentality is to change our negative self-talk.

Clutterless Recovery Groups believes in a psychological and spiritual approach to changing our cluttering behavior through support groups. Organizing systems are valuable, but before we can apply them, we need to address the underlying psychological, emotional reasons we clutter. How often have you “organized” and found that the clutter just came back? It’s not your fault, it’s not that you don’t know “how” to organize, or that you aren’t motivated. It’s that you’ve been approaching the problem from the outside, not the inside. Professional organizers provide a valuable service, but we have to do the inner work before their systems can be of lasting use to us.”

It just makes sense to take a look at all angles when we begin to focus on our de-cluttering!

With this week being the first day of Spring, as well as being Green Earth Week, it would seem poignant and on target that we establish this as the point of NOW in getting our lives decluttered as we do our Spring Cleaning.

I have put some interesting links to the right under the “De-Cluttering” category that you might find of interest, especially, if you are beginning to explore your options — and, some for if you just need new ideas/suggestions.  Don’t forget to check out the “Fly Lady”; she is hilarious!!

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Austin City Council is considering a ban on plastic bags.

When Whole Foods and Central Market came along more than 20 years ago they promoted that recycled bag, but it didn’t really take off too well.  Oftentimes the bag weighs more than the groceries themselves and can oftentimes be bulky.

A CVS employee mentioned last night when I was checking out with my cat food and candles that he thought that, perhaps, it might evolve competition among the stores to come up with the most usable and unique bags so that their bags are the bag of choice one takes when going shopping wherein their name brand is recognized even when a shopper goes into another store to shop.

Austin American Statesman reports that Whole Foods gives a credit of 5 cents for bringing in a recycled bag; Houston Chronicle reports that Whole Foods gives a credit of 10 cents.  Whooo hooo… not enough of a credit for me to have the incentive to switch no matter whether it is 5 or 10 cents unless they talk about 5-10 cents off of each item purchased.  While I am disgusted with some of the plastic bags that don’t hold much in them beyond getting a small load from point A to point B anymore without disintergrating and the handles breaking apart with the weight of the objects in the bag, I am not sure that I am all that thrilled about not having the choice to have a plastic bag every now and then.

Don’t get me wrong.  As much as I love my bluebonnets and love seeing that the environment is encouraging of their continued survival (for instance), I will certainly do anything I can to help improve the longevity for everyone and every living thing through improving the environment.  With only one hand that can carry comfortably any significant level of weight (as one of my hands was broken a couple of years and still hasn’t regained the ability to carry the same level of weight that it used to), having to use non-plastic bags may limit my ability of carrying groceries into my apartment and I will then be required to make multiple trips to my apartment.

Of course, the CVS cashier also mentioned then we might be seeing more carts & dollies that folks bring in to carry things back and forth.  I do have one of those foldable carts that I purchased when my husband died and I had no one to help me bring up the groceries to my second floor apartment, which became useful too when I was moving from Houston a few years ago from a second floor apartment in The Woodlands to a second floor apartment in Cedar Park.   Now, I am in a first floor apartment to avoid that whole situation.  (It is too bad that apartments don’t put in dumb waiters in the stairwells so that folks can carry things up to the upper level apartments.)

At any rate, this morning on MyFoxAustin it is being announced that there is another “Call to Recycle” Campaign being had for rechargeable batteries, cell phones, laptops, PDAs, etc to the local Radio Shack locations.  This is a good thing because I have a lot of electronic equipment that I do need to get rid of, but wasn’t quite sure how to properly dispose of them.  That announcement was very timely indeed.

Funny thought.  How much gas will we be expending to cart all of our things from recycle point to recycle point?  Will the cost factors of expending the gas outweigh the recycling attempts?  I certainly hope so.

At any rate, it is certainly a good week to do some Spring Cleaning!!

For more information —

Austin Recycling Programs

Texas Recycling Programs

Home Hazardous Waste Disposal through AFD

AFD locations to pick up Austin Recycling Bins

Ecology of Texas – Listing of Where to go for Recycling What

Locations of Recycling in Greater Austin

Other Austin Area Earth Day Events – ie, Shred Day at Austin High School and much, much more.

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