Friday, May 31, 2013

Where do lonely shirts go?

Can you guess what old t-shirts are recycled into?

Hint: It's not new shirts -->
Photo: Can you guess what old t-shirts are recycled into?

Hint: It's not new shirts -->

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Got Milk Jugs?

Got milk?

This backyard bench is not only made from recycled milk jugs, but manufactured in the U.S. for extra green cred.

What eco-upgrades have you made to your outdoor spaces?
Give your summer backyard oasis an eco-friendly upgrade with this contemporary, sleek outdoor sofa made with recycled milk jugs.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Jamie Oliver's new London restaurant is zero-waste.

Jamie Oliver's new London restaurant is zero-waste.

All produce will be eaten, composted, recycled or upcycled. Some menu items will even be made using discarded ingredients from other restaurants. Read more:

Do you wish more restaurants adopted policies like these?
Photo: Jamie Oliver's new London restaurant is zero-waste. 

All produce will be eaten, composted, recycled or upcycled. Some menu items will even be made using discarded ingredients from other restaurants. Read more:

Do you wish more restaurants adopted policies like these? Tell us about it below.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Cook a Zero Waste Meal

Photo: Shane Valentine
Photo: Shane Valentine

Making dinner for the family can create a whole lot of waste – from tossed leftovers to piles of packaging. But our resident grocery shopping guru Shane Valentine is out to prove that preparing a waste-free meal can be fun, simple and surprisingly satisfying.
For our submission to Ethical Ocean’s Vegan Recipe Challenge, the chef, author and chef instructor for Whole Foods Market opened his family vault and re-imagined a sentimental childhood favorite – Puerto Rican Rice and Beans.
In a true zero-waste twist, Valentine shopped for all of his ingredients either in bulk bins or purchased the produce in the exact amounts he needed – all the way down to olive oil and individual cloves of garlic.
When it was all said and done, the bulk-buying whiz managed to recreate his grandmother’s recipe with absolutely no waste. Click here to check out the recipe on Ethical Ocean, and don’t forget to vote for us while you’re at it!
Want to give zero-waste a try on your favorite family recipes? Use some of Valentine’s top tips to revamp your go-to classics for a waste-free meal.

1. Buy a pinch or a pound

Many shoppers assume bulk-buying means picking up large quantities of each ingredient, but it’s actually quite the opposite. Choosing the bulk aisle allows you to directly control portion size – meaning you’re no longer paying too much for excess food you don’t need.
For his rice and beans recipe, Valentine purchased each item in the exact quantity he needed, from a half-cup of olive oil to a few tablespoons of dried oregano.

2. Control produce portion size

Earlier this year, Valentine let us in on a little secret: When produce is sold by weight, you can buy exactly what you need. Don’t need the whole bunch of celery? Just pull off a stalk or two. Only using half a cabbage? Ask a produce representative cut it for you.
We’ll admit this suggestion blew our minds a bit, but it really is that simple. To eliminate produce waste (and shave a few dollars off your grocery bill), keep an eye out for picks sold by the pound and buy only what you need for your recipe.

3. Bring your own container

Bring your own reusable containers, such as glass jars or food storage sets, with you to the bulk aisle to make your meal truly zero-waste.
Before filling your containers with bulk aisle picks, stop by the register first to have them weighed. A store attendant will mark each one with its tare weight, so you’ll only be charged for the food you’re buying, not the container.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Happy Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day everyone.  Our Administrative offices will be closed today but the Tuscarora Landfill, Newport Transfer Station and Grantsboro Transfer Station will be open on their regular schedules.

Thank you to all who have served, who now serve and all of the family and friends who serve with them.  Have a safe and happy holiday.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Candy for the Garden

These Bon Bons Are Candy for the Garden

Garden, Mother's Day, Gift, Seed Bombs
Photo: Moulton
If you’re looking for a unique gift for a plant-lover or gardener, take a look at Garden Bon Bons, which might just make you do a double-take. While these bon bons certainly do look like chocolate truffles, they’re actually specially designed seed bombs that would make a great gift for the experienced or novice gardener.

Garden Bon Bons are made by the Seattle-based design firm Moulton, and they employ a centuries-old planting technique. Each one contains seeds, compost and clay. The compost helps feed the seeds, while the clay holds each ball together and protects the seeds from insects. Some of the truffles are even rolled in coffee grounds or cinnamon, which serve as natural pesticides.

The bon bons come in a number of varieties including collections of Italian herbs, herbs for making herbal tea, herbs for making cocktails and even edible flowers. They are arranged in a box and decorated with ribbon so they look just like a box of chocolates.

To plant the bon bons, simply place them on top of soil in a sunny location (either outside in the garden or inside in pots) and water regularly. Make sure not to bury them in the soil because that will hinder the germination process.

Each box of Garden Bon Bons comes with eight seed balls that will grow into four different kinds of plants. Boxes cost $15.95 each and can be purchased at Moulton’s website or at the Garden Bon Bons Etsy shop.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

It's in the Bag

Glad looks beyond the kitchen with trash bag tents
In an effort to encourage outdoor music festival clean-up, Glad, the venerable purveyor of plastic wrap and trash disposal accoutrement, introduces a camping tent that doubles as a giant garbage bag.

Related Topics:

Video screenshot: AlmaAgency/YouTube
Now that a Def Leppard-headlined heavy metal hootenanny in France has its latrine situation figured out in the form of compost-ready hay bail urinals, here’s a look at a reuse-minded way that trash bag and foot storage behemoth Glad is providing a clean-up solution to the mountains of waste generated at outdoor summer music festivals while also branching out beyond its homemaker demographic to target the cool kids: The introduction of one-person tents that double as massive garbage bags.
The mission? To encourage sloppy festival-goers to clean up and properly dispose of whatever waste they may have produced while camping — plastic water bottles (ugh), beer cans, glo-sticks, spent hand sanitzer, bug spray, and sunblock bottles, condom wrappers, adult diapers … I really have no clue as I haven’t been to an outdoor music festival since high school let alone camped overnight at one.
After a successful pilot run at SXSW, Glad, in partnership with Miami-based ad agency Alma, is aiming to bring the disposable tents-cum-garbage bags to festivals across the country where, according to PSFK, they will be distributed with one crucial stipulation: the recipients must use the durable multipurpose tents — they’re made using Glad ForceFlex technology — to clean up after themselves once the party is over.
As pointed out in the case study video that I've embedded below, despite varrious greening efforts the waste situation at outdoor music festivals continues to be rather problematic with even eco-minded events like Bonnaroo generating a staggering 600 tons of garbage. While the Glad trash bag tent may not be sucessful at curbing the sheer amount of waste produced at outdoor festivals, they’ll certainly ensure that an unsightly mess isn’t left behind for someone else to deal with.
Outside of summer music festivals, it's also worth pointing out that Glad is currently holding a Trim Your Waste challenge where the grand prize winner can walk away with a $2,500 prize geared toward green home improvement efforts.
Outdoor music festival-goers? Would this interest you? Or, more importantly, would being handed a FlexForce trash bag tent it prompt you to clean up after yourself?

Friday, May 24, 2013

Kanga Rooms

Transform Everyday Dwellings with Kanga Room Systems

Made in Texas from sustainable materials, these fully customizable sheds, studios and cabins add eco-friendly flair to any yard.
The home office. The pool house. The guest house. The shed. The art space. These everyday spaces are changing, for the better, thanks to Kanga Room Systems.
Kanga, based in Austin, TX, is a premier designer and manufacturer that provides build-it-yourself prefabricated wood kits for outdoor rooms and other structures. If you are not comfortable with do-it-yourself assembly, Kanga will do it for you with its premium installation services.

Kanga customers can choose from cabins, sheds, studios, add-on rooms, storage and playhouses and/or playrooms for kids. These are perfect for homes, ranches, businesses and industrial sites. Traditional spaces like sheds, art spaces and home offices can now become your own personal space created to your liking.

In addition to its artistic designs, another great Kanga quality is its green commitment and use of eco-conscious materials. Solely manufactured in Texas, Kanga is all about “producing eco-conscious, energy efficient products, using sustainable materials wherever possible.” The company even has an on-staff environmental designer constantly looking for new ways to incorporate green elements into each structure.

Now, take a look at what kind of dwellings you can purchase. Three models are offered, including studios, cabins and sheds. Let’s explore each more thoroughly.

Kanga Studio

kanga modern studio Transform Everyday Dwellings with Kanga Room Systems
Kanga Room Systems’ Modern Studio. Photo via
The Kanga Studio is quite popular and very diverse. You can select from two styles: the Modern and the Cottage. Each model comes in different sizes ranging from an 8′ x 10′ all the way up to a 14′ x 20′. These studios are perfect for one-room offices or a guest room built with full bathroom and kitchenette. According to Kanga, studios are frequently used by artists, musicians and jewelry makers. Overall, these studios are great for everyday work, hobbies and special projects.

Kanga Cabin

kanga cottage cabin Transform Everyday Dwellings with Kanga Room Systems
Kanga Room Systems’ Cottage Cabin. Photo via
Like the studio, the Kanga Cabin comes in both the Modern and the Cottage theme. These are a little roomier than the Studio. Depending on the size, your cabin can come complete with closets, loft areas, bedrooms, bathrooms, living rooms and covered porches. It sounds like a great place to spend a cozy evening!

Kanga Shed

kanga modern shed Transform Everyday Dwellings with Kanga Room Systems
Kanga Room Systems’ Modern Shed. Photo via
An average shed can be extremely boring, but with the Kanga Shed you can transform that boring shack into a sleek modern storage unit. Sheds only come in the Modern theme, but they include all sorts of elements like sheathing and roof decking, hardie lap siding, pine trim boards, heavy-duty latches and a variety of color paint schemes, just to name a few.
Even though Kanga is centrally located in Texas and serves the Austin and Dallas areas, kits can be shipped statewide and nationwide.
Be sure to browse through Kanga’s gallery and see how Kanga Room Systems can transform the average dwelling. It’s quite remarkable and beautiful.
Allyson Koerner

About the author

Allyson Koerner first became acquainted with the green lifestyle while obtaining her Master's in Print & Multimedia Journalism at Emerson College in Boston. She has an internship with Eco News Network to thank for propelling her into the environmental world, along with taking her writing to a greener level.…

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Ten state park rangers receive commissions as law enforcement officers

Ten state park rangers receive commissions as law enforcement officers

Benjamin Ryan Fleming at Fort Macon State Park among the commissioned.

RALEIGH – Ten new state park rangers received commissions as law enforcement officers today, according to the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation.

The rangers were sworn in by Superior Court Judge R. Allen Baddour, Jr. at a special ceremony in Raleigh.

Receiving a commission as a Special Peace Officer at the end of the 17-week basic law enforcement training is generally regarded as the last formal step before a ranger takes on full duties in a unit of the state parks system. During the training period prior to commissioning, a ranger is assimilated into the park and begins assuming duties in resource management and visitor service.

“It requires a lot of dedication and training for our candidates to earn the right to wear the campaign-style hat of a state park ranger,” said Lewis Ledford, state parks director. “These men and women are true multi-specialists who are frequently asked to assume many roles during a day at work from finding a lost hiker to giving an interpretive program to dealing with violations of state law.”

State park rangers are required to have at least a two-year degree, and many come to the job with four-year university degrees in curricula related to resource and/or park management. Beyond law enforcement training, all are trained in medical first response, search-and-rescue, wildfire suppression, natural resource management, interpretive skills and environmental education.

The rangers who received commissions are: Benjamin Ryan Fleming at Fort Macon State Park; Jason Woodward Howard at Kerr Lake State Recreation Area; David Matthew Langdon at Falls Lake State Recreation Area; Crystal Nicole Lloyd at Cliffs of the Neuse State Park; Elliot Kevin McDowell at Kerr Lake State Recreation Area; Jason Bryant Murvine at Kerr Lake State Recreation Area; Katherine Leigh Goodman Scheip at Falls Lake State Recreation Area; Michael Joseph Walker at Lake Norman State Park; Michael Talbot Walker at Goose Creek State Park; and, Ian Jacob Willms at Kerr Lake State Recreation Area

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Moving on Up

Yes or No: Would you ever stay in an old water tower?

It's just one of many awesome (and upcycled) places you can visit:
Yes or No: Would you ever stay in an old water tower? 

It's just one of many awesome (and upcycled) places you can visit:

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Guitars Made from Old Skateboard Decks

One-of-a-Kind Guitars Made from Old Skateboard Decks

Photo: Skate Guitar
Photo: Skate Guitar

For decades, electric guitars and skateboards have consistently ranked high in terms of sheer coolness. Now, the Argentinian duo of Ezequiel Galasso (aka “luthier”) and Gianfranco de Gennaro have combined their love and passion for skateboarding and rock music, with ingenious results.

Introducing the Skate Guitar, a one-of-a-kind instrument re-purposed from old skateboard decks. Each fully-functioning guitar is hand-carved from two old skateboard decks, one for the body and one for the neck. No two instruments are alike, with each Skate Guitar artfully bearing the scuffs, dings and scratches from a lifetime of kick flips and ollies.
“Our intention is to achieve a simple and functional instrument, using the quality of the laminated maple, a 24” 3⁄4 scale and the accessories selected according to the particular style of each skateboard. Our instruments are completely handmade, one by one, by Ezequiel Galasso in our workshop located in Buenos Aires, Argentina,” the company says on its

Facebook page.
Skate Guitars have been featured in art exhibitions in Argentina, and the founders of the company have received hundreds of inquiries about their instruments—which run upwards of $1000 a piece—on Facebook, according to Inhabitat.

See more pictures and videos of Skate Guitars in action on the company’s Facebook page.

Monday, May 20, 2013

When is a Shoe Not a Shoe?



Sunday, May 19, 2013

Surf the Book Shelf

Such a lovely upcycled bookshelf by SkateMood []

Also check out these wearable accessories made from broken boards -->

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Dig this Look

The Robert Kalinkin pop-up shop utilizes 24 kilometers of real cinema film for its walls, ceiling, and other materials. Talk about large scale upcycling!

If you dig this look, you'll love these fashionable accessories made from old CDs, vinyl records, and musical instruments:
Photo by Diana Garbacauskiene
Photo by Diana Garbacauskiene

Friday, May 17, 2013

Need A Tune Up?

Clever uses for tuna cans.
Don't just toss those little treasures in the recycling bin! Who knew they could be so useful, sans fish?


tuna can lantern
Photo: Jerry James Stone
Did you have a tuna party and now have a whole pile of cans to recycle? Stay thy villainous hand! Thou shalt not heft those trusty vessels into the recycling bin! If you just made a record-size bowl of tuna salad for your favorite coworker's birthday lunch potluck at the office, you are in luck. You are in luck like you just won the lottery. OK, if you won the lottery you could just go to Crate & Barrel and buy whatever you want, and you wouldn't need to fashion survivalist crafts out of tin cans that smell a bit like cat food. I kind of like the smell of cat food. Am I gross?
Now! Let's have some fun with tuna cans. Because if I let a day go by without telling you how to make useful housewares out of garbage, the sky would probably fall into the ocean with a terrible thud. Eat your tuna, kiddos, because the cans it comes in are precious little gems that can literally light up your life, as you are about to see.
The Tuna Can Lantern: Didn't I just tell you that a tuna can could light up your life? It can when you make a lantern out of it! Tuna can lanterns look like fancy outdoor party lighting (I swear you could decorate a yard in Montauk or Provincetown with one, and nobody would be the wiser). A tuna can lantern is a glass hurricane lantern cover on top of a tuna can, which is mounted on a pole of some kind. When you paint the tuna can and the pole a nice sophisticated color, suddenly the tuna can stops looking like tin that cooked fish came in, and starts looking like something straight out of Pottery Barn. You can only imagine the romantic effect that a yard full of tuna can lanterns would produce, especially if they still smell a little like tuna and therefore start attracting cats. Picture your pathways illuminated by hurricane lanterns, the candles flickering in the evening breeze, as neighborhood cats loll languorously around your fence. Thank you to DIY Philadelphia remodeler and blogger Diane of In My Own Style for this idea.
tuna can tiffin boxTiffin Box Made from Tuna Cans: A tiffin box is a compact little lunch carrier. The style lunch carrier comes from India. A tiffin box is essentially a few metal containers that stack on top of each other, so that one is a lid for the container on top of it, which clamp together with a metal handle. An Instructables user posted directions for how to make a tiffin box out of tuna cans. It's pretty ingenious! Make one of these and your lunch will be the envy of your entire cubicle farm.
Tuna Can Cook Stove: I am not saying that you should make a mini-stove out of a large tuna can and a small tuna can, but you could. This is one of those total making-do-and-getting-by crafts that will help you to survive if you are in the wilderness with nothing but a large tuna can, a small tuna can, a knife, and some fuel. Anecdotally, my best friend's husband impressed her while they were dating by cooking an unopened can of tuna on a small camp fire. Men: You now know how to impress the ladies with fire and a tuna can.
Mini-cake moldPro: This use of tuna cans requires no handyman skills at all. Con: Your cakes will taste like fish if you don't wash the cans a few times before using them as mini-cake molds. But when you do start to use your clean tuna cans as mini-cake molds, you will delight in your cake's perfectly round shape. You could make mini-tarts. You could make mini-casseroles. Anything you bake in an empty tuna can will turn out that cute little round shape "that humans go nuts for."
Holla if you have ever made something cool from tuna cans that I didn't mention. I found tuna can desk organizers, tuna can emergency lamps, and tuna can tea-light holders, as well. You could also make these projects from cat food cans.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Fuel up on Fat

Fat-fueled power station in London to run on recycled cooking grease
The oily remnants of the morning's 'fry-up' are being reused to operate the world's largest fat-fueled power station — an East London facility capable of producing enough juice to power 40,000 homes for a year.
Photo: Shutterstock
And in other news from across the pond  …
In an attempt to make good use out of a rather foul bane on the deep-fried city of London’s antiquated sewer system, private water supplier Thames Water and self-described "next generation green utility company" 2OC have announced plans to open a 70-million-pound ($106.8 million) power station fueled by spent cooking oil and grease that's been unceremoniously — and often illegally — dumped down the drain by the British capital's chip-munching denizens.
The grease deposits will be collected directly from city sewers where over 80,000 fatty blockages a year end up costing utilities around 1 million pounds (over $1.5 million) per month to unclog. Lovers of gross-out photography might recall that in 2010, Thames Water employed a team of "flushers" to remove a 4-foot-thick wall of solid fat that was clogging the sewer system under Leicester Square. Apparently, there was enough cooking waste removed to fill nine double-decker buses.
Something tells me that you'd never have this problem in Santa Monica.
As part of the joint venture between Thames Water and 2OC, an estimated 30 metric tons of cooking waste will be collected daily not only from sewer pinch-points but from restaurant kitchen fat traps and food companies as well. Authorities believe this will be enough waste to provide the Combined Heat and intelligent Power (CHiP) plant with roughly half the fuel it needs to function — the rest will come from waste vegetable oil and tallow. No virgin oils from field-grown crops will be used. Once up and running by 2015, it’s believed that the East London facility will be the largest fat-fueled power station in the world.
As reported by the Guardian, the 2OC-operated station — it will be capable of generating 130 gigawatt hours (GWh) of renewable energy annually, enough juice to power around 40,000 average-sized homes — will supply the largest sewage treatment plant in all of Europe, the Thames Water-owned Beckton Sewage Treatment Works, with 75 GWh of electricity per year. Additionally, the station will power a nearby emergency desalination plant (the first in the U.K.) that opened — and not without controversy — in 2010. The energy-hungry, drought-alleviating desalination plant is also owned and operated by Thames Water. Any leftover juice will be fed directly into the national grid to power homes and businesses throughout London.
Piers Clark, commercial director for Thames Water, explains the benefits of fat-fueled power: "This project is a win-win: renewable power, hedged from the price fluctuations of the nonrenewable mainstream power markets, and helping tackle the ongoing operational problem of 'fatbergs' in sewers."
Did he just say fatbergs?
Adds Andrew Mercer, chief executive of 2OC: "This is good for us, the environment, Thames Water and its customers. Our renewable power and heat from waste oils and fats is fully sustainable. When Thames doesn't need our output, it will be made available to the grid meaning that power will be sourced, generated and used in London by Londoners."
This isn't the first time that London's discarded cooking oil has been put to good use: Due to exorbitant fuel prices, a sizable chunk of London's taxi drivers have been filling up with low-emission biodiesel made from kitchen waste — chip fat, essentially — collected from pubs, fast food restaurants, and catering businesses.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Bonnie Monteleone, Protector of the the Oceans



The 'Plastic Ocean' and Bonnie Monteleone

By Skip Maloney

Facts About Our 'Plastic Ocean'

One of the most serious threats to our oceans is plastics pollution. Plastic constitutes approximately 90 percent of all trash floating on the ocean’s surface, with 46,000 pieces of plastic per square mile. Why is there so much plastic in the ocean? Unlike other types of trash, plastic does not biodegrade; instead, it photo-degrades with sunlight, breaking down into smaller and smaller pieces, but they never really disappear. These plastic pieces are eaten by marine life, wash up on beaches or break down into microscopic plastic dust, attracting more debris.
Plastic is also swept away by ocean currents, landing in swirling vortexes called ocean gyres. The North Pacific Gyre off the coast of California is home to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the largest ocean garbage site in the world. The floating mass of plastic is twice the size of Texas, with plastic pieces outnumbering sea life by a measure of 6 to 1. These floating garbage sites are impossible to fully clean up.
Plastic poses a significant threat to the health of sea creatures, both big and small. Over 100,000 marine mammals and one million seabirds die each year from ingesting or becoming entangled in plastic.
It takes 500 to1,000 years for plastic to degrade. Even if we stopped using plastics today, they will remain with us for many generations, threatening both human and ocean health. Despite these alarming facts, there are actions we can take to address the problem of plastics.
Fast Facts
  • The average American will throw away approximately 185 pounds of plastic per year.
  • Eight percent of the world’s oil is used for plastic production.
  • Biodegradable bags prevent the deleterious effects of plastic on ocean environments. They break down naturally and don’t leave harmful chemicals behind.
  • Plastic in the ocean breaks down into such small segments that pieces of plastic from a one liter bottle could end up on every mile of beach throughout the world.
  • Approximately 380 billion plastic bags are used in the United States every year. That’s more than 1,200 bags per US resident, per year.

WILMINGTON -- She remembers the question vividly, with snapshot clarity in her mind's eye. It was 1971 and Bonnie Monteleone was about 12 years old. She and her mother were in the kitchen of their Elmira, N.Y., home. Mom was wrestling with a piece of cellophane, wrapped around a Styrofoam container that held dinner, when she posed a rhetorical question.
“Where does all this stuff go?”

Little Bonnie didn’t know the answer back then. It would take almost 40 years for the answer to present itself in the graphic photo of a deformed turtle. When young turtle had swam into a plastic, six-pack ring, which got caught on its shell. The plastic ring stayed put as the turtle grew, and resulted in the deformity of the turtle's entire body.

Monteleone was by then working in the chemistry department at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She had moved to the city in 2004 when her daughter was enrolled at the university. She landed a job at chemistry department, where she works to this day. Monteleone decided to go back to school to pursue a Master’s degree and a possible career in scientific writing.

Bonnie Monteleone
The turtle photo in 2007 dramatically altered those plans. The accompanying article detailed the background to what was about to become Monteleone’s new life’s work. Written by Susan Casey, the article was originally published in Best Life magazine and has been reprinted in a variety of magazines and on Web sites.

Casey described the work of oceanographer Charlie Moore. He sailed in 1997 from Hawaii to California and came across what would later be known as the North Pacific Garbage Patch. It is an area of the ocean, twice the size of Texas, that contains six times as much plastic as sea life. It was, noted Casey in her article “as though someone had taken the pristine seascape of (Moore's) youth and swapped it for a landfill.”

Moore left a 25-year career running a furniture restoration business and embarked on a mission to discover what exactly was going on with this amount of plastic in our oceans. He created the Algalita Marine Research Institute to conduct studies of the problem and spread the word.

Monteleone was instantly horrified by the picture of the turtle, and with the help of a UNCW fellowship to defer research expenses, she contacted Moore and participated in a 3,460-mile research trip aboard his vessel.

Her master’ thesis on the subject, titled the “Plastic Ocean Project,” became the name of a non-profit corporation she founded, dedicated to research, education and outreach on the subject. She and other students joined with the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences last summer and conducted research in an area 30 or 40 miles off the coast of Bermuda, to determine whether the problem that existed in the North Pacific was as prevalent in the Atlantic. Though not as dramatic, the plastic problem was everywhere.

“If you're going to talk about impact,” she said to a reporter from Bermuda’s Royal Gazette publication at the time, “you should indicate the marine life associated with it. We looked at these marine animals, which look a lot like the plastic we were collecting.

“If marine life is mistaking the plastic for food, it will be consumed,” she went on to say, “and when you consider that the first piece of plastic you ever touched in your life is still around, unless it has been burned, you start to see the scale of the problem."”
Plastics, Monteleone explained, have been found in sea birds, turtle fish and whales. In one study, conducted in the Pacific Northwest, a single bird was discovered with 454 pieces of plastic in its stomach.

She brought the issue to a local meeting of the Sierra Club last month at Halyburton Park, and though her Power Point presentation was thwarted by a facility-based computer glitch, she changed gears deftly and with the assistance of some art work she has created (an altered re-creation of a public domain mural called the Great Wave, that blends pictures of plastic, embedded in an ocean wave), she demonstrated the problem to a small, but enthusiastic group of Sierra Club members.

Evidence, to date, has suggested that this problem has not, to any great degree, begun to affect the North Carolina coast. Along with UNCW students, she has been collecting samples off the coast, and has yet to discover signs of any widespread problem here.
“We're gathering baseline data,” she said, “and right now, we don't see the microplastics that we see elsewhere, which says a lot about what we have to offer here.”

This picture of a deformed turtle started Bonnie Monteleone's on her life's work.
Still, she notes, it is a problem that residents should not dismiss. It is also something of an intractable problem that she is anxious to address. In a blog post on the Plastic Ocean Project, she made note of the fact that she can no longer purchase her favorite Wishbone salad dressing in glass jars. A ubiquitous “they” have decided that the product will only be offered in plastic.

“I realize that big business has the upper hand on our packaging,” she wrote, “and most of us will just suck it up and buy what we want, when we want, no questions asked, and that translates to more plastic trash in our environment.”
She goes on to recommend that you actually collect trash, particularly plastic, in a selected area over a period of week or so, and determine which company is producing the largest amount of it. With pictures and videos, she suggests, compile an evidence database and send it all to the offending company.

"Suggest that they promote responsible disposal of their packaging (and) promote user responsibility in their ad campaigns,” she wrote.
"We need to find the areas where it's concentrated, especially fishing areas, because that's the most troubling for both man and marine life,” she said.
“Of all the environmental issues,” Monteleone told the Royal Gazette, “this is one that people might be able to clean up. At least, it's visible.
“First,” she added, “we have to make people realize we have a problem.”

About the Author: Skip Maloney
Skip Maloney is a full-time freelance writer, based in Wilmington. He writes regularly for a variety of regional and national magazines, including "Wrightsville Beach Magazine" and "City View Magazine" in Fayetteville. He is on-staff with the AZBilliards Web site, writing weekly reports on nationwide pool tournaments. He is also a frequent contributor to "Billiards Digest Magazine," "GAMES Magazine" and is a National Board Game Examiner with Skip is also a lifetime theater enthusiast and was seen, most recently, in the Thalian Hall production of "To Kill A Mockingbird."

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Jefferson Garvey's Love of history and birdhouses

From Pinterest

Recycling is for the birds birdhouses

Birdhouses with a history. Reclaimed wood from various buildings of old. Tin from an 1869 cotton mill and different architectural items.
The Decorator collection
Lily, my apprentice.
Decorator collection
1940 farmhouse collection.


Birdhouses with a history. Reclaimed wood from various buildings of old. Tin from an 1869 cotton mill and different architectural items.
The Decorator collection
The Decorator collection
Uploaded by user
Uploaded by user
Lily, my apprentice.

Decorator collection
1940 farmhouse collection.

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