Mary Beth Writes

Remember when I said to watch Franc on TV?  Contributing Editor (and BFF) Franc Garcia was interviewed for 15 minutes - but all they used in the CBS58 video was less than a minute.  Here is where to find it!  

 While we are talking about reusing and recycling, here are two interesting videos.

Click here: What happens to recycling? 

Click here: What don't businesses have to pay for the garbage their product becomes? 


Hey KOP, you said months ago in a comment that you return plastic grocery store bags to your grocery store. I’d never really noticed that bin, but we had an accumulated gee-gob of bags – so I took mine to Pick n’ Save.  Thanks! Takes a community to figure out how to live…

Does anybody else have good ideas of how to recycle ordinary stuff? 

We all know about cloth bags –how do you remind yourself to take those bags in when you are NOT at the grocery store?

What do you do with the plastic clamshells that berries and other produce come in?  

Does anyone else wince when you see useable furniture just set out at the curb?  Are there charities one can call with an address when one sees good stuff that is not yet ruined by weather?

Any realistic ways for city dwellers like me to easily compost veggies?  I have tried putting produce scrap outside to compost for the garden – but this became midnight raccoon and skunk parties.  I don’t want worms in the house, I’m far too lazy for that. 

What are your ideas?


I hate waste! We do not have much to compost, our chickens and my son’s quail eat most of the veg material. We do have a compost bin, pretty much varmint proof. It is made from recycled plastic! Small win for the environment. Some communities near us have a place to drop off compost, used cooking oil but we do not. Vermont is bringing forward stricter recycling laws next year so things may change. We take the yogurt tubs, berry boxes, etc to the transfer station to be sent along to the recycler. I have been known to “ curb shop” furniture, etc for myself and kids. I have done it for so long, I no longer get embarrassed. I donate what we will not use. Our church has a tag sale each year and some of it goes there. We are not perfect, but we gotta try. PS. Wish I had a cool BFF like Franc. Joyce

I should invite people to send photos of what they use ALL THE TIME that was reclaimed from curbs and other inauspicious places... Some of our furniture is, too. Though when I drive by serviceable stuff that I personally don't want, I am usually too lazy or intimidated to stop and pull it into the car in order to donate it along to good places. Franc is a gem and so is his sister Angela!

I don't tend to have much vegetable scraps since I use as much of the veggies as possible. leaving skins on anything possible like potatoes, carrots and eggplants since the skins have most of the nutrients or in the case of eggplant antioxidants. Vegetable scraps can also be saved in the freezer for making stock. I often run scraps through my food processor along with egg shells and coffee grounds and scatter that over my garden plants. Plastic bags I take to thrift stores that reuse the bags and when I shop I often tell them "No bag please" I rarely take a shopping cart and buy only as much as I can carry... If you can carry it to the register you can carry it to the car without a bag. That and if you keep a box or those reusable bags in your car you can use them for your newly purchased items.

I am obsessive about recycling, even walk with a bag and pick up recyclables to add to my bin. I have a compost bin in the yard with a cover. I keep canvas bags in the car to use for grocery shopping, and keep a small one in my purse when I forget the others in the car. I am trying to be more aware of the packaging of the products I buy, choosing those with less packaging. I have been pondering the Whys of corporations not being responsible for their excessive packaging, and the pollution the create. Yes, I cringe at seeing furniture and other household goods, and toys on the curve. Pick up what I can but so much still out there. Oh, the life force and natural resources wasted!!!!!

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Less Lemming, More Living

Last week I posted an essay railing against our North American/western maniacal consumerism. We are so deep into climate crisis and into destabilizing world poverty caused by the oligarchy of the few.  Something has to give. Plus this: If we are living on $50,000 a year or more, we are already earth’s top 1%. Isn’t this nuts? It really is up to us to turn back this crazy lemmings’ march to the sea.

Mindful Chickens/ The "Before its Too Late" Edition 5-14-2019

Mindful Chickens   5/14/2019

Other people call them “frugal things I did lately”. I call them Mindful Chickens because they are about:

1. Being Cheap (cheap, cheep).

2. Being thoughtful about how choices affect our community and our earth.

3. Paying attention to the constant tumble of dollars and choices.

These are things we have thought, attempted, and done in the past month to live more lightly and frugally on our City Plot of Planet Earth.

We have to change how we live ...

We can’t go on like this.  Our everyday Western/American lifestyle -- is utterly unsustainable. 

Bread, Tortillas, and Chocolate

 As many of you know, I follow a website called The Non-Consumer Advocate, written by Katy Wolk-Stanley who defines herself as “… library patron, leftovers technician, Goodwill enthusiast, utility bill scholar, labor and delivery nurse, laundry hanger-upper, mother and citizen.” She has purchased very little newly-manufactured consumer goods since she joined The Compact; a movement of people who choose to rethink mindless consumption.

The Money for Our Brother is Raised

We got the balls rolling!

Irony of the universe here.  I have written a lot this week but none of it turned into writing I wanted to post on this website.  Just awkward, mawkish, rambly writing.

I was hard-thinking why I do this and it wasn’t self-pitying thinking.  (I know how to do that, too, but this wasn’t that.) 

Then late yesterday afternoon Helle said Our Brother needs help and the total of what he needs is more than she could support him with. I said I would think about it.

April 15th is a Rough Day for Many

Here’s something I bet many of you of the “white privilege” class are not aware.

I sure wasn’t thinking about this until yesterday.

Monday is April 15th. All of us know what that means, don’t we?  Ha-ha. Time to get our taxes posted or an extension applied for!

Know what else it is?

Utility cut-off date.  Monday is the last day for people who owe money to their utility companies to pay those bills. If they don’t, their heat and lights go off Tuesday.

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