Category Archives: Three R’s

Saturday To-Do: Plant Services Used Plant Sale

For great bargains on used plants, visit Plant Services (5514 Crystal Hill Road) in North Little Rock this Saturday, between 9 a.m. to noon. I have bought several gently used plants for amazing prices. Can’t make it this Saturday? Don’t worry. Plant Services has a used plant sale every second Saturday of the month.

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Donate Old Christmas Trees to Provide Fish Cover

Okay, I said I’ll be on vacation until January 3, but I just had to share this news.

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) wants your old Christmas trees to provide underwater cover for fish. You can drop off trees at 21 sites across the state until January 23.

AGFC community fisheries biologist Clifton Jackson says that studies have shown that fish use structure for cover. “These trees are some of the best natural forms of underwater structure. Crappie, bass, bluegills and other fish will often use the tress to hide in and around,” Jackson said.

The Christmas trees provide cheap but high-quality underwater structures. They are easy to place in ponds and lakes, and they last for several years, Jackson said.

“More importantly, their limbs offer something to fish of all shapes and sizes,” he explained.

Trees can be dropped off at the following locations:

  • Lake Hamilton – Andrew Hulsey State Fish Hatchery Access Area.
  • Lake Chicot – Connerly Bayou Access Area.
  • Camden – Commission regional office on Ben Lane. Bragg Lake and Upper Jack’s Landing on Upper White Oak Lake.
  • Magnolia – Columbia County Road Department yard on Arkansas 371.
  • El Dorado – City recycling center drop-offs: one behind Arby’s and one on South Jackson.
  • Smackover – Recycling drop-off center (these will be transported to El Dorado).
  • Millwood Lake – Cottonshed and White Cliffs recreation areas and the Millwood State Park ramp on the point.
  • Dierks Lake – Jefferson Ridge South Recreation Area.
  • De Queen Lake – Any U.S. Army Corps of Engineers boat ramp.
  • Gillham Lake – Any U.S. Army Corps of Engineers boat ramp.
  • Lake Greeson – New Cowhide Cove and Self Creek Recreation Areas.
  • Arkansas River – Verizon Access underneath the Interstate 30 bridge in North Little Rock.
  • Greers Ferry Lake – Sandy Beach (Heber Springs), Devils Fork Recreation Area and Choctaw Recreation Area (Choctaw-Clinton).
  • Dardanelle Lake – Dwight Mission Access, Arkansas 64/ Piney Access, Cabin Creek Slough Access.
  • Jack Nolen Lake – Largest access ramp on riprap near ramp.
  • Sugar Loaf Lake – Sugar Loaf Access Area near ramps.
  • Lake Conway – Lawrence Landing Access.
  • Harris Brake Lake – Chittman Hill Access.
  • Lake Overcup – Lake Overcup Landing.
  • Lake Barnett – Reed Access.
  • Jonesboro – Craighead Forest Park Lake boat ramp.

So, give your Christmas trees a second life! Donate to Arkansas Game and Fish Commission!

If You Must Use Plastic Bags…

2008_04_01-plasticbag-1

I try to minimize the use of plastic bags, but since I freeze lots of local produce, I confess, I have plastic freezer bags around the house. I reuse every one of them, though, thanks to this nifty device. After I finish using frozen local produce, I wash the bag and put it on my plastic bag dryer to dry it. I then reuse the bag to freeze more produce.

Plastic bag dryers cost less than $20 each, so they’re easy on your wallet as well as the environment. Several retailers, including Gaiam, sell them, so compare prices before you buy.

Just Say NO to Ziplock! Carry Wrap-N-Mats & snackTAXIs

Wrap-N-Mat

Wrap-N-Mat

snackTAXIs

snackTAXIs

A couple of years ago, Eddy’s sister Kathy gave me Wrap-N-Mats and snackTAXIs for Christmas. I must say, they rank in my list of Top 5 Best Christmas Presents of All Time.

What are Wrap-N-Mats and snackTAXIs? They are basically reusable Ziplock bags. Wrap-N-Mat holds your sandwich and becomes your place mat when you eat. snackTAXI holds everything from chips to nuts to sugar snap peas. After you eat, you clean them, and they are ready for the next day.

So, if you’re like me and want to say NO to Ziplock, switch to Wrap-N-Mats and snackTAXIs!

For more information about Wrap-N-Mats, visit www.wrap-n-mat.com. For more information about snackTAXIs, visit www.snacktaxi.com.

Just Say NO to Plastic! Carry Reusable Produce & Bulk Item Bags

After watching the film No Impact Man and reading Colin Bevan’s book by the same title, I became inspired to make additional changes in my life to reduce my environmental footprint. I overcame my fear of biking on a busy street to get to work. I started carrying washcloths so that I wouldn’t have to use trees or energy to dry my hands. I also started carrying reusable produce and bulk item bags.

I can’t stand plastic bags, so I never use one to take home produce like apples and peppers. I must admit, though, some smaller items such as cherry tomatoes and mushrooms are more convenient in a bag. Some farmers at my market insist on bagging wet produce like lettuce and basil.

I’ve been thinking for some time on how to prevent plastic produce and bulk item bags from entering our house. That’s when I read about reusable produce and bulk item bags in the book No Impact Man. I knew I had to give them a try.

I bought the bags from several different vendors. Conclusion? They’re AWESOME!!! They work just like reusable grocery bags. You take them to farmers’ markets and stores, and you use them instead of plastic or paper bags to take home produce, grains, and bulk items. After you empty the contents, you throw the bags into your laundry hamper for washing and drying.

After testing bags made by several different vendors, my favorite so far are those made by ECOBAGS. ECOBAGS’ I Love Dirt bags are so lightweight that they add a minimum amount of weight when weighing them on a scale.

So, if you are like me and want to say NO to plastic and paper bags, give reusable produce and bulk item bags a try!

Just Say NO to Disposables! Carry To-Go Ware

My To-Go Ware. Photo Courtesy of Coastal Living.

My friend Ann and I had lunch the other day at Boulevard Bread Company. After we picked up our orders at the counter, we grabbed a table, sat, and pulled out To-Go Ware from our purses.

What’s To-Go Ware?

Disturbed by being served her ice cream “for-here” in “to-go” plastic, Stephanie Bernstein founded To-Go Ware in 2004 to encourage people to bring and use their own utensils when eating at a restaurant. To-Go Ware Utensil Set comes with flatware, chopsticks, and a holder made of recycled plastic. Her line of reusable cutlery is made of bamboo, which is highly durable and can be grown and harvested sustainably.

Eddy and I each have owned a set of To-Go Ware for the past several years. We love them! It feels great to prevent disposable utensils from being sent to landfill.

Wanna own a set or give one to someone special for Christmas? Head to Heifer Gift Shop inside Heifer Village.

For more information about To-Go Ware, visit the website, www.to-goware.com.

Midway. Message from the Gyre

I’m about to ruin your holiday spirit. If you are easily offended, I highly recommend against watching this video, or at least watch it in privacy of your home.

I learned about this video while taking an Arkansas Earth Institute discussion course called A World of Health: Connecting People, Place and Planet. The six-session course explored the connections between human health and the environment, and how we can sustain both. I learned a lot from the course, both good and bad. Our love affair with plastic and its impact on the environment are astounding. This video illustrates one of the consequences of our love affair.

Chris Jordan photographed rotting carcasses of baby albatrosses filled with plastic. These birds nest on Midway Atoll and are being fed plastic by their parents, who find floating plastic in the middle of the ocean and mistake it for food. The photographs are a part of an ongoing arts and media project called Midway Journey, which has its own website.

As we head into the final weekend before Christmas, let’s be mindful of our consumption and its impact on the environment.