Posts tagged recycle

Recycle in Style Fashion Show

The first ever Recycle in Style Earth Week Fashion Show was tonight (April 25, 2009) at the MidAmerican Aerospace Warehouse in Cedar Rapids. Organizer Stacie Johnson noted the space was fitting, as the company recycles airplanes. About 200 people surrounded the runway where models from area consignment shops showed off some of the fashions available for a fraction of the cost of new. Local designer Sonya Darrow also modeled her “Seven Days, Seven Different Styles for under Seven Dollars” collection.

Here is a sample from tonight’s first-ever event:

Carla Davis, from Mix 96.5, emcees the fashion show.

Carla Davis, from Mix 96.5, emcees the fashion show.

A model from Plato's Closet walks the runway.

A model from Plato's Closet walks the runway.

Designer Sonya Darrow of Cedar Rapids shows part of her collection.

Designer Sonya Darrow of Cedar Rapids shows part of her collection.

The night's youngest model, from Stuff Etc.

The night's youngest model, from Stuff Etc.

Models Jenna Nelson (with Yorkie) and Heidi Franklin from Stuff Etc.

Models Jenna Nelson (with Yorkie) and Heidi Franklin from Stuff Etc.

Stacie Johnson (right) coordinator of the fashion show.

Stacie Johnson (right) coordinator of the fashion show.

Dayna Kriz, art instructor for the Gary Comer Youth Center in Chicago, with some of her students' redesigned t-shirts, jewelry and keychains.

Dayna Kriz, art instructor for the Gary Comer Youth Center in Chicago, with some of her students' redesigned t-shirts, jewelry and keychains.

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Database of waste

This just in from the University of Iowa:

Students help Cedar Rapids economic development group with database of waste

Business students at the University of Iowa are helping to chronicle the biodegradable waste and by-products produced by some of Cedar Rapids’ manufacturers in the hope of finding other businesses that can re-use the material.

The program could help companies save money, encourage sustainability by diverting waste from landfills, create new products, and attract new businesses to the region.

The program is overseen and funded by Priority One, the economic development division of the Cedar Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce.

“Instead of throwing this material away, we can use it to attract other companies that will convert it into something useful, and in the process, build a new plant and employ people,” said Frank Rydzewski, a lecturer in marketing in the Henry B. Tippie College of Business who coordinated the students’ efforts in a marketing field studies class. He is also former CEO of American Profol, a Cedar Rapids manufacturer of polypropylene films.

The raw-material-from-waste model of sustainability is already being used in a partnership between the city’s Quaker Oats plant and the University of Iowa. The university burns Quaker’s oat hulls in its power plant to create energy, keeping the hulls out of the waste stream, and providing cost effective alternate fuel for the university.

For the class, Rydzewski had 14 students accountable for recording the materials they found in the waste streams of 23 participating companies. They also researched potential applications for the material.

In some cases, the students determined the composition of the material by reviewing paperwork supplied by the company and visiting the facilities. In others, the students gathered samples and brought them to the University of Iowa’s Center for Biocatalysis and Bioprocessing on the Oakdale campus, which used chemical analysis to break down and identify the compounds in the waste.

The list — which includes such potentially recyclable material as carbon dioxide gas, ethanol, oat hulls and diatomaceous earth — is now being compiled. It will be used to show other firms the kinds of raw materials readily available in Cedar Rapids, said Mark Seckman, president of Priority One.

“The students did a great job and laid a foundation for the next step of this effort,” Seckman said. “This would not have gotten done without their work, and the process they set up will allow us to identify companies that could use the material.”

One possible industry sector the students identified was pet food, which could use some of the waste produced by the area’s food processing plants to make dog and cat food. They developed a marketing plan for Priority One including potential candidates to pursue.

Students participating in the class said they liked helping with economic development and increasing manufacturing efficiency in a way that also promotes environmental sustainability.

“It’s a great way to turn a waste material into a raw material in a way that makes things better for everyone,” said Jenny Matkovich, a senior in the class.

They said it also unwittingly improved their understanding of science, as they viewed the processes used by the UI’s Center for Biocatalysis and Bioprocessing and visited manufacturing facilities in the region.

“One of the big challenges for me was understanding the terms and concepts because I don’t have a biology or chemistry background, so that was helpful,” said Hilary Cochrane, also a senior.

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Guilt-free Girl Scout cookies

 I don’t have the calorie count on the cookies, but the empty containers from Girl Scouts’ “Thanks-A-Lot” cookies are the perfect size to hold three seedling pots.  (Don’t try to cheat with Thin Mints, which are packaged in foil.) Go ahead and share your Thanks-A-Lot cookies with someone or take them to work, then reuse the plastic container for plants that you start indoors and know that  you’re doing your part to help the environment. And, if you’re using newspaper for the seed-starting pots, that’s doubly good!

seed-starting pots

seed-starting pots

 

 

    If you’d like to try making the newspaper pots, you can click on the link below for a short video:

 

http://www.youtube.com/v/Yh_Szm79VQw

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“Compostales”

   The winner of our compost contest was announced  and her essay on composting magic was posted earlier, but there were others who shared great advice and fun stories. Dustin Hinrichs, one of our judges, noted that he enjoyed reading the “compostales.” I like Dustin’s terminology, so here are some of the compostales that were also entered in the contest. More will be posted later. Enjoy, and thanks to all who entered!

 

Duane Thys of Cedar Rapids:

 

I LOVE COMPOST!!

 

I  HAVE BEEN COMPOSTING FOR OVER FORTY YEARS.   PRESENTLY I HAVE TWO PLASTIC BINS AND A WIRE CAGE.  I ‘FEED’ THE BINS FROM THE CAGE WHICH  HOLDS  LEAVES AND GARDEN REFUSE.  I LAYER GRASS CLIPPINGS, KITCHEN SCRAPS, DRYER LINT, PAPER, ETC.,  WITH THE LEAVES AND GRASS CLIPPINGS.    I HAVE NEVER HAD ENOUGH COMPOST.  I   TOLD MY WIFE THAT I WOULD LIKE TO HAVE ALL THE COMPOST IN THE WORLD.  SHE THINKS  I’M NUTS.

 

I ALSO RAISE RED WORMS.  THESE ORIGINALLY WERE FOR FISH BAIT ALTHOUGH I SECRETLY WAS THINKING ABOUT MORE COMPOST.  THIS TURNED OUT BETTER THAN EXPECTED.  THE WORMS MAKE EXCELLENT BAIT , BUT THE COMPOST IS  AWESOME.   USING TWO BUCKETS  I DEVISED A COMPOST TEA MAKER .  THIS BREW MAKES EVERYTHING FROM ASPARGAS  TO ZENNIAS  GROW. 

 

GETTING ENOUGH ORGANIC MATERIAL  HAS BECOME A PROBLEM.  THE WORMS NOW EAT ALMOST ALL THE KITCHEN  SCRAPS SO MY OTHER COMPOST SOMETIMES GOES WITHOUT.  I TAKE LEAVES AND GRASS CLIPPINGS FROM  NEIGHBORS.  (EXCEPT THE  ONES WITH DOGS) 

 

I WAS TAUGHT NOT TO WASTE ANYTHING  SO, COMPOSTING COMES NATURALLY TO ME.  I CAN’T UNDERSTAND WHY SOMEONE WOULD THROW AWAY PERFECTLY GOOD GARBAGE.

 

Neena Miller of Scotch Grove:

 

   The first time I was aware of the benefits of composting was when I was in ninth grade and had a pony (1968.)

   Mucking out the stalls was my chore to do, in order to have my beloved pet, and, although it was hard work, it was very beneficial (especially to the summer garden.)    Throughout my life, I have always known my mother to continue the composting tradition by collecting kitchen scraps and lawn clippings to add to the compost bin.

   Today, I continue that tradition on the farm. I have a bucket under the sink for all kitchen scraps. I keep a dishcloth over the top, to keep away gnats.    In the garden, I have a circle of wire (like chicken wire) where I deposit the kitchen scraps from my bucket, layering with yard clippings, leaves, manure and pulled weeds.

   The different “green” debris and manure, which I variegate in the pile, create heat, which cooks the compost pile, creating a germ free “super” fertilizer for my new garden and potted plants. The “waste” factor of using a garbage disposer and flushing these valuable nutrients down the drain, or throwing leftover food products in plastic, non-biodegradable bags into our garbage dumps is huge.

   In a situation in which we cannot dispose of kitchen waste immediately, we might simply freeze it in a plastic bag until we can. This way, our world and our lives can be replenished the way nature, and ultimately God, had designed.

 

 

Nancy Feldmann of Manchester:

 

I like to compost. It’s my way of giving back to the earth. You might say I’m a naturalist at heart, because I love gardening, composting, sun drying my laundry and saving gray water. I grew up on a farm in NE Iowa and things I learned there brought me to where I am today – an avid recycler of almost any product. All of my containers are recycled, I buy in bulk and reuse containers whenever possible. My composting method right now consists of a plastic laundry hamper with holes in it -I’d love to move up to more modern technology. All of my compost feeds my garden soil, which in turn feeds my family. (Did I also say I am a Supervisor at Goodwill? I believe in helping people learn to be independent. Our people is our most important job at Goodwill and recycling is our second most important, which really coincides with my beliefs of giving back.)

 

 

Heather Hospodarsky of Cedar Rapids:

 

I love my newly found composting routine.  We have a family of 6 and eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables.  My newest composting helper is a cat litter bucket with a tight fitting lid.  I was unable to find a bucket that would hold a few days worth of compost until a friend, with cats suggested this.  It stays in the garage and I take the compost there as needed.  Our bin several yards from our house and we empty the bucket a few times a week.  It feels so good “recycling” our food waste instead of sending it to the landfill. 

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