I Loved Those Penzey’s Catalogs, but They’re Doing the Right Thing.

For years, I’ve subscribed to the catalogs from Penzeys Spices: full of recipes and articles and mouth-watering descriptions of what their products can do for my cooking.

When I realized that I hadn’t received a catalog since last fall, I emailed their customer service people and found that they’ve replaced them with Penzeys One Email. (I eventually realized that this information was on page 2 of their Thanksgiving 2016 issue. I guess I’m not the careful reader that I think I am.)

I’ll miss the catalogs, but Penzeys has solved my moral dilemma. I always felt guilty about staying on their mailing list and ultimately adding the catalogs to the paper recycling bin, but I so enjoyed them that I was reluctant to go paperless.

Well, they’ve made the decision for me: Penzeys wants me to go paperless, I’ll go paperless. I’ve signed up for Penzeys One Email — product information, coupons, recipes, stories about the people who use their products, all the information that was in the catalogs.

Penzeys is doing the right thing: they’re Keeping Their Catalogs Out of the Landfill.

Want to stay in touch with the latest recycling news in the Cleveland area? Just click on the Follow button at the bottom of my blog Home page.


“Recycling” energy: Players on soccer field generate energy to power floodlights

If you’ve ever watched a bunch of kids on a playground and thought, too bad we can’t bottle that energy and use it later, you can relate to this story.

What if we could capture and reuse all that energy?

What if we could capture and reuse all that energy?(Photo credit: Eoin Gardiner)

In a shantytown in Rio de Janeiro, Shell and Brazilian soccer legend Pele have dedicated a community soccer field that captures and stores the players’ own energy, combines it with power from nearby solar panels, and converts it to energy that powers floodlights, giving the soccer field and the community a safe and secure nighttime space.

Read the story, watch the video here.

Want to stay in touch with the latest recycling news in the Cleveland area? Just click on the Follow button at the bottom of my blog Home page, or subscribe to my Examiner.com page.

No Paper Towels to Clean Up Martha Stewart’s Kitchen

Debbie Snook quoted Martha Stewart in her Fabulous Food Show article in Wednesday’s Plain Dealer. On cleaning up in the kitchen, Martha had this to say: “I don’t use paper towels. I buy one of those big packages of terry bar cloths, rinsing them out and washing as I go.”

Martha, girl, you rock! Keep those paper towels out of the landfill!

Want to stay in touch with the latest recycling news in the Cleveland area? Just click on the Follow button at the bottom of my blog Home page, or subscribe to my Examiner.com page.

Old tractors don’t belong in landfills, either.

Few mechanical devices inspire love like an old tractor, so a recent Click and Clack column about a 1945 Farmall-A in failing health warmed my heart.

The tractor’s owner had written to Car Talk, the King Features column written by Tom and Ray Magliozzi (aka Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers), for help diagnosing a problem: the tractor would start and run well for 20–30 minutes, but then would start to miss and then stall, usually while going up a hill.

The owner checked out the carburetor and fuel lines, put in new plugs, tried a couple of gasoline additives — nothing worked. He considered replacing the carburetor but didn’t want to go that far unless he could be sure that was the problem.


If you love your tractor, you won’t give up on it.

Tom and Ray, in their column’s usual back-and-forth discussion format, suggested that the problem lay in either the ignition or the carburetor.

Maybe it was a case of float sink, which replacing the carburetor would solve.

Or it might be a weak spark that acceleration and a sudden increase in fuel flow was extinguishing, causing the engine to stall. So new plugs, points, and condenser might be the answer, and maybe a new coil, too.

The brothers closed their column with, “Remember, the reason you never see questions about old farm tractors in our column is because we don’t know anything about them!”

Car Talk posted the article on its website, and their readers weighed in – at last count, twenty comments had been posted:

  • Make sure you have more than a little gas in the tank (advice based on the writer’s experience with his 1950 Ferguson).
  • Check for foreign objects in the fuel tank (from another writer’s memories of pranks played on a friend).
  • If it’s a battery engine, replace the coil, condenser, and points, but if it’s magneto, replace points and condenser and maybe rebuild the magneto.
  • If it’s a magneto, you’re better off converting it to distributor and coil.
  • Troubleshoot to narrow it down — a list of at least a dozen checks — and don’t ask Tom and Ray questions about anything besides cars and trucks.
  • Maybe it’s water in the fuel line.
  • Is the gas cap venting?
  • My old pickup truck used to do this — turned out that the fuel filter needed replacing.
  • Run a compression check on the engine, and if that doesn’t solve the problem, check that the governor is working.
  • Pull the sediment bulb out of the fuel line and empty it.
  • Even if the condenser is new, it might have been bad out of the box.
  • Did you run an ignition analyzer check?
  • Is there water in the carburetor bowl?
  • “Try backing up the hill. If it does not stall out, you have narrowed it down to fuel flow.”

When I finished reading, I knew only a little more about tractors, but I had learned a lot about the people who love them. My kind of people!

Use it up, wear it out … and by all means, keep it out of the landfill!

Shop Recycled: Furniture, Artwork, and More at The Gathering Place Warehouse Sale, May 18–20

Shoppers with an eye for a bargain and a taste for style can indulge themselves at The Gathering Place Warehouse Sale, Friday through Sunday, May 18–20, 2012.

The sale offers a treasure trove of tenderly treated custom furniture, household goods, artwork, even costume jewelry, all at great prices.

  • Where: The Gathering Place Warehouse, 4911 Commerce Parkway, Warrensville Heights (off Miles Road, east of Richmond Road) (map) (Please note that this is at the warehouse, not The Gathering Place itself.)
  • When:
    Friday, May 18, 9 a.m.–3 p.m.
    Saturday, May 19, 9 a.m.–3 p.m.
    Sunday, May 20, 11 a.m.–2 p.m.
  •  What: fine furniture, unique artwork, soft sculptures, antiques, costume jewelry, tasteful home accessories — select items 50% off
  • Terms: cash and credit cards only
The Gathering Place

The Gathering Place: a caring community for those touched by cancer

For more information and a slideshow of the merchandise, see my examiner.com article: Shop recycled: The Gathering Place Warehouse Sale, May 18–20.

Proceeds from sales help fund the work of The Gathering Place: free programs to support, educate, and empower individuals and families touched by cancer.

Free Driftwood at Fairport Harbor Lakefront Park

During the Lake Metroparks spring cleanup of Fairport Harbor Lakefront Park, the public is welcome to collect and take home any of the driftwood that has washed ashore over the winter. (Be aware that Lake Metroparks prohibits vehicles and chainsaws on the beach.)

The park is located at 301 Huntington Beach Drive. (Click here for map.)

Keep the driftwood out of the landfill: Lake Metroparks gets it!

(Need some ideas for using driftwood? Try the creative website BetweenTheShores and eHow’s Ideas for Driftwood.)

Vitamin Shoppe in Mentor: They Get It

Lately when I’ve made a purchase at the Vitamin Shoppe in Mentor, the cashier has asked me whether I want a bag for the product.

I have yet to say yes.

Even though I routinely use durable woven shopping bags, they don’t always make it out of the car with me, and while I try to remember to ask that a purchase not be bagged, I do forget. So, like most of us, I have a never-ending, and growing, supply of wastebasket liners.

That’s why I’m grateful to the Vitamin Shoppe for giving me a choice.

The last time this happened, I asked the cashier whether this was a Vitamin Shoppe policy. It’s not a company-wide policy, he told me, but something the store’s staff have been doing on their own. And about half their customers do turn down the offer of a bag.

That’s a lot of plastic that’s not going into the landfill.

Way to go, Vitamin Shoppe!

Government That Gets It: Seneca County Keeps a Building Out of the Landfill

The Sunday, February 12 News-Herald included a wire-service report about the Seneca County (Tiffin), Ohio County Engineer’s purchase of brick and stone from the county’s recently demolished 127-year-old courthouse.

Under ordinary circumstances, the company hired for the demolition work would pay to deposit the debris into a landfill. But before demolition began, Seneca County Commissioner David Sauber suggested that County Engineer Mark Zimmerman look into purchasing the debris.

Zimmerman found that doing so would save the county considerable expense. The materials from the demolition would cost the county $3.60/ton, but that would offset the need to purchase and haul stone from a quarry, at about $20/ton — a substantial savings to Seneca County’s taxpayers.

The demolition company trucked the 6,500 tons of debris from downtown Tiffin to the County Engineer’s garage, where the demolition company will crush it into stone for driveway applications and fine gravel for use in roadside berms.

More information about the courthouse demolition (and the attendant controversy over its historic status) is available here.

These Guys Get It: Morley Library

I spotted a flyer today at Morley Library in Painesville for an event, Tea & Tomes, on Friday, March 16. The event offers tea, snacks and the opportunity to share a mystery or two with the Dial M for Morley Mystery Book Discussion Group. (More information about the event is available here.)

This is the part that captured me: the last line in the invitation is “Please bring your own tea cup.”

I’ve loved libraries all my life, and not just because they feed my reading habit. Libraries help the environment by making books, magazines, DVDs, and even paintings and parlor games available on loan, so people don’t have to buy (and eventually dispose of) them.

And now Morley is even keeping styrofoam cups out of the landfill. My kind of people!

Companies that get it — I love POH!

I just don’t like throwing things away. If I use up the contents of a container, I’d rather refill it than add it to the landfill. And when I find a product that will let me do that, I prefer to use that product.

I recently needed more dental floss and decided to go online to see whether I could find a good price on small quantities of the the POH brand (great stuff!). I ended up at the manufacturer’s website (http://www.buypoh.com/) and found, to my great delight, that Oral Health Products, the company that makes POH, sells refills.

Here’s what they say on the subject: “The beautiful little round container with its shiny cap has been around for a LONG while. Why not use it for refills? The cap is twist fit, not welded on. The label has been sticky, but not permanent. Refills. Duh. We are proud to offer refill spools of your favorite floss. Save your teeth, and save the Earth at the same time!

I can’t help it. I get excited about stuff like this. (Remember what I said: some of my friends think I’m nuts. You can see why.)