Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Stop the 18 inch receipt madness

I was at Starbucks the other day ordering my very lengthy but super good coffee, and the lady and behind the counter asked my if I wanted my receipt. I said, "No, but thank you for asking first!"
My purse gets filled with miscellaneous receipts. Receipt for a pack of gum, a receipt for a sub, or 3 stapled together for a return, or whatever. Things I obviously don't need receipts for, things (Like my coffee) that I am not going to return. Why do I need a receipt for my Chinese take out (Lets not even get into how many extra menus are floating around my house, cuz they stick them in everything.) And they have gotten so gosh darn long too. These receipts are now three feet long. You know who is the worst receipt offender, Blockbuster. Three receipts for the movie that you just rented and put together they are as tall as I am! Another Long Receipt offender. CVS Pharmacy. OH MY GOODNESS, they have long receipts! Why are they wasting so much paper? Coupons, Surveys, Sale Reminders, Tings in multiple languages, Total Savings. They junk up my purse until I go through it and it all makes it 's way to be big blue recycle bi. Say no to receipts!

Oh, and while I am ranting... I think that you should be fined for putting flyers underneath my wind shield wipers! You are littering. In my opinion you should get a ticket just as you
wouldl it you threw paper or anything else out the window on the highway.
You know half of them are just thrown on the parking lot. The ones in my car junk up the back seat until they make it home and to my blue bin. Do I look like I am interested in spray tan, dating service or whatever else you are putting on my car? If I am I will come to you and ask you for a brochure. It just annoys me to no end that in the midst of whatever else I am doing juggling (a wiggly 7 month old baby, a $4 coffee, a SoyJoy and my purse Etc) that I have to reach around to grab the junk that has been put under my wipers. Could this be a good form of advertising? I can't imagine. I probably wouldn't buy whatever you were peddling just because I am so annoyed with your solicitation, besides you'd probably give me 18 inch receipt anyway!
Who have you found to be the long receipt offender??

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Repurposed Building

For years I have known about Quaker Square. I graduated from high school in North East Ohio and my best friend and I would drive over to Quaker Square to shop at all of their cool little stores.

I got to thinking about it the other day. What a great idea. Repurposing a building. It doesn't happen as often as it should. I see so many lifeless former Wal-Marts around. Or level it and rebuild. This is the ultimate in building-repurposing. You can find it in Akron, Ohio, the former Quaker Oat hub. This luxurious hotel has been converted from a behemoth silo that once houses over 1.5 million grain bushels.

It has fantastic ROUND rooms.
The ultimate in repurposed buildings.

The Quaker Square Inn is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Check it out next time you are there or take a look at

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Voyage of Junk

Where have I been that I only heard about this yesterday...
With 15,000 plastic bottles, an old Cessna fuselage and a whole lot of gumption, marine scientist Dr. Marcus Eriksen and Joel Pashal just arrived in Hawaii from California in order to raise awareness about the land fill type conditions of the Pacific. This crossing took them 3 months to make.
Along with land-bound communications manager Anna Cummings (who you would email if you would like to help fund the project) they came up with the idea after an trip to the North Pacific Gyre. This convergence of currents spins debris like a giant potty that doesn't flush.
You can follow their adventures. Their blog post is linked to the left and you can donate to their cause. You can also watch them as they travel from Vancouver to Mexico on amphibious bikes in the spring.
It is creative, raises awareness and uses repurposed materials you really have got to love this story!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I am most like recycled paper

"What item symbolizes me most" was the prompt for my 7th grade daughter's Language Arts class. I am so proud of her essay. I think it is cute and funny and I wanted to share. Sometimes I wonder where she comes up with this stuff. And sometimes I wonder how she totally memorized my coffee order!

"What item Symbolizes Me Most" By Audrey

“Woo hoo!” I shouted gaily as my face lit up like an invention by Mr. Edison. From the expression on my face many would have thought that I had just brought home Olympic gold. I was, instead, headed to the office supply store. The thought of going and finding colored staples, sticky notes, cash registers and an array of sharpies in the colors of the rainbow warmed my heart. As we filed into the car and headed to the Office Supply Wonderland, I was filled with eagerness and excitement. When we got there I grabbed a short yellow cart and raced my mom and my sister to the back wall. There I found colored, parchment, construction and lined papers filled in boxes and packages made of the same material all on the back wall. I thought to myself, “Wow, I am a lot like paper”. The thing that symbolizes me most is a piece of recycled paper, because I feel that I am simple and eco-friendly.

To begin with, I like to think that I am most like a piece of recycled paper because I am plain and simple. One day I was at the swankiest coffee house in town. It was filled with velveteen walls and paisley booths and had some soft jazz playing in the background. My mom and I were there for her usual morning roast. We hopped in line behind a grandpa, three business women, a soccer mom and a couple of construction workers. To top it off the waitress behind the cash register thought that the elderly bald guy who was giving his order was a nuisance for changing his order four times. I hopped out of line and went to the oasis on the other side of the cafĂ© where a lit cooler was standing with my favorite bottled tea. I pulled out a Ginger Peach Tea and swiftly jumped back in line with my mom. When it was our turn I gave the barista the tea to ring up and my mom stated her lengthy, but simple if you were listening, order. “I’ll take a Venti Half Caff, Non-Fat, Iced Mocha, One pump of Hazelnut and No whip, Please”. The cashier gave my mother a blank stare followed by a dumbfounded look and simply inquired “What?” with a half sarcastic and half annoyed facial expression. I also stood there to the side and saw the barista say to my mother “That order was far more complicated than that of your daughter’s,”. Later, I heard about that one. Obviously, I am most like paper because I am plain and simple.

In addition, I am most like a piece of recycled paper because I am environmentally conscious. For instance, I was at summer camp at Lake Woebogon. It was basically all of these cabins out in the middle of the woods centered around this mighty oak tree. None of my activities involve the coniferous beast Then, I had heard the news from the bottom bunk of our cabin that they were chopping down Mertle. “Who is Mertle,” the top left bunk questioned. “Mertle is the oak,” I thought, at first that I would give my best effort to stick up for that tree, but then I found out that it had a name and it was a done deal right there. So I did a little research on my old, wheezing, monstrosity of a laptop computer and I found out that “Mertle” was where Andrew Jackson had his first home stead. Therefore, I took it upon myself to send a letter to Woebogon city hall with the customized stationary my mom gave me before I left home. The day the builders were supposed to come, instead, the head of the zoning department came and cemented a plaque in front of Mertle that stated that she was an official landmark. Obviously, recycled paper is just like me because we are both environmentally friendly and we like saving trees.

In conclusion, the thing that symbolizes myself the most is a piece of recycled paper because it is simple and it is environmentally friendly. As I picked up a box of 100% recycled paper, my mom rushed after me and stated out of breath “You, my dear, have got some wheels,” I looked down at the paper and I said “Maybe I am a lot like paper, maybe, if only because paper wins 33.333% of the time, in that famous game, too.

Monday, October 6, 2008

I'm feeling like some Autumn Crafts

Oh how I wish I lived where there were beautiful changing fall leaves. But I don't ...

As a kid, I remember going out back and gathering fall leaves and bringing them in to my mom. She would arrange them in between two pieces of wax paper and iron them on a low setting. The wax paper would seal as it heated and would encase the leaves, making a fall leaves place mat.

So as I look around at my palm trees and beach sand and sign, I need to show my daughter the beauty of autumn. I think I will gather the old crayons that I have in hidden drawers, tubs, pouches and cases and make my own leaves.

I take my old crayons in reds, oranges, yellows and greens, pull out my trusty old sharpener and start shaving crayons in all of the fall colors. I pull out my handy dandy wax paper and when my piece of wax paper is covered in shavings, I pull out another piece of wax paper to lay on top of my shavings and iron. All of the pieces of crayon color melt together and mix like autumn colors. Then you cut out leaf shapes and hang them with fishing line from the ceiling or do whatever with them.

Since my girls are Floridians and a cool crisp autumn evening means 70 degree weather, I think tomorrow we will make some crayon leaves and add them to our front door wreath to make us feel like fall.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Price of Integrity

Ah, recycled paper. It is creeping up into the mainstream. You can find reams of it, boxes of it at most of your local stores.

But ... it is still so flipping expensive. I was at Office Max the other day, getting what else but, some office supplies. I got some envelopes. 30% post consumer was the best that they had and they were 4 something for 50. Not even comparable to the non post consumer kind. What can ya do. So I went for my paper. The 30% post consumer was $5.49 a ream and the 100% recycled $8.99! Yikes!

I even stood there for a minute thinking... Trying to justify... It IS 30%. I mean that's something. Nope, my integrity won, thank goodness, and I signed a heavy sigh and bought the 100%.

The more I thought about this the more I wondered. Is someone making a HUGE profit off of the environmentally conscious? Is it THAT much more labor intensive to make paper out recycled paper as opposed to regular stuff? Or do they see tree huggers and think large profit margin?

For goodness sakes. They don't even need to crop down a tree. OR replant a tree, OR spend the the big bucks advertising that for every tree they are chopping down they are replanting one.

I am glad that recycled products are out there. I just wish people could look at the selection of products and choose recycled more because of that it is and what it means and not avoid it because of the inflated price tag.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

I Love Publix

I love Publix. Maybe it's because I lived several years in their hometown of Lakeland, Florida. Maybe it's because my daughter and nephews trick or treated at the founder's son's house. Maybe it's because I saw how they match employee donations to a local Lakeland school. Maybe because their 2 story store in Fort Lauderdale has a cart escalator. Maybe it's because they are always sampling and cooking recipes in store. Maybe because they aren't a big giant super store that makes me feel like I should shop wearing my pedometer. Maybe it's because I read that they are one of the top companies to work for. Maybe because I know a cute story that a friend at work told me about her husband who was the produce manager.

Want to hear it ... My friend's husband was a produce manager at Publix which required him to get up really really early to get to work when the produce arrived. One morning she stirred as her husband fumbled around to get himself together in the dark. He woke her up, "Honey, is there something in my eye?" He took his glasses off and she groggily looked, "No, I don't see anything." He put his glasses back on still fidgeting because his one eye was a blur. She went back to bed. He got to work and asked a fellow employee, "Is there something in my eye?" "No" and he went on about his day, rubbing his left eye asking people if they could see anything wrong. He gets home from work and starts complaining about how his eye was bothering him all day. His wife looks at him puzzled. She stares. He says, "What?" She says, " Do you know you are missing a lens?"

Probably because they have comfortable stores, friendly associates and great deals (Gotta love the buy one get one). But I really think it is because they are opening Greenwise Stores. I have been noticing their selection of Greenwise products growing through the years. (They are the only place around that I can purchase recycled toilet paper, paper towels and napkins). I have also noticed a growing organic section in their produce department, but on Earthday I was poking around the Museum of Discovery and Science and there was a Publix Greenwise booth with samples of organic lemonade and other such yummies. I heard them then tell of a new Greenwise Market! So I went to their website.

How exciting!

Yeah! I can't wait til they open one by me!