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
Mary Beth's picture

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!!!!!

Add new comment


This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Mindful Chickens - the "It's been a while" edition

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.


Mindful Chickens in Canada

In case you don't already know... My husband and I did a 15-day road trip to eastern Canada.  Kurt Vonnegut wrote “Unexpected travel is like dancing lessons from God.”  The plan was to visit Nova Scotia and Newfoundland – but then Hurricane Dorian changed that. Stories and photos at my website.

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

How Big IS Grandma? Do You Need More Space?

Our internet service had been goofy all that day; the house alarm system sent a random beep to my phone at 3AM. Waking from deep sleep to “Is there a bad guy coming up the steps right now?” turned into the kind of insomnia that requires … decluttering videos. My heart stopped racing as I watched a mild woman talk about the closet in her laundry room.

How I saved Tens of Thousands of Dollars Lately and also got a New Kazoo

Just in case you thought I stopped paying attention to how to live cheap and well. 

1. For several months we have composted veg and fruit scraps - our weekly garbage reduced by half! We collect detritus through the day in a bowl on the counter, carry it out to a steel garbage can we brought from our last house. I’ve dug some of this collapsed organic stuff into the garden.

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.

Tag Cloud

17 minutes AARPtaxes AAUW Acadia Accountable apples Arrows baby balance Barkskins Beauty Becky BookReport boy scout Bread BuyAngry Cahokia Canada cello Choosing Christmas cilantro Cinnabuns circus Clowns clutter consumerism Courage creditreport death December DecisionFatigue decluttering Detroit Duty eBay Eclipse FairTrade farmer firealarm Fitness Five Flexible flu Fort de Chartres Franc FrancGarcia friends frugal Frugality Gannets Garden GarfieldParkConservatory Gaspe genius geode ghosts GovernorThompsonStatePark Guatemala guns happiness Healthinsurance HelleKBerry heroes History home HomeRepair Honduras HouseinBlueRiver hurricane impeachment Innkeeper Interview InviteMe2Speak JoyceAndrews Judy JulianofNorwich justice Karen Lamb LeeLeeMcKnight lemming Len Light Lincoln LockedOut Love Ludington Macaw Manitoulin MargaretFuller Marquette marriage Mayan MayaWorks MilwaukeeMarch4OurLives MindfulChickens Mistakes Mother mouser movies museums must-haves New York City Nomadland Outside PastorBettyRendon Paul Hessert PDQ Penny persimmon poetry Preaching privacy Quern quest Questions recipe recipes recycling Reruns resolution Retirement RitesofPassage Roses Ruth SamaritanWoman Sanctuary Sandhillcranes Sermon ServantsoftheQuest sewing Shepherd ShortStory sickness SofritoBandito SpaceShuttle spring square feet StoryStarts Stubborn Survival Susan taxes teenager Thanksgiving ThePerpetualYou ThreeBillBoards TidalBore TimeBeing toddler tortillas travel Traveler Tubing UnrelatedObservations UTLAStrong vacation Valentines vanilla Vietnam VivianWokeUpDrowning vole WalkingAndSeeing war WarsanShire weaving wedding WhyAttendChurch WillaCather
Ad Promotion