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SW GreenGroup Meeting Updates

Our SW Portland GreenGroup met last Friday. We were glad to see a few new faces, as well as welcome back some we hadn't seen in a while.

I started off with my burning questions about what to do with old socks/undies, board books and stuffed animals. In addition to the great comments from our readers, it was suggested that the Children's Relief Nursery and NW Children's Warehouse will take old stuffies and toys.

I also spoke a bit about the NOVA Silence of the Bees episode I recently watched. Basically, all fruits and veggies would go away if the honey bees stop doing what they're doing, i.e., pollinating on a mass scale. So do you like rice, wheat or corn? Yum! Gruel! That may be what we'll be eating in the future. Or else learning to hand pollinate like they do in a region of China that has permanently destroyed their honey bees. Scary stuff. It remains to be seen this winter if Colony Collapse Disorder continues in the US. Stay tuned...

Emily showed us a great little Chico Bag she uses that bundles up very compactly in it's own little carrier. We were all very impressed with it, and she said she likes to have a few in her purse so that when she's at a department store or non-grocery store, they're tiny and easy to carry along. I think they'd make a great stocking stuffer for that EnviroMom in your life...

The hottest discussion topic was about Heather's TMI post about feminine hygiene products. One of our members uses the Diva Cup and Moon Pads, and very kindly shared experiences with the rest of the group (betcha wish you could have been a fly on the wall for that discussion...). She said even on a heavy flow day, the most often she would empty the cup is twice a day. She also told us about a site called HagRag.com that sells cloth menstrual pads. A lot of us were more than intrigued by the Diva Cup, so here's yet another great stocking stuffer idea. Or perhaps that's just too personal?

Betty said she just completed a survey about her satisfaction with the Oregonian, and her main concern was the plastic bags that the papers are delivered in. She suggested they work on a monthly collection of the bags for either reuse or recycling. So we are all going to share that feedback to the Oregonian as well.

Darla, one of our new members, was wondering how we set up our recycling centers at home. She had a great idea about using bags that snap into place. I'll provide links to mine and Heather's for those who are still working on setting up a recycling center that works in your home. Got a great setup? Send us a picture of yours!

Christy reminded us that styrofoam take-out containers have been banned in Portland restaurants, so if you see any being used, be sure to speak up and rat them out. We also shared how frustrated we are that PPS uses syrofoam trays in the hot lunch setup. Let's hope that is going to be phased out soon, and please share your opinion with PPS Nutrition Services if you have concerns about styrofoam trays as well. Last on styrofoam, there still are no Portland Metro area recyclers accepting styrofoam. Metro recommends reuse or landfilling it for now.

Betty suggested we mention that lids on bottles such as milk containers, water or soda containers, etc. are not to be recycled curbside. Lots of people think they belong together, but for recycling purposes, they typically are made of different plastic resins of different densities, and should not be included with the necked jars in our curbside bins.

OK, GreenGroupers, what else did we discuss? I'm sure I missed something. Looking forward to seeing everyone again in January!!

If you're wanting to be in a GreenGroup, our eastside group meets at the Urban Grind in NE. We also have a GreenGroup in Vancouver, WA, and we are forming one in the Milwaukie area. Interested? Send us an email.

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