J500 Media and the Environment

My Environmental Millstone (Not For Assignment) by angelajon
June 20, 2009, 2:14 pm
Filed under: J840 Week 2, Waste + Recycling | Tags: , , , , ,
“It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.”  Luke 17:2 (NIV)
My millstone sits in my garage, between my two Aero gardens, where my mid-summer starts are getting too big too early, and my five recycling baskets, each one holding a different type of material (plastics, paper, cardboard, glass, other).  It is not a large box, no more than 18 inches to a side.  The box is not ugly; in a previous life it contained Bacardi.  I cannot even complain that the box is in the way; it is not.  BUT IT BUGS ME! In the morning, as I am putting my lunch and purse into my car, getting ready for the drive to work, I stop and curse this darned thing.  When I sit at my desk at work, taking a break from the normal demands on me, I start my online searching, AGAIN.  But I can find nothing, no help.  When I come home and pull into the garage, there it sits accusing me, ruining the view of my otherwise nicely organized and clean garage.  I sit for a few minutes as the garage door closes, I don’t want to get out of the car.  Sitting in the car I cannot see the box, when I open my car door, it comes back into view.  I step around it and go into the house.  I boot up my computer and search again; maybe I will find the right combination of words this time, maybe someone will give me an answer.  But, yet again, I go to bed and the box sits, waiting for me, crouching there to guilt me again in the morning.   

 At one time, the contents of this box provided me a great deal of enjoyment, family time, entertainment and it actually made my life easier.  Now, it is the perfect example of our species’ folly; our desire to have ease and comfort in our life without regard for the consequences.  It is a box of old VCR tapes!  To date, I cannot find a viable way to dispose of these. Burning these releases toxins, there is no recycling program that uses them in any way.  The suggestions I get, even from the experts, is that I should donate them to a thrift store.  I am rejecting this as an option as I cannot be sure that they won’t simply throw my home recording of “The Looney, Looney Bugs Bunny Movie” directly into a landfill.  I’m simply not comfortable foisting my troubles onto someone else.  I created this mess, I feel responsible, and right now it is my quest. 

Flowers Made From VCR Tapes and Sewn on to a Thrift Store Bag

Flowers Made From VCR Tapes Sewn Onto a Thrift Store Bag

Then comes the ‘red letter’ day; I find my answers.  I was surfing for recycling of VCR tapes, when I saw mention of craft uses for VCR tapes.  Huh?  Craft ideas with VCR tapes?  

Updating my search engine to Craft Ideas for VCR tapes turns up a plethora of ideas.  From clutch purses to shopping totes, to decorator flowers, to coasters, who knew a VCR tape had so many uses.

Adding to the great find of craft ideas, on this search I discover Greendisk.com!  I can have all of my electronic needs recycled at about 7$ for 20 pounds.  My CDROMs, my old remotes, phones, VCRs themselves and my tapes; I can have them shipped tomorrow with media mail rates to be fully recycled.  SUCCESS IS BEAUTIFUL.

A Tote Bag Made From VCR Tapes and Ribbon Yarn

A Tote Made From VCR Tapes and Ribbon Yarn

With the new search I came across quite a few suggestions for disposing of VCR tapes.  Here is the list:

Talk to a local hospital, they often have older equipment and could use commercially recorded tapes for their patients (all ages).  This works for Hospice care, assisted living facilities, any not-for-profit child care agencies or elder care.

Convenience stores often use VCRs for security, ask around, they may use your home recorded tapes for their security systems.

Freecycle is always an option.  http://www.freecycle.org/

Greendisk recycles all electronic media.  For roughly 7$ you can recycle 20 lbs of electronic waste.  The site gives all the information.  If you are shipping tapes, use the slow media mail option, it is cheaper.  www.greendisk.com

If you are crafty the two sites below give ways to make clever and even useful things from VCR tapes.  The one that interests me is the ‘earth friendly’ size tote bag; I wonder if it is strong enough for groceries.




Life is GREAT when there is lots of LOVE!

Angela Jones


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