Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A green project

We all recognize this. A cool retreat from the summer heat right on our own patio. You can purchase various shapes, sizes, and colors for your patio cover. You can buy free standing, four post, spartan or luxurious canopies. The sky is the limit.

I live in a town home with a decent size patio and I want something to keep the hot sun off my head when I sit outside to read. My first instinct to was to drive on over to Wal-Mart, or Lowe's or Home Depot and pick me up a ready to assemble collection of newly created canvas, aluminum poles and various nuts and bolts. But then the idea of making my own canopy, one that would incorporate reused items took hold and I ran with it.

Here are some of my ideas:
1). Follow freecycle.org. The site is great for finding things that are still usable, but free

2). Make the frame from PVC pipes, anchoring it to the ground by securing the PVC in a used 5 gal pail filled with rocks/soil

3). Make the main part of the frame with tree branches. No, I'm not thinking about ripping into the oak tree in the planter. I have a friend that has a wood burning hot water heating system and he gathers loads of tree limbs. Secure the limbs in the same 5 gal pails with rocks and soil, using the buckets as planters as well.

4) An old painters drop cloth, canvas cover or used sail would be great to cover the canopy,

This is as far as I've gotten on the planning stage. I'm still working out the design, but I am excited and eager to get this project started.

If you have any ideas or suggestions....or materials:D, let me know.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

One person can make a difference.

In the past, I have talked about how one person can change things or at least start the change. I have used myself as an example. I wanted to give an update on that.

At the town home community in Spartanburg that I manage, I have a resident that brings me her bottles and cans to recycle becasue we don't have a convenient recycling system here. It started with 1 or 2 plastic grocery bags a week. Last week, she brought me enough to fill up 2 of the curbside recycling bins I use in Greenville. I asked her why she had so many bottles and cans. She explained that at first, she was just bringing me the items she and her family used, but now, everywhere she goes she collects empties. She works at a church day camp and collects recyclables there. When she goes to the pool, she gets all she can collect there. She picks them up whenever she sees them. She even has her children and nieces and nephews thinking about recycling before trashing their empties.

Here is one good example of one person making a difference. There are 54 units at my Greenville town home community and 74 units at the Spartanburg unit. We have 25% of the residents at Addison in Greenville recycling regularly, if I can get a program started in Spartanburg, I know we would have 25% there as well. If my zealous collector in Spartanburg is an example, we will be saving tons from the landfill.

So, what are you doing today to make a small difference?