wouldn't you love it if . . .


teens had some compassion?

Well, here’s a story about some teens who really did manage to think about how they’d feel in someone else’s shoes.

An average teen who lives in Ravenscroft in the North Carolina Appalachian Mountains, Krissi Fajgenbaum has helped thousands of low-income teens to look and feel their best. She got the inspiration after watching a documentary about the poverty and unemployment in the nearby community of Robbinsville.

“In tenth grade I watched Diane Sawyer’s “20/20” documentary on children of the Appalachians and the poverty in which they live. I was devastated to learn that this kind of poverty exists right here in NC, only five hours away from where I live, and was compelled to start Teens 2 Teens,” says Fajgenbaum.

The organization takes donations of used clothing from teens. The clothes are sorted and cleaned by teens. The shop, called Krissi’s Kloset, is run by teens. “All teenagers have the same wants and needs no matter who they are or where they come from,” says Krissi. “Teens want to feel good about themselves. They want to feel self confident and they want to fit in. By offering teens in need gently used clothing, they can feel good about themselves at school and feel more confident and comfortable when they go on class trips and college visits.” And so, the teens in need are allowed to shop for free. That’s right, the clothes and shoes are FREE.

Krissi is now in college,  a freshman biomedical engineering major at UNC Chapel Hill and a Robertson Scholar – you might think she would be busy pledging a sorority, or trying out for teams or drama, or just studying hard. But, busy as she is, she still makes time to work with Teens 2 Teens, providing those in need with a sustainable way to receive clothing, shoes, and accessories that have been gently used by others. And, in July 2010, Teens 2 Teens partnered with Communities In Schools of North Carolina in an effort to reach and provide clothing to at risk teens in the Appalachians. Our first joint effort  is a shop for free boutique in Bryson City which is centrally located in the Appalachian Mountain Region of NC. This boutique, also called Krissi’s Kloset, will provide clothes and shoes to  needy teens in eight counties in the NC Appalachians.

As pointed out on the website, most high schools have a community service requirement. Also, most colleges look very favorably upon an effort that meets a local need but does not garner lots of attention. They’d rather see someone work to combat a problem that to get credit for the hours. Well, Krissi started out that way, but has not shunned the attention, and the increased donations that brings. She and Teens 2 Teens have been featured in People Magazine and Cary Magazine, on Good Morning America’s AmeriCAN segment, and as ABC 11 Person of the Week on her local station. Still, Krissi has not let her 15 minutes of fame go to her head. She urges others to

Start a chapter of Teens 2 Teens at your school. Small towns all over America have been hit especially hard by the poor economy. Unemployment is high which means many teens are going without basics such as jeans, sweaters,  coats, and shoes. Contact me to learn how to start a partnership with a school in need. I hope you will consider starting a chapter at your school

 

 

 

And according to the Donations page on the Teens 2 Teens website;

All donations are extremely appreciated and will go to needy students who desperately need them.  

 Please remember to include your name and address with your package so we can send you your tax-deduction form.

Please send your donations to:

Krissi’s Kloset

CIS of Swain County

100 Brendle Street

Bryson City, NC 28713

 or you can contact Krissi herself at krissi@teens2teens.net.

I encourage you all to donate, clothes, shoes, accessories, or money.  And to Krissi Fajgenbaum,

Rock on!

 


there were some way to make landfills less of a problem?

I mean, really.  They smell.  They take up lots of land.  Building a new one is always another game of NIMBY.  And, once they’re filled up and closed . . . well, then all they do is smell!

Most people don’t give much thought to the science behind landfills, but they’re a highly engineered environment, designed to safely contain decomposing waste and methane while keeping out the elements. Clean energy advocates have looked at landfills for years as a ideal location for solar power installations, but encountered problems because as waste breaks down over time, their shape can shift and damage solid structures. Source: Clean Technica (http://s.tt/13Jfx) And that’s where the Spectral Cap comes in. Using of a geomembrane (made of thermoplastic polyolefin) and flexible solar panels, the Spectral Cap covers thousands of acres of landfill, allowing the solar panels to collect energy. The landfill highlighted in the video below is one of only 3 such installations in the United States – New York, Texas, and the largest in Georgia is seen on the video.

The geomembrane is  interesting all by itself, made of a durable kind of plastic and easy to use alone or with other rolls – which can be attached by welding them together on site. But the thing that makes the Spectral Power Cap innovative is the7,000+  integrated flexible solar panels. Each Teflon-coated panel carries 144-watt and is “factory bonded” to the geomembrane, shipped to the landfill and unrolled on site. The PV panels are  durable enough to walk on, and connected by a million feet of wire to four inverters that sends the solar energy onto the grid. This grid has a total capacity of enough power to operate 224 homes! And, the owners of the landfill, Republic Services, have a deal to sell the power back to Georgia Power at wholesale prices, providing clean energy for their commercial customers.

So, all in all, this is a great way to convert all those old landfills we’ve got lying around the country into something wonderful! Unless you’d rather have another ski resort, like the one in Mt. Brighton, MI.

Rock on!



there were a use for all those dirty diapers?

Well, there is. Now before you say “Eeuuw!” let me tell you that they clean them up first.

A company inthe United Kingdom, Knowaste, has been recycling dirty diapers – both the juvenile and the adult versions –  and feminine hygiene products (a group they call absorbent hygiene products) since the 1990s.

The process involves three key stages:

  1. Used nappies, adult incontinence and feminine hygiene products (AHPs) are collected and transported to a Knowaste plant.
  2. The Knowaste process sterilizes the AHP material, deactivates and mechanically separates the individual components:  organic residue, plastic and super absorbent polymers.
  3. The reclaimed components can then be made into recycled products such as:
    • plastic components for product manufacturing
    • plastic recycling bins
    • Plastic roofing tiles
    • cardboard
    • cardboard industrial tubing
    • fillers in the construction and road building sector

 

So, why recycle these AHPs? Knowaste’s answer,” Because we can!” Seriously, folks, we do not want these things in our landfills.

  1. They take 500 years to decompose
  2. They contain human waste
  3. We can salvage the raw materials

So, here we have a company that has been quietly taking our dirty diapers and making them into useful stuff since at least 1999. According to the company website, their facility at Arnheim in the Netherlands:

  • Processes up to 100,000 tons of diaper material per year.
  • Successfully converts disposable diapers and adult incontinence products into marketable materials.
  • Produces 20,000 tons of recycled fiber and 12,000 tons of usable recycled plastic per year.
  • Recycles diaper and incontinence waste from more than 1,200 healthcare institutions, 750 day care facilities and more than 100 municipalities in The Netherlands.
  • Saves 150 million gallons of fresh water that would be used in the normal production of cellulose fiber.
  • Saves more than one million cubic meters of natural gas; enough energy to power a city with a population of 10,000 for one year.
  • Saves more than 230,000 trees from being harvested each year to obtain the equivalent fiber than can be recovered from this facility

Now, I’d probably be very quiet, too, if I were cleaning up dirty diapers. However, I do think that these folks deserve a great big round of applause for taking something so distasteful to us and harmful to the environment and turning it, diaper by diaper by feminine hygiene product, into useful things while saving our other resources.

 If you hear that these folks are coming around your landfills or your towns to ask for a contract, please support them. Speak up for them to your elected officials and get AHPs out of our landfills.  Knowaste will take all the used AHPs from hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and daycare centers and recycle them. So they don’t take AHPs from you and me – that is still a lot of extra room in our landfills and a lot of  resources saved.

Knowaste was once in the US; in Santa Clarita, Ca. (Because of this, California unfairly got the credit for diaper recycling in a blog back in 2002.) The program there was terminated in 2003 because it was still too costly for the single household. Knowaste has been working on bringing the cost to the household down, though it still costs more to recycle those dydies than to throw them away – wehn you measure the cost in dollars spent  on fees alone – so they do not deal with single family dwellings or even apartment complexes, yet. The kids in my life are long out of diapers, but I’m hoping that their children’s dirty dydies will be recycled.

Rock on!

 



teenagers everywhere were this quick to help?

My last post was about a teenager, a former student of mine. He discovered, when learning about Darfur, that genocide goes on today and decided to help the people there and in Rwanda. Today’s post is about three teens who helped a lot closer to home.

These guys live in Dubois County, Indiana.  They’re just like any other teenaged boys, except for what they did the last time they visited a store called Rural King on Highway 162. Hearing squealing brakes, they ran toward the problem! But, they didn’t just go to observe, not our guys. They went to help, and help they did. While the news report linked in below does not say so, they may have saved not only the pregnant woman’s but her unborn child’s life. If mom had breathed in too much of the fumes coming from the fire, the baby could have been injured or even stillborn. These boys are bonafide heroes. I hope they go on to become First Responders or Basic Aid Providers; both of which include getting First Aid and CPR Provider cards.

Anyway, kudos to the teens, once again! Rock on, Austin, Ethan and Anthony!

http://www.news25.us/story/15349138/three-dubois-co-teens-help-save-pregnant-woman-from-crash



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25 August, 2011, 2201
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Hello and Welcome! And, Yea, Montreal!!

Hi,

This blog is about bringing good things to you, Dear Reader, whomever you may be.  I may find these ideas in my web surfing, or perhaps on a friend’s blog, or even – gasp – in face-to-face conversation with someone. No matter how I come by the information, I will pass it on to you here and for me “now.” Of course, my now won’t probably be your now, but that’s what physicists and web sites and blogs are all about. You’ll access it in your “now” and enjoy an uplift from hearing about a good thing.

So, here’s my first good thing:

The City of Montreal no longer uses its parking meters to charge people who need to park their cars – a good enough thing on its own! but not the good thing. The good thing is what they have done with those unsightly unused (not for long) meters. They use them to collect money for the homeless!! Yea, Montreal! You get 5/5 hearts – a perfect score. You’re oh so hard to follow.  🙂

Read more about it here:

http://inspiredeconomist.com/2010/08/15/repurposed-parking-meters-collect-donations-for-homeless/

Or watch this little video(which is embedded in the above article, too):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKWv4jTl0Ig&feature=player_embedded#t=0s