Use a cobbler’s simple rule to determine if your shoes are worth repairing: if the upper part has not dried out or started cracking, the bottoms can always be fixed.
Instead of throwing out a pair of shoes that you like, look into having them repaired. It may cost less that you think. Antonia Frazan reported on www.businessinsider.com a rule of thumb from a cobbler: the bottoms of shoes can be fixed, so as long as the upper part of the shoe is not dried out or cracked, look into having them repaired.
Treehugger.com writer Katherine Martinko reported on the disadvantages of recycling programs that function by having people mail their collected item to the recycling company for processing. These types of programs allow producers to continue manufacturing packaging that is difficult to recycle and only a fraction reaches a recycling facility. A lawsuit filed against these recyclers claims that "mail-back recycling business model encourages companies to keep producing packaging made from hard-to-recycle materials and customers to keep buying those products because they're convinced it's fine for the environment. This diverts energy and attention away from packaging innovation that could make a truly positive difference."* Shipping materials long distances has its own carbon footprint. It would be better for sustainability efforts to "shift away from mail-back recycling schemes and more toward pressuring companies to design packaging that can be recycled in local facilities (not needing to be trucked thousands of miles across the country) and advocating for reusable, refillable, and zero waste solutions."* While these materials are upcycled into new products, they are still ultimately made of plastic and will eventually have to be discarded. Martinko points out that "mail-back recycling schemes do not address the plastic problem. Rather, they perpetuate it by postponing the inevitable discard that must happen, while emitting more greenhouse gases through transportation and creating a false sense of environmental complacency in consumers."*
*Katherine Martinko, July 29, 2021, "Mail-Back recycling schemes don't work nearly as well as you'd like to believe," www.treehugger.com
The original article can be found here.
As fall arrives, people spend a lot of time and money removing the inevitable piles of leaves. However, leaving the leaves in place is actually better for the health of our yards. This can be accomplished by raking leaves into plant beds and mulch-mowing leaves into the lawn.
Leaf litter is a vital resource for both plants and animals. Bird and insect populations are declining, in part due to habitat lost to development. Countless insects, including the larval and pupal stages of important pollinators, rely on leaf litter for protection over the winter. These same leaf piles consequently become important places to forage for food by birds. We can provide this habitat in our yards by placing leaves under the plants these animals frequent.
The plants also benefit as the leaves break down and return essential nutrients to the soil. Decomposed leaves also add structure to the soil, which improves water retention and the soil’s ability to handle droughts and flooding events. When we remove leaves, we find that we need to add extra fertilizer and must purchase mulch for our plant beds. Leaf mulch also suppresses weeds, helps retain moisture, and protects plant beds during the winter. You can save time and money by using the leaves that are already in your yard.
To create leaf mulch for your yard, rake leaves into plant beds and mulch mow leaves directly into the lawn. To help leaves decompose faster, use a mower, leaf shredder or chipper to break leaves into smaller pieces before adding them to plant beds. If you prefer the look of bark or other mulch in your landscaping, add a 3” layer of leaf mulch and cover that with a commercial mulch of your choice. Use a regular mower or attach special mulching blades to mulch leaves into the lawn. Many mowers are already designed to mulch cut grass and can be used to mulch mow leaves as well. Put the mower on its highest setting and run it over the leaves. This is best done when leaves are dry. Sometimes a second pass is needed to shred them to a small enough size. Use the resources that have already been deposited in your yard to benefit your plants and their pollinators.