September 25, 2007

Squirrel Update

Apparently nothing generates comments like talking about squirrels!! :)

Well our situation has only gotten worse. I'm sorry for those of you who actually like squirrels but my opinion has not changed...much. I'm actually starting to feel sorry for the things. They must be incredibly confused about their environment and all that to think that my apartment might actually be a good place for them to eat and live.

Yep, that's right. Turns out the squirrels found our stash of Hershey kisses. We found the container knocked over in our living room. Along with chocolate crumbs and wrappers nearby. My roommate swears it wasn't her doing :) So then for several days we started finding kisses hidden throughout the apartment: in the couch, behind a bed, and yeah, IN my bed. Um, I thought I hated squirrels and then I discovered that one (or who knows how many) had actually been scurrying around hiding hershey kisses in my bed. Now I'm furious. And like I said, feeling some pity towards them. But more on the hateful side unfortunately. So now we never open our door or windows, even when we're home we have to watch pretty carefully or they actually try and "sneak" by, like I don't notice or something when I'm sitting right there on the porch!!! No more hershey kisses in our apartment and I keep my door closed. And my bedding and everything in my room is sparkly clean in order for me to get every possible squirrel germ out of there!!!

So I challenge you - do you still want to tell me that squirrels are cute? :)

(I love you Sarah - thanks for trying to stick up for the squirrel community. I should really work on my compassion!!!)

September 18, 2007

I hate squirrels

I know - hate is a harsh word. I try not to use it. However in this case, it is completely acceptable. Squirrels apparently want something in my apartment. I'm not sure what. I mean, I know my roomie and I are pretty cool and all, and we have lots of cool stuff. But I didn't know squirrels would be so interested in it. I also had no idea that squirrels have gotten so brave. After replacing our screen on the back door after a squirrel had bitten through and come into our apartment, one promptly made another attempt - while I was sitting on the porch in front of the door. They hang out outside and wait for an opportunity. They've actually been on my roommate's desk and knocked down picture frames. I don't want squirrels in my apartment. I still have a bit of a grudge from a few years back when one ate my infamous geranium plant right in front of me. And now this. I think I'm jinxed.

In other news, I'm officially a University of Chicago student - have the id card, and even my first assignment. Mind you, classes have not started yet. Nope. I have a paper due on the first day! I'm not sweating it though. I am so ready.

September 12, 2007

21 Things You Didn't Know You Could Recycle

(found at Co-Op America's website: click here

21 Things You Didn't
Know You Can Recycle

Garbage. Americans produce more and more of it every year, when we need to be producing less.

Even the most waste-conscious among us can feel overwhelmed by the amount of household waste that goes beyond what municipal recyclers and compost bins can handle.

That’s why our editors have spent the summer investigating the state of waste management in our country, and putting together information for you, our Co-op America members, explaining how we can get serious about the three R’s – reducing, reusing, and recycling. Supporting members of Co-op America can expect to receive this issue of the Co-op America Quarterly this fall. If you’re not already a supporting member, join us now to get this special issue mailed to you.

1. Appliances: Goodwill accepts working appliances,, or you can contact the Steel Recycling Institute to recycle them. 800/YES-1-CAN,

2. Batteries: Rechargeables and single-use: Battery Solutions, 734/467-9110,

3. Cardboard boxes: Contact local nonprofits and women’s shelters to see if they Boxcan use them. Or, offer up used cardboard boxes at your local listserv or on for others who may need them for moving or storage. If your workplace collects at least 100 boxes or more each month, accepts them for resale.

4. CDs/DVDs/Game Disks: Send scratched music or computer CDs, DVDs, and PlayStation or Nintendo video game disks to AuralTech for refinishing, and they’ll work like new: 888/454-3223,

5. Clothes: Wearable clothes can go to your local Goodwill outlet or shelter. ShirtsDonate wearable women’s business clothing to Dress for Success, which gives them to low-income women as they search for jobs, 212/532-1922, Offer unwearable clothes and towels to local animal boarding and shelter facilities, which often use them as pet bedding. Consider holding a clothes swap at your office, school, faith congregation or community center. Swap clothes with friends and colleagues, and save money on a new fall wardrobe and back-to-school clothes.

6. Compact fluorescent bulbs: Take them to your local IKEA store for recycling:

7. Compostable bio-plastics: You probably won’t be able to compost these in your home compost bin or pile. Find a municipal composter to take them to at

8. Computers and electronics: Find the most responsible recyclers, local and national, at

9. Exercise videos: Swap them with others at

10. Eyeglasses: Your local Lion’s Club or eye care chain may collect these. Lenses Glassesare reground and given to people in need.

11. Foam packing: Your local pack-and-ship store will likely accept foam peanuts for reuse. Or, call the Plastic Loose Fill Producers Council to find a drop-off site: 800/828-2214. For places to drop off foam blocks for recycling, contact the Alliance of Foam Packaging Recyclers, 410/451-8340,

12. Ink/toner cartridges: pays $1/each.

13. Miscellaneous: Get your unwanted items into the hands of people who can use them. Offer them up on your local or listserv, or try giving them away at or giving or selling them at will also help you find a recycler, if possible, when your items have reached the end of their useful lifecycle.

14. Oil: Find Used Motor Oil Hotlines for each state: 202/682-8000,

15. Phones: Donate cell phones: Collective Good will refurbish your phone and sell Cellphoneit to someone in a developing country: 770/856-9021, Call to Protect reprograms cell phones to dial 911 and gives them to domestic violence victims: Recycle single-line phones: Reclamere, 814/386-2927,

16. Sports equipment: Resell or trade it at your local Play It Again Sports outlet, 800/476-9249,

17. “Technotrash”: Easily recycle all of your CDs, jewel cases, DVDs, audio and video tapes, cell phones, pagers, rechargeable and single-use batteries, PDAs, and ink/toner cartridges with GreenDisk’s Technotrash program. For $30, GreenDisk will send you a cardboard box in which you can ship them up to 70 pounds of any of the above. Your fee covers the box as well as shipping and recycling fees. 800/305-GREENDISK,

18. Tennis shoes: Nike’s Reuse-a-Shoe program turns old shoes into playground and athletic flooring. One World Running will send still-wearable shoes to athletes in need in Africa, Latin America, and Haiti.

19. Toothbrushes and razors: Buy a recycled plastic toothbrush or razor from ToothbrushRecycline, and the company will take it back to be recycled again into plastic lumber. Recycline products are made from used Stonyfield Farms’ yogurt cups. 888/354-7296,

20. Tyvek envelopes: Quantities less than 25: Send to Shirley Cimburke, Tyvek Recycling Specialist, 5401 Jefferson Davis Hwy., Spot 197, Room 231, Richmond, VA 23234. Quantities larger than 25, call 866/33-TYVEK.

21. Stuff you just can’t recycle: When practical, send such items back to the manufacturer and tell them they need to manufacture products that close the waste loop responsibly.