Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A trash to... well not quite treasure. But still useful!

Did you know I'm a volunteer at the Navy's Fleet and Family Support Center? I love the idea of helping sailors and their families, but lately, it's become an opportunity to help the environment at the same time!

They do recycle at Fleet and Family, but in an office so big, there is still a lot going in the trash. So much packaging, colored paper, outdated materials - way too much stuff to toss! Luckily though, they are not too concerned with my trash-pilfering ways, and I've recently brought home two fantastic finds that were headed for the landfill.

First, I found a perfectly good binder. I'm serious about the perfect part. Not a blemish on it, still fully functional, and heavy duty at that - a 3" D-Ring! Where did I find this gem? The trash can. It hurt my heart, and I certainly couldn't leave it there.

It was meant to be trash, but now it's the lovely home to all my resource sheets for my other volunteer job as the Ombudsman for my husband's command.

Today, I burned mass quantities of cd's, and emptied out one of the spindles. I asked what they did with them when they were finished. In my mind, they are too sturdy and useful to throw away. There must be someone who wants to keep a stack of discs neat and organized, right? Nope, they throw them in the trash. I asked if I could keep it - I already had an idea in mind.

It was a lonely, empty cd spindle, but now it's the new home for some of my ribbons!

It's keeping them neat, dust-free, and easy to see! Not all ribbon spools will fit on such a thick spindle, but plenty do. Even better is that the spindle is hollow form the bottom, so I can totally mount this on a peg board in the future.

With all this in mind, I'm thinking of proposing a "Don't Need it? Leave it. Need it? Take it." pile at the Fleet and Family Support Center. Not only for within the office itself, but also for the many volunteers that work oustide of the Center for the individual commands. How great would it be for other Ombudsman and Family Readiness Group Presidents to know there was a stash of used supplies, free for the taking? And maybe people would think twice about what they were throwing away if there was a place they could leave it instead. I'm going to brainstorm on it, and then write up a proposal. I hope my success in reusing their trash will be an inspiration for them to put my plan into action!


Roni said...

Love the spindle ribbon holder! And the "Dont need it leave it" idea rocks!!

Kristen M. said...

So, an update. The "Don't need it, leave it" idea did not take off at all. I brought it up, and evidently there is a policy in place that usable goods have to be given back to the government. Which is really good to hear. So maybe the things I've been finding are not the norm.

On a good note, I got a great Folgers Coffee container the other day, which I'll be using for the huge quantity of pens and markers that we take to FRG meetings. Score!