Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Save Earth! Recycle Lint!

Earth Day is coming, April 22, 2010. It's the 40th anniversary of that groovy event.

This year, I'm observing Earth Day by discussing lint. It's recyclable!
"Why I love 'The Tightwad Gazette' Even Though I'm Not a Real Tightwad"
Ms MoneyPenny (January 20, 2008)

"The Complete Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn is one of the best books on frugality ever written, if not the best. I don't say that lightly.

"Back in the early and mid-nineties, Amy published The Tightwad Gazette as a newsletter. Then came three books created out of her newsletter articles, the Tightwad Gazette Volumes 1, 2, and 3. Finally along came The Complete Tightwad Gazette, which is a compilation of all three books, plus some of the articles from the final issues of the newsletter. She closed it down after about 4 years, when she, along with her husband Jim and their 6 - yes 6 - children, had achieved financial independence. She retired, and as far as I know, still resides happily in Leeds, Maine.

"Even if you aren't going to turn your dryer lint into a halloween mask, this...."

That's as close as I could come in a reasonable time (about five minutes: I'm running late), to finding a direct reference to recycling dryer lint by making it into Halloween masks. I suppose it's either the modeling clay approach outlined in an earlier post, or maybe a sort of paper mache (paper-mâché, papier mache, whatever) with lint instead of paper.

Lint mâché?!

The Ms MoneyPenny post points out that some expenses can be cut: "cable, cleaning lady, and so on." The blogger lives in Massachusetts, United States of America. I live in the same country, about a thousand miles west. The culture here's a little different, but not all that much. Some folks in my part of the world seem to think that life's not worth living, if they can't have cable and a snowmobile and a sports car and - - - You get the idea.

On the other hand, I've known a family or two who didn't have telephone service. For them, that made sense. Their communications needs were met through personal contact: and their budget wouldn't support that particular information technology.

Luxuries, Necessities, and North Dakota

What's "luxury" one place may be more nearly a "necessity" elsewhere, of course. For example, my wife insisted that our new son-in-law buy a snowmobile. The young couple live in rural North Dakota. It's a wonderful part of the world, provided you're prepared for hail, heavy rain, drought, high wind, scorching heat, marrow-freezing cold, and the occasional blizzard. I took that photo near their home. The area's a lot more heavily-developed now, than when I was growing up.

Lint: It's Sustainable

Lately, I've been running into the word "sustainable" almost as often as "carbon footprint." Particularly when it comes to high-end housing. Seems that it's frightfully important to use "sustainable" materials. Like really special kinds of wood.

I think that's a great idea. The way some guys who work in construction talk, you'd think that wood grows on trees.

Wait a minute.

I'd better clarify something. I think being "sustainable" is a good idea. The word means "capable of being sustained." I think the meaning that many writers have in mind for "sustained" is "maintained at length without interruption or weakening." (Princeton's Wordnet)

I think that "sustainability" is a good idea. Provided that there's a little common sense applied to the noble ideals of saving Earth.

Lint: now that's a sustainable resource! Too sustainable, in some ways. The stuff builds up in our dryer vents, clogs filters, and collects in our pockets.

And so many people simply throw away this precious resource!

I don't imagine that masses will march with slogans like "Save Lint! Save Earth!" on their lips. But sillier things have happened.

Still, even if you don't feel like dedicating your life to the international struggle of lint-users against lintless ignorance: You could still consider what you can do with that ubiquitous companion of civilization.

Related posts:More:
A tip of the hat to Jhotvedt2, on Twitter, for the heads-up on dryer lint as Halloween mask material.

2 comments:

Brigid said...

Tense trouble: "I've know a family"

The Friendly Neighborhood Proofreader

Brian, aka Aluwir, aka Norski said...

Brigid,

Thanks. Typo trouble. And, fixed.

I found an awkward sentence, and fixed that, too, while I was at it.

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