As a paddler, a river rat, lover of ecology, and Patagonia@Bend employee, I am stoked to be attending the showing of DAMNATION tonight at The Tower Theater! There will be a discussion panel after wards. Please join me…
Do you have a neat compost system or idea? Do you live in a 2 mile radius of downtown? I am interested in collecting stories and pictures of ways to compost.
Contact me via this blog, face book, firstname.lastname@example.org, or stop into Patagonia when I am working!
See collinsrocks media’s latest contribution on the Rethink Wast Project site (The Environmental Center)!
See Collinsrocks Media’s latest post on Bike Around Bend!
See collinsrocks media’s latest post at Rethink Waste Project (Bend Environmental Center)!
As I obsessed about obtaining a copy of May’s Cascade A&E last Wednesday, I opened the dispenser on Oregon and Minnesota for, literally, the 5th time in 5 hours, and to my wonder, found this little gift. It was like a personalized, recycled, art, fortune-cookie, and although the copy that I sought wasn’t posted yet, this collectable brightened my day. Pay attention, innovation could be lurking around any corner. Check out the C.R.A.F.T. site!
During a recent visit to Portland I had the privilege of eating lunch with Douglas Collins, my father, at the Waste Management transfer facility in Forest Grove. During our visit, though it is likely against company policy, Dad let me photograph the rubbish transferring process. The days of each city or town having a dump site are gone. Presently, the dump trucks that pick up your garbage in front of your house fill their trucks and bring them to the transfer station where the contents are emptied onto the floor of a wear house like structure and then pushed into a vast man-made crevasse leading to a semi. (In this process, dust from the dumping is kicked up and Dad worries that it might be bad for his lungs.) The semi can hold up to 55,000 lbs of garbage and dad says most days 8-10 semis are filled and taken to the dump. Doing some quick math, that means 550,000 lbs. of garbage a day is entering an unknown dump. This only accounts for a portion of Washington County. The estimate does not account for even half of the garbage produced in Portland daily. Does anyone else feel like this system might be flawed? For a long time, when they used to let employees salvage from the rubbish, Dad would bring home treasures, broken computers, snowboards, even department store merchandise. Target, Costco and other retailers must throw away goods with damaged packaging. Maybe they fell off a pallet or were disturbed in transit, but if the cardboard is dented at all, the goods are dumped. Space heaters, toasters, clothes, food, all packed into the semis and carted to the dump.
Deterioration seems to be a re-occurring theme visiting rural sites across Oregon this spring. First in Hillsboro and Forest Grove in Washington County, now in Richmond a simultaneously living and ghost town in Eastern, Oregon. I was under the impression that the location was advertised as a ghost town and thus assumed they welcomed visitors- if anyone still lived there at all. Driving up a gently graded road, approaching a spattering of manufactured homes with vehicles, dogs, and plastic play equipment decorating the lawn, it became obvious that we were visiting a currently inhabited town. To access the ruins we spied in the distance between trees and fence posts, we parked beside the main road, and walked along two parallel ruts, dense with overgrowth. The photos show what we found. It is difficult to imagine how much material is wasting away in other corners of Oregon, the US, the world, if this much is falling apart in the tinny, forgotten town of Richmond.
During a riveting conversation with my nine year old cousin, Calvin, we discussed the periodic table, what it means to be off-sides in soccer, and the garbage island in the Pacific. Thanks for the environmental update Calvin.
On the backroads of Washington County, where it not for absence of scooters and abundance of evergreens, one might mistake surroundings for Southeast Asia. Dilapidated homes, ancient farm equipment, oxidizing corrugated metal and other such relicts lay waste across the country side. Even the tightly lined crops occasionally resembled rice patties. While the spattering of condemned farm buildings were being swallowed by weed, vine, bush and tree, I was enjoying a bike ride along a loop of forgotten roads.
The need for family operated farms had changed locally, regionally, and nationally. As evidenced by the decay, it seemed many had left this land behind. A sense of morning grew with each passing property, save for the odd farm still in operation. The land seemed to teater on the brink of two futures; continue to fight for a place in the past, or give into the vines. A daughter of a father who grew up in these parts, I wondered if neglect was in my DNA.
As I turned a corner, a Red Winged Black Bird called out to me. I looked at the windowless walls, the peeling paint, and the disintegrating shingles that lined the road I was riding. Personally, I’d fought long and hard for my attachment to my past, my suffering. Sometimes it felt as if I’d piled broken dreams, discarded memories and all kinds of rubbish on my front lawn and relished in the ambiance. Debris stretched like a fence around the property that might represent my heart. With each passing day, the brambles grew thicker and I imagined nothing could pry away the wreckage.
The next morning I woke, and chose the same ride. As I rounded a familiar corner, the same Red Winged Black Bird called out to me. This time I dismounted and sat below her perch for a while. I noticed an abandoned barn far beyond the tree she claimed. The rust covered silo looked as though it had seen more productive days. She sang her familiar song, as if to say, “grieve not the loss of these things”. Several other species joined on the perch and in the chorus. Thanking her for the wisdom she had imparted, I was left with the realization; decay is the path to renewal and the reassurance, transformation does not come without sacrifice. I new infrastructure would have to crumble to create room for plants to grow and birds sing. I bid farewell to Red Winged Black Bird realizing all this loss was a new beginning and rubbish was fertile ground for seedlings. Even if the wreckage couldn’t be removed, something would inevitably grow from it.
Collinsrocks media is looking forward to sharing original prints of winter-scapes housed in secondhand wooden frames during the “free refills” show opening tomorrow at 7pm, at The Plankery. Bring a story and share in the conversation about how you found your “free refills” this winter season… Note: “free refills” is a slang term referencing the joy experienced when snow falls so hard, tracks fill in during the lift ride to the top of the mountain.
Collinsrocks media was stoked to sport our new logo hat (funded by Rugged Threads!) and photograph last nights’ Repair Cafe hosted by Pakit Liquidators. Director of the Re-think Waste Project and brain behind the Repair Cafe, Denise Rowcroft succeeded yesterday evening in keeping tons of repairable goods out of dumpsters, facilitating much learning about tools and how to fix house hold goods, and bringing together community members for the common goal of Re-thinking Waste.
Check out this link to our most recent publication!
As a participant in the first Repair Cafe last November, Chris Deck of the Gear Fix is excited to see what this April’s event will bring. He explains, “The event has lots of potential as a meeting place for fixing broken stuff”, he goes on to say the Repair Cafe is an “asset to the community” and could make a big impact once it gets rolling. Chris also points out that the mission of the Gear Fix and the Repair Cafe are one in the same: to keep goods that could be fixed or consigned out of the landfill. Working at Gear Fix and seeing that everyone wins in this process (seller makes cash, buyer gets a good they needed at a reduced rate) puts a smile on Chris’s face. Please join Chris and many others for an evening of collaborative problem solving April 3rd, from 6-8pm at Pakit Liquidators.
While grabbing my usual morning Chai Tea Latte at Bend Mountain Coffee this morning I realized an opportunity to share the Repair Cafe. Gordon, owner and barista extraordinaire of the coffee shop asked me what projects Re-think Waste was working on. I was ecstatic to tell him of the Repair Cafe. Awesomely enough he was ready to discuss his broken toaster with me. You know the little knob you push on each time you want to set the bread to be heated, one of those had broken on his toaster. He had fashioned a small metal sleeve that worked in lieu of the knob, however, he was hoping to get this permanently fixed to the lever as it easily slipped on and off. Could there be a better project for the master crafts persons of the Repair Cafe? Gordon hurriedly scribbled the date on his calendar and pledge he and his toaster would see me there. Please join Gordon of Bend Mountain Coffee and many others for an evening of collaborative problem solving April 3rd, from 6-8pm at Pakit Liquidators.