I consider myself a staunch environmentalist. I’ve been active in environmental battles for most of my adult life. When recycling became a major issue, I was out there with my banner preaching against the curse of our American habit of Make It, Use It, then Throw It Away. I’ve made posters and presented lectures on the value of matching nature’s circular, let-nothing-go-to-waste process. So, imagine my shame when I realized that I had become complacent about the value of recycling.
I can make excuses. After all, I moved here from a city where my recyclables were picked up at the curb. What? You mean I must take my recyclables to a recycling center 10 miles away?!? That could take me as much as half an hour a month! But suffering soul that I am, I did it. The only problem was that, over time, I was recycling less and less and not really giving much thought to the Reuse, Recycle, Reduce mantra. And I wasn’t staying current with what is recyclable at our local recycling center. And I was way behind the times regarding the effect of plastics in our landfills and our lives.
It was clearly time to revive my environmental spirit and Think Globally, Act Locally. I learned what was currently recyclable at the Fort Payne Recycling Center. I learned that the center is clean, well-organized, open 24/7, and it accepts a lot more items than one might think. I talked with the manager of the center, Theresa Stone, and found her to be knowledgeable, helpful, and dedicated to recycling. I studied the plastic recycle resin codes and learned why they are so important. With a little bit of research and a lot of helpful hints from Theresa and from websites like Earth911.com, I have been able to reduce my household waste stream by more than half.
So, once again, I’ll raise my environmental banner and ask that you search your own recycling soul. Do you know what is recyclable locally right now? Do you know whether you can put that oil-stained pizza box into the cardboard bin? Do you know whether the recycling center now takes wide-mouthed plastic bottles? Do you know how to tell whether the plastic bottle cap can be recycled with the bottle? Are you unconsciously throwing away things that could be recycled? And when it comes to plastics, are there better choices than recycling?
Come to Moon Lake Community Library on Saturday, September 14, at 12:30 p.m. and I’ll answer these questions and more. You’ll learn some valuable information and laugh while you’re doing it (think “recycling fashion show”). And you’ll be doing the yourself and the earth a favor.
More fun evenings are in store as we gather around the game tables. Bring your favorite game or come learn how to play a new one.
Games are good for your brain, and playing them with others is good for your spirit. Bring a finger food to share in the pot luck. Coffee, tea and water will be provided. All ages are welcome.
Author Talk: John Dersham 8/12
Award-winning photographer John Dersham has released a new book, My Alabama: John Dersham Photographs a State, a selection of 200 images of the state from Dersham’s vast catalog of over 50,000. These photographs offer a unique and stunning portrait of Alabama’s diverse natural, topographical, and cultural assets. The book, which carries a foreword by Bo Jackson, was published in May 2019 with the support of the Alabama Bicentennial Commission.
My Alabama is organized seasonally. Dersham shares a journey with readers from a warm, green Alabama spring on the Cahaba River to a summer evening on Cherokee County’s Weiss Lake. Throw on a coat on a frosty morning and find one of the state’s many waterfalls, like Pisgah Gorge Falls, or wander a path on the snow-covered Lookout Mountain. Readers move past breathtaking landscapes, scenic village crossroads with rustic country stores, and gleaming cityscapes shining in the evening light. From Guntersville Lake to the peaks of Monte Sano, from the port of Mobile to rural St. Clair County, Dersham captures the astonishing varied beauty of the Yellowhammer State in every shot.
John Dersham’s art photography and commercial work has been featured in gallery and other exhibits nationwide, and and he is an experienced photography instructor and speaker. His love of photography was developed during the 30 years he spent working at Kodak. Today, Dersham is president of DeKalb Tourism in Fort Payne.
John Dersham will present an Author Talk and book signing at Moon Lake Community Library on Monday evening, August 12, at 6:30. This free multi-media program is suitable for all ages. Refreshments will be served and books will be available for purchase.
Join fellow book lovers on for a discussion of The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women by Kate Moore. The book tells the true story of early 20th-century American women who were hired to paint watch dials with a luminous and deadly substance. The story is historically informative, unsettling, and, ultimately, inspiring.
The book club will meet on Saturday, August 17, at 10:30 a.m. at Moon Lake Community Library in Mentone (where the book is available for check-out). Everyone is welcome to join the discussion. Coffee and hot tea will be served.