Learn ways to reduce your garbage and stop wasting money

  • Posted: Sunday, December 30, 2012 12:01 a.m.

Have you ever noticed the piles of trash that collect on curbsides the day after Christmas? The amount of paper and cardboard that is thrown away is staggering. However, in a day or two, the refuse gets carted away and the problem appears solved, right? Not quite. Let the resources at Rowan Public Library educate you about what happens to all the trash we generate, why we throw away so much, and what we can do to lessen our impact on the environment.

“Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash” is by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edward Humes. In “Garbology,” Humes gives the reader an inside look at what happens to the roughly 102 tons of garbage an average American generates over a lifetime. The journey from curb to landfill is both fascinating and heartbreaking. It is especially disheartening to learn that edible food makes up a large portion of our trash.


Food waste is the topic of the book “American Wasteland,” by Jonathan Bloom. Bloom makes a point that even as grocery prices skyrocket, the amount of food Americans squander continues to increase. One reason might be that Americans are more detached than ever from the source of their food. Another reason is that fewer Americans have memories of times when food was not in abundance, such as during the Great Depression. The problem of food waste can also be partially blamed on modern technology. In a sad bit of irony, modern, efficient refrigerators and freezers have enabled us to keep food longer, but it has also made it easier to forget about food until it ís too late to salvage.

“Don’t Throw It Out” is a book by the editors of Yankee Magazine. Inside the book are hundreds of nifty and thrifty ideas to help you waste less and save more. Want to get that last bit of ketchup out of the bottle, keep your eggs fresh or bring biscuits back to life? Practical tips are shared so the reader can tackle questions that crop up in the kitchen. In fact, the book analyzes every room of a typical house and advice is given to “make it last,” “fix it fast” and “pass it along” the right way.

In the coming year, let us all pledge to be mindful of the three Rs of the environment: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Also, don’t forget to stop by the library and check out a book or two. It’s the ultimate in book recycling.

JR’s Adventure Club: Headquarters, Jan. 5, 11 a.m. Enjoy time building, exploring or discovering something new. Call 704-216-8234 to learn more.

Closings: Jan. 2, all locations closed for New Year’s; Jan. 22, all locations closed for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Displays for January: headquarters, Sidney Blackmer Collection; South, student art by SRHS art class.

Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second language.

Bluegrass concert: Headquarters, Jan. 10, 7 p.m. RPL is honored to host Bluegrass greats Clay Lunsford and Wayne Henderson.

Lunsford is known as a guitar virtuoso and the founder of the N.C. Thumb and Finger Style Guitar Players Association. Henderson’s guitar playing has been enjoyed at Carnegie Hall and the White House.

Elder law focus of free seminars: Headquarters, Stanback Auditorium. Whether you are a senior, the child of one, or want to plan for your future, attorney Bob Mason has information you can use. No marketing and no fluff — just solid education in a multimedia format. On three Thursdays in January, Mason will present free seminars on subjects of interest. All seminars will be held at 3 p.m.

• Jan. 10 — “How to Avoid an Elder Law Train Wreck.” Don’t know where to begin with planning? The essentials of wills and trusts, powers of attorney, health care advance directives, insurances, second marriages, and laying the groundwork for long-range planning.

• Jan. 17 — “How to Pay for Nursing Home Care without Losing your Shirt.” Probably one of the biggest concerns of most as they plan for the future. Mason will provide the straight facts based on his experience as a board certified specialist in elder law.

• Jan. 24 — “Make Sure Your VA Benefits Aren’t AWOL.” Find out about benefits for veterans (and widows or widowers of veterans) to help pay the costs of long-term care.

Ringling Brothers clown: Headquarters, Jan. 15, 7 p.m., Stanback Auditorium. Stories and performance by a clown direct from Ringling Brothers. Fun for all ages. Free.

Teen game night: All 5:30-7 p.m. South, Jan. 22; East, Jan. 28; headquarters, Jan. 29. Board games, video games and more. Open to all middle and high school students. For more information call 704-216-8234.

Book Bites Club: South, Jan. 29, 6:30 p.m., “The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie” by Alan Bradley. Book discussion groups for both adults and children at South Rowan Regional Library meet the last Tuesday of each month. The group is open to the public and anyone is free to join at any time. There is a discussion of the book as well as light refreshments at each meeting. For more information, call 704-216-8229.

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