Hilltown Families


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Differing from regular mending in that it’s meant to be seen, visible mending offers a creative take on clothing repair. Possible to do with just a few basic sewing skills, visible mending offers a great fix for the inevitable rips, tears, and threadbare patches that well-loved clothing inevitably experiences – plus it’s an easy way to upcycle!

Creative reuse and creative free play overlap in the Imagination Foundation’s Global Cardboard Challenge! The event combines recycled cardboard with artistry and design in order to make for some fantastic (and perhaps unexpected!) creations. Participation in the event is a great way for families, classes, and community groups to practice and promote creative reuse of materials and collaborative intergenerational art, and provides a great outlet for creative types of all ages to transfer fantasy designs from their heads to real life!

Here in western Massachusetts, we’ve done well… Where once recycling & reusing was an odd thing, now it’s quickly becoming the norm. There is still much work to be done and habits to change… This month, “Parenting Green” looks at how we can further reduce waste by switching to non-disposable consumption habits, making it a new norm for a new generation. Read on to see how you can lessen your carbon footprint and increase your impact, modeling wise habits for your children to emulate too.

Unidentified keys, trophies from the early 80’s & broken crayons… these three things can clutter up your junk drawer, attics and art supplies. Here are three unique recycling programs that recycle all three of these items for good causes. Gather items together with your kids, ask your neighbors if they have any to contribute too, then package up and ship off. These teaching moments can spark conversations with your kids about the importance of recycling and helping others.

Unwrapping gifts this morning? Have a mini-mountain of wrapping paper, or pieces strewn across your living room? Did you know that all wrapping paper is recyclable (except wrapping paper with foil)? Recycle your wrapping paper this year with your other paper…

Reuse & Recycling Rally Offers 3 Ways to Practice the 3 R’s! The Northampton Department of Public Works is sponsoring another reuse & recycling rally on Saturday, April 20th, 2013 at the Smith Vocational High School from 9am-12pm, in cooperation with the City’s ReUse Committee, the Salvation Army & ProShred of Wilbraham.  This is the third in a series of events in 2013 to promote waste reduction, reuse and recycling of unusual… Read More

Northampton’s Free Kid’s Stuff Exchange Smith Vocational High School Cafeteria Saturday March 9 from 8am-12pm The Northampton DPW’s ReUse Committee is sponsoring a free “Kid’s Stuff Exchange” at Smith Vocational High School this coming Saturday March 9th, 2013.  Pre-registration is required to participate from 8-11am, opening up to the general public from 11am-12noon. This swap meet will allow local families to exchange clothing, toys, books and sporting goods in good condition at… Read More

Pittsfield Resilience Circle Host a Repair Café Saturday, January 19th, 2013 Janet Henderson writes: What do you do with a broken toaster? Or with a bike that needs repair? Or with a pair of pants when a seam rips? Or a partially dysfunctional umbrella? Throw it away? Certainly not! The Pittsfield Resilience Circle is organizing the Berkshires’ first ever Repair Café. It will be held in Pittsfield on Saturday, Jan. 19 from… Read More

It’s a Wrap!  Time to Recycle! Unwrapping gifts this morning?  Have a mini-mountain of wrapping paper, or pieces strewn across your living room? Did you know that all wrapping paper is recyclable (except wrapping paper with foil)? Recycle your wrapping paper this year with your other paper. Also, keep in mind that all cardboard gift boxes, tissue paper, gift cards and paper shopping bags are recyclable (just no foil or glitter), and… Read More

ReUse Rally for the Arts: A Call for Artisans What can you do with old clothes, leftover non-recyclable containers, bits of string, extra drops of paint, and seemingly useless utensils? Make art! The Northampton DPW ReUse Committee is hosting an artisan show featuring work made from recycled, reused, and found materials – titled, “ReUse Rally for the Arts,” the event will both showcase interesting and radical work from local artisans, as well… Read More

Earth Day Weekend 2012 Earth Day is this weekend and there are several ways families can be eco and community minded this weekend and next. COMMUNITY SERVICE Volunteering in their community can help kids learn to appreciate the resources available to them, and spring clean-ups are a great way to get involved. Here are five community service clean-ups which families can take part in: In Plainfield the Historical Society will be planting… Read More

How are Plastic Bag Recycled? Plastic bags are a huge pollution problem! The best solution: Bag Share! Another solution: Recycling! Kids, gather around and learn how plastic bags can be recycled. Take a virtual tour inside the largest plastic bag recycling facility located in Indiana.: Giant Earth Day Ball: 2011 Head over to Pulaski Park in downtown Northampton (next to Academy of Music) on Saturday, April 23rd, 2011 to see the Giant… Read More

Leslie Reed-Evans, Executive Director of the Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation in Williamstown, MA writes: The Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation invites you to a unique and earth-friendly get-together on Saturday December 11th from 1:30 – 4:00 at Sheep Hill (671 Cold Spring Rd.) in Williamstown. Used wrapping paper, tissue, ribbon and boxes thrown away during the holidays in the USA amounts to an additional 25 million tons of trash. The “Re-Wrap afternoon” will… Read More

Solutions for the Fashionista’s in Our Lives My niece is a mini-fashionista. She has an outfit (or two) to wear for every day of the month (at least) before my sister even has to think about running a load of wash. Wait a minute. Strike that. Unless my little fashion-forward niece (did I mention she’s only 13 months old) wants those clothes to curdle in her hamper, there is a little washing… Read More

Let’s Hear It For The Bear Apparently no one told the neighborhood bear that the McIlquham’s were making an attempt to live greener and had enough forces working against them in their attempts to do so, so we most definitely did not need his/her help in thwarting our efforts. Really, every time we feel like we are making great strides forward, something gets in the way. The spring sports season rules our… Read More

A Lesson from Brazil The honking of the car horn as they approached the driveway announced their arrival. Max, who had been helping me make the bed, quickly abandoned the task (and me) and bolted down the stairs to greet his friend. Discarding the pillowcase in my hand I quickly followed suit. Menial tasks could wait: Our friends who had just returned “home” after a year in Brazil could not. Arriving seconds… Read More

I’m Going Green Crazy Hilltown mothers of the world would be proud. Two months ago my family embarked on a journey to eat healthier, but as we began our trek through the grocery stores talking about healthy eating, living, BEING it began to spark some interesting conversations. Our family began to talk about the environment. We began to think about how our unconscious stream of living was affecting the environment around us…. Read More

CET’s 15th Annual Earth Day Clothing and Textile Drive This Weekend On Saturday, April 24 and Sunday, April 25, the Center for Ecological Technology (CET) will hold its 15th annual Textile Drive to collect old clothing and household textiles for reuse and recycling. The event will be held in partnership with Goodwill Industries of the Berkshires to help celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. The collection is open to all Berkshire… Read More

Reduce, Reuse and Plan Ahead: 13 Tips On How To GREEN Your Holiday 1. Wrapping paper is now recyclable! All wrapping paper is recyclable except wrapping paper with foil, no ribbons or bows and no metallic inks or glitter. Recycle your wrapping paper at the landfill or transfer station this year with your other paper. Also, keep in mind that all cardboard gift boxes, tissue paper, gift cards and paper shopping bags… Read More

Amy Donovan, Program Director of Franklin County Solid Waste Management District writes: Gift wrap IS recyclable! Reuse what you can and toss the ripped up stuff into your paper recycling bin (Do not include gift wrap with metallic ink, glitter, or foil). When opening gifts, use a brown paper bag to capture gift wrap, tissue paper, greeting cards, envelopes and boxes. The details, from the Springfield MRF’s website: (Springfield MRF is where… Read More

Pedal People Put the Cycling in Recycling by Laura Kaliebe for YES! Magazine Alex Jarrett, 33, has never owned a car. Around town, he gets almost everywhere he needs to go by the power of his own two feet—walking or biking. So it seems only natural that Jarrett’s business, which he started with Ruthy Woodring in 2002, is bicycle-based. Jarrett and Woodring are the founders of Pedal People Cooperative Inc., which they… Read More

Is the guilt of throwing out all that wrapping paper, tissue paper and greeting cards getting to you? It’s too late to start over, but next year consider reusing this year’s wrapping paper or making fabric bag. As for now, here are some ideas on what to do with all that pretty paper:

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