Earth Works writes me back!

Wow, it’s Thursday already! Where did the week go? It seems it was just Monday and I was getting ready to call Earth Works Systems about getting a list of companies who recycle their used gift cards.
Yesterday I received an e-mail response to my request; it seems there are a couple of big name companies using Earth Works Systems program. Here is the response:

Hi Sari,
I’m sorry I missed your call…
The GAP, Half Price Books, Whole Foods, Rite-Aid, Ace Hardware and many others are participating in returning “spent” gift cards to Earthworks. Eventually we will have a partner’s page on our web site that will list all the companies that are participating.
Here is the address that cards can be shipped to:
Earthworks c/o Halprin Ind.
25840 Miles Rd.
Bedford, Oh 44146
* Please make sure packages that are sent are sealed well.
Please don’t hesitate to call me if you have any further questions or suggestions, we love suggestions!
Regards, Rodd

During my initial call to Earth Works I was told AppleBees, and some Ohio based Starbuck are also using the program. I figure if some Ohio Starbucks can recycle their gift cards (and since they push them every chance they get like dealers with a quota to fill) the entire company can. I have set up a box at work in the hopes that my co-workers will bring their used cards in to be recycled. I have even gotten my boss to get his Boy Scout troupe in on the act. They are going to see if they can start collecting used cards.

What I would really like to see is less gift card use among consumers. It is getting to be the ideal gift for teens but do we really want to give our teens the gift of overwhelmed landfills too? Before you purchase your next gift card ask yourself if a check wouldn’t work just as well. Paper is will breakdown in left in a landfill unlike the plastic card. Ask companies if they offer reloadable gift cards; my local SaveMart will reload a card if asked.

I know it seems trivial, but every time we throw something away we are contributing to a larger problem.

Weekend reading

Well another pleasant Sunday is just about over. At least I can console myself with the achievement of having spent the day reading. I had a tough week; both of my kitties were spayed. One came out of surgery just fine. Too fine in fact, I had to rush her back to the vet the following morning because I thought she had pulled her stitches or hurt her incision. Cookie ran all over the house, jumping and climbing as if she had never had surgery. She was fine but the vet kept her for the day so I could go to work knowing she would not hurt herself. Cream was not so luck, she ended up in surgery longer than anticipated because it turns out her ovaries were deformed. Without going into the gory details, the vet had to dig everything out and almost lost her during surgery. Needles to say we had a tough 24 hours.Thank goodness for kitty pain medicine.

Last night I picked up two books from the library I had requested; Fool by Christopher Moore and I’d Rather we got Casinosand other Black Thoughts by Larry Willmore. I decided to spend the weekend reading.

Willmore’s book is a short collection of funny essays poking fun at the black culture. Willmore is not a racists, as he is a black (or chocolate as he wants to be called) writer. I found the book to be funny and intelligent.Here is an example of his humor:
Why brothers don’t see UFOs” Brothas automatically block out anything or anybody that might want to take them for a ride on a ship for an indeterminate amount of time.”
Willmore makes fun of black names, talking back at moves and The man. I laughed out loud at many of his observations. It was a nice ease into my reading weekend.

This morning I read A Rhyming History of Britain by James Muirden. It was a quick fun trip through time and wow can he rhyme. Here is some history on Edward III:
The third king Edward’s reign was stable: He even planned his own round table. Of fearless knights (with modest maids disarming them in sunlit glades).
This is a fun way to get to know the names and idiosyncrasies of some of England’s rulers.

I spent the remaining afternoon reading Christopher Moore’s Fool. The tale is set in King Lear’s court though if you are a Shakespeare fan like me, you will note the references to Hamlet and Macbeth. I could not put this book down! The character Pocket the Fool and his assistant Drool were charming. Moore can even manage to make the villains likable. No easy task when writing about murder and rape. The book, though based on The Tragedy of King Lear, should not be missed. Don’t think you have to know Shakespeare to enjoy Moore’s tale. The plot and the characters stand on their own; I think this is one of Moore’s better books.

So this is what I did this rainy weekend. I made time for myself and did what I like to do best, I read for pure pleasure. What did you do?