Feb 10, 2018 – Greetings, all! I am constantly amazed at the power that ONE PERSON can have to change something for the better, just by doing something small. What are some famous examples?The powerful movement of Pay it Forward is the first one that comes to mind. With the internet and social media, we are seeing trends and deeds spread like wildfire, sometimes for the better, sometimes for worse! (Crocs) 🙂
Now, I want to introduce you to someone known mostly as “The Styrofoam Lady”, but her actual name is Lynnette and she lives in a sweet neighborhood in NW Austin called Milwood. I lived there for 16 years and raised all my babes there; it embodies so much of what I consider perfect in a neighborhood, but that’s probably another blog post!
If you ask around in Milwood about the Styrofoam lady, I bet you’ll get big smiles and reports of: “YES! I take mine to her, too!” Recently I called Lynnette and asked for an interview because people need to know that she is someone who is truly making a difference by allowing others to BRING THEIR STYROFOAM TO HER HOUSE AND LEAVE IT ON HER PORCH! She then takes regular trips to the City of Austin’s Resource Recovery drop off center. Why does she do this? And how?!
Obesssion! It leads us in various directions, often to chocolate, but also to helping Mother Earth. Lynette told me that once she started researching the statistics, about how long, long, long styrofoam takes to break down, she knew she needed to start repurposing and recycling her own styrofoam, which she then offered to her neighbors to take theirs, since the drop off site is fairly far south. She first got the idea out to her neighbors using Nextdoor.com and word of mouth. Also, she advertises at the neighborhood’s Fourth of July Picnic every year.
Here’s what her porch typically looks like!
While this scene looks neat and tidy, Lynnette has learned through experience to set serious parameters to those of us that bring offerings to her porch! She has received lots of soiled and wet items which stole her joy immediately as it would anyone’s. She was not to be deterred though. After trial and error, she has come up with this system:
Egg cartons, ice chests, cups… Lynnette likes to repurpose!!! Sometimes the larger pieces work well for kids’ science projects, or whatever creative outlet someone might need it for. Lots of folks receive medicine shipment regularly and wind up with multiple ice chests which could work well for someone else. Also, egg cartons get distributed among those neighbors with chickens!
Lynnette is after my own heart with this behavior and I bet yours has grown too after reading this post. Maybe you’re thinking that you might collect styrofoam or corks or Box Tops or old towels in your neighborhood, too. Tap into your own OBSESSIONS and see what difference you can make! Need ideas? Peruse our Give Where You Live tab.
In my recent post about Box Tops and Pop Tabs, I encouraged each of us to embrace that the little things matter. We are all so VERY BUSY, but when you figure out a way to make it easier to spread the love, then it becomes just part of “what you do” and “who you are”! I’d love to have you message me and tell me of more people doing these things near you, or what YOU are doing in your own way.
Peace out, y’all!