As I was thinking about a possible Smokey the Bear theme for decorating my new trailer (with a small trailer, you can have several different decorating themes on hand for different trips—this theme would be for traveling with my grandgirls) …


when I happened upon the most darling teddy bears …

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Free Things Box

An entry in the recent Instructables Green Design Contest caught my eye:


Photo courtesy of IamWe via http://www.instructables.com/id/The-Free-Things-Box/

This simple little stroke of genius

(and generosity)

is just the sort of gesture we can all accomplish with just a dash of creativity and community spirit.

It’s called a Free Things Box.

The box’s inventor, a Dutch fellow named Berto, designed his freebie box to be placed in a person’s front yard or in a central location within a neighborhood.

What goes in it?

Small items that are no longer wanted by their owners but are still useful.

Think books, tools, toys, DVDs, garden seeds, fabric scraps, knick-knacks, etc.

“You can arrange with residents of the street that they can also put freebies in the box,” says Berto. “More people become aware to keep things out of the trash and from the landfill.”

Neighbors can add or take anything they want as long as they follow these simple rules:

  1. The box is only open during daytime hours.
  2. Take only things you can use.
  3. Take one thing at a time.

In Berto’s video (below), he shows how to make a sturdy weatherproof (and vandalism proof) box, complete with a “window for a quick look.”

Do you think this would work in your neighborhood? I’m definitely getting a box going here at the farm.





Pet Rescue

Hitch your wagon to a star?

Well, fortunately for homeless pets in the southeastern U.S., they’re hitching their wagon to TWO stars named Chamblee and Lindsay Abernethy.


These soft-hearted sisters, originally from Georgia, both moved to Boulder, Colorado, last year—but neither could forget the plight of countless unwanted pets back home. Chamblee and Lindsay soon realized that the demand for adoptable pets in Colorado exceeded the number of strays in shelters.

Their experience growing up in the Southeast had been drastically different.

The girls grew up on a farm, where they learned the heartbreak of rescuing stray dogs and cats that were often dumped along their rural road. Chamblee channeled her empathy for abandoned pets into volunteer work for a local rescue group, and over the years, an idea began to bloom.

“I always had a vision of transporting pets from the Southeast to [Colorado],” she told Mother Nature News. “There’s a great demand and no surplus. I knew that if we could tap into transporting from the Southeast, that would be a pretty amazing thing.”

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