Edgartown: Recycling quest

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I started writing this week’s column in the car on the boat, returning from another successful dance competition weekend in Tewksbury. That one makes this year’s season a done deal. We now continue on with prep for the June recital at the PAC, plus work at school and Copper Wok, the eighth grade trip to D.C., and all the other year-end activities. Time is flying by. I sometimes think I spend the vast majority of my life on a hamster wheel. Anybody else feel the same? I have to admit I have spent some serious time fantasizing about retirement this winter, which is something that never even crossed my mind before. In the meantime, I’m going to keep that hamster wheel spinning.

Signs of spring are everywhere, from flowers blooming to increased traffic to more people out walking, biking, and running. And a sure sign of spring is that Felix Neck’s Fern and Feather Day Camp registration is open. Fern and Feather has been bringing campers and nature together on Martha’s Vineyard since 1964.

Other happenings at Felix Neck are Citizen Science Trainings. On April 25, from 5 pm until 7 pm, and Sunday, April 28, from 1 pm until 3 pm, learn about osprey and help our Island osprey population by becoming a nest monitor. Or on May 1, from 5 pm until 7 pm, and May 4, from 1 pm until 3 pm, join the effort to gather data and help preserve this ancient marine species. And during vacation week, from April 15 through 19 from 8:30 am until 3 pm, join the Martha’s Vineyard Environmental Educators Alliance to explore different island properties, learn about wildlife, grow food, make crafts, sing songs, listen to stories, and much more. For any and all Felix Neck activities,call 508-627-4850 or visit massaudubon.org/felixneckcamp.

April 20 is the 27th annual Earth Day beach cleanup, brought to you by VCS. Join the Island-wide community effort to clean up our beaches! Take a walk along our shoreline collecting trash along the way. Afterward, head on over to the afterparty at Sailing Camp Park in Oak Bluffs from 12 to 2pm! Don’t forget to BYO plates and cutlery for this zero-waste event.

Happy birthday wishes go out to Carla Cooper on March 31, Julie Williamson on April 2, Deb Alpert on April 5, Patty Gazaille on April 6, and Heidi Cook and Brad Hill on April 7.

April break starts at 2:40 pm on April 12. This vacation doesn’t seem to bring as many travels as February break does, so be on the lookout for kids running around. They are liable to be out and about, particularly if the weather is nice.

Parent-teacher conferences will be on April 23, 25, and 29. Pickatime opens to schedule your conferences at noon on April 5. Check the school webpage at edgartownschool.org for the link to Pickatime.

So I’m on this quest. I blame Sarah Vail. And I’m grateful to her at the same time. Our STEAM class has focused on recycling, and I have learned so much. Mostly I’ve learned that I, like many, use way, way too much plastic. Recycling is not working. China isn’t taking our stuff, so places are just storing all this plastic stuff up, if they are taking it at all. And recycling is complicated. What can be recycled? What can’t be? What are the rules? And so on. The major takeaway from all of this is that we need to use significantly less plastic. To that end, I’m trying to give it up. I’m also trying to go chemical-free with health and beauty products. But I notice that many of them come in small plastic containers. What to do, what to do? So now I’m researching chemical-free products in eco-friendly packaging. The biggest problems thus far for me are toothpaste and laundry detergent. If anyone has suggestions, I’m all ears.

The other change I’m making is trying to decrease food waste. Again thanks to Sarah, I watched “Just Eat It,” in which a couple vows to subsist off food waste for six months. It was fascinating, scary, and oddly inspiring. I don’t intend to go dumpster diving for meals, as they did, but I do intend to cut down on our extensive waste as a family. One new thing I’m trying, thanks to Noni Garvin, is that I ordered from Misfits Market. They will ship organic produce to you at a fraction of the cost of the grocery store. Why? Because it isn’t aesthetically pleasing, and thus cannot be sold in stores. Check out their website at misfitsmarket.com. I would also highly recommend the movie if you have the chance.

That’s all for now. Have a great week.