AADL at the Earth Day Festival this Sunday

Come visit the Ann Arbor Distrct Library table at the 43rd Annual Ann Arbor Area Earth Day Festival this Sunday, April 27th from 12:00 to 4:00pm! Coordinated by the Environmental Education Network of Washtenaw and hosted at the Leslie Science and Nature Center, the Earth Day Festival is a fun-filled afternoon of exploration, activities and education for all ages. Over 40 local environmental, governmental and nonprofit organizations will have tables at the festival covering a wide range of topics including live animal demonstrations, sustainable agriculture, environmental quality testing and more. There will also be local food vendors at the festival.The AADL table will have a number of our science tools available for people to try out, including our portable digital microscope.

Admission to the festival is free, and the festival is a zero waste event. Lots of recycling bins will be available and patrons are encouraged to bring their own refillable water bottles. You can read more about the festival here.

Yardscaping

Have a corner in your backyard that needs some sprucing up? Have some unused objects hanging around that you just don't want to get rid of like an old, unused metal toolbox or some scraps of copper or aluminum tubing? Well, there are several books recently published that will give the outdoor artist in you some ideas for repurposing them. The Revolutionary Yardscape is every dumpster diver, scrap hound, or flea market enthusiast's dream, providing plenty of ideas for found items like plastic pallet strapping, wine bottle corks, reclaimed lumber, pipes, empty window frames, broken concrete slabs, and scrap stone, just for starters. It includes where to find specific items like at scrapyards or surplus sales. I love the reuse of an old oxygen tank from a hospital surplus sale as a planter! I also learned about items I never knew the name of like the reuse of a bollard as a garden hose guide. Projects range from very intensive to easy and he provides the info to get you through: like how to cut difficult materials including stone, steel, or acrylic sheets, or what to use to bend metal pipes. Another great book on this same subject is Handmade Garden Projects. I found the projects easier to accomplish in this book but just as creative. The easiest project was for garden lighting called: 'Canning Jar Lanterns', a great day project to do with kids. So whether you want an outdoor project to do in a day or over the course of many, these two books should give you plenty of ideas! For even more ideas click here.

Map Madness With Decoupage

Wednesday, August 7 | 7:00-8:30pm | Malletts Creek | For grades 6th - Adults

Using colorful old maps along with torn paper collage and decoupage techniques you'll create small, decorative keepsake boxes. We’ll have all the supplies on hand, you bring the creativity! This is a great was to recycle cool paper and turn it into something new.

For more fun, check out these books featuring other projects using paper.

This event is for teens and adults, grade 6 and up.

Maker Music for Teens and Adults: Atari Punk Circuit

Friday January 4, 2013: 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This Friday, January 4, we'll be making an electronic instrument out of commonly available pieces and parts.

For this Maker Music event, the Ann Arbor Hacker-Makers of All Hands Active will be teaching people how use basic circuitry to create their own musical instrument, the Atari Punk Circuit. What's that? An Atari Punk Circuit uses an assortment of basic electronics and two knobs to allow people to create basic two-tone electronic sounds, kind of like those that used to be the soundtrack to the first video games on the Atari video game console.

Do you need to know electronics to come to this event? No, that's why we're having it! Come learn a bit about electricity, circuits, and have some fun trying out making different sounds. After you're finished, take a look at our Music Tools collection, too!

This event is for adults and teens (grade 6 and up).

Holiday Reminders You Don't Usually Think Of: When Will They Pick Up My Garbage?

There are checklists for gifts, for meals, for trips, but the one we rarely remember until the bins are full and the tree has more needles on the floor than on the branches is the exciting and much-anticipated Solid Waste Holiday Checklist from the City of Ann Arbor.

Makes you all warm and fuzzy just reading the title. And this year there is something to really knock the socks off the mantle: Single-family Ann Arbor residents can get rewards for holiday recycling by signing up with Recyclebank.

Trash and recycling will not be picked up on Monday, December 26, 2011, or Monday, January 2, 2012, due to holiday observances. Solid waste collections will be delayed one day both weeks and occur Tuesday through Saturday. Undecorated holiday trees may be dropped off—free and 24/7—in the parking lot adjacent to the Drop-Off Station at 2950 E. Ellsworth starting December 15 through January 31, 2012.

Happy Holidays and let's re-use, recycle, and re-gift all year.

Fall Leaves: Five Ways to Say Goodbye

The City of Ann Arbor Fall Leaf Management Guide offers five ways to manage leaves this fall:
-Mulching
-Compostable pickup
-Compost at home
-Free Leaf Drop-off @ Ann Arbor Compost Center
-Free Leaf Drop-off @ Recycle Ann Arbor

Grab a Rake, Help a Neighbor . . .
Neighborhood Senior Services is coordinating its 35th annual fall chore day on a Saturday, in mid-November from 10-2. Volunteers sign up online by Oct 31 at www.nssweb.org and assist raking leaves, checking smoke alarms, and helping seniors throughout Washtenaw County. 734.712.7775. Groups, individuals, and families are welcome to participate.

Save Water, Save Energy, Save Money!

Start with the Rain Barrel Truckload Sale on Sat., July 30, 9am-3pm at 37137 Marquette, Westland, MI (just east of Newburgh Road). A barrel costs $60, and the sale is sponsored by Alliance of Rouge Communities. Then on Tuesday, August 2, 8-9am, the Huron Watershed Council and Clean Energy Coalition are teaming up at a before work breakfast to teach easy techniques and show affordable tools that can help a family of four save up to $300 annually on utility bills. The event is free with coffee and bagels provided. It takes place at the NEW Center, 1100 North Main St., Ann Arbor. Contact Pam Labadie at plabadie@hrwc.org or 734-769-5123 x 602.

Enviro-Friendly Crafts

Celebrate Earth Day this month of April with some earth-friendly upcycled crafts. Keywords: Upcycle, repurpose, reclaim, remake.

For some inspiration try Recyclo-Gami: 40Crafts To Make Your Friends Green With Envy! The book is full of ideas for reusing common materials to make accessories, jewelry, household decorations, games, and gifts.

Green Crafts For Children: 35 Step-By-Step Projects Using Natural, Recycled, And Found Materials is another fun book, with kid-friendly projects reusing materials and found items you might normally discard.

For more sophisticated making, try Eco-Craft: Recycle-Recraft-Restyle, which focuses on repurposing materials into lovely designs for the home.

Check out more recycled craft projects in these books as well!

New Hours for the Drop-Off Station

drop-off stationdrop-off station

Recycle Ann Arbor's Drop-Off Station has new hours of operation. The new days and hours are as follows:
-Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8:30 a.m. ~ 6:30 p.m.
-Saturdays, 9: a.m. ~ 6 p.m.

A deficit budget has caused the cutback in hours -- see the press release for full details. The same range of services will be offered but in a more limited timeframe.

Christmas & New Year's Holiday Reminders from City Hall

clockclock

Here's the scoop on A2 services for the Holiday weeks:

-There will be no interruption of trash or recycling collection Christmas or New Year's weeks. Your regular pickup day is your regular pickup day. That's easy!

-All City Hall offices will close at noon on Thursday, Dec. 23 and reopen on Monday, Dec. 27. Likewise, offices will close at noon on Thursday, Dec. 30 and reopen on Monday, Jan. 3, 2011.

-The deadline to pay winter taxes to the City of Ann Arbor has been extended to Monday, Jan. 3, 2011 due to the City Hall closures over the New Year's Holiday.

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