Last Friday’s EcoAction Roundtable (EAR) had attendees buzzing with new ideas while making great connections. The subject was Waste Stream Innovations. Short videos about the Blue Economy and an actual integrated food production project from Chicago called “The Plant” stimulated thinking and ideas flowed.

We have some great innovations already happening right here at home.

The Free Box is currently maintained by Friends of the Freebox, a group of dedicated volunteers organized by Harold Wondsel. Everyone who uses the Freebox should contribute to its upkeep. You can help haul the overflow or write a check to cover the disposal fees. Harold can be contacted (per the posting by the FreeBox) at 708-3807.

Another thought that bounced around at the EAR: harvesting useful items (like buttons and cotton for rags) before things go into the trash. One local business uses old cotton items from the FreeBox for all the rags they use.

Other ideas included installing a vertical indoor garden in a local restaurant. Jerry Green of Baked In Telluride noted he would save a pickle bucket (5 gal buckets) for reuse for any customer who requests it (first come, first served). Others wondered if we could link KOTO’s Trash or Treasure items to Telluride Freecycle and talked about joining www.streetbank.com, a site that allows you to post things you have to share with your neighbors (like tall ladders, tillers, knowledge, etc).

Several in attendance have signed up to participate in the new Zero Waste Task Force subcommittees under the wing of EcoAction Partners. These committees will look in-depth at six different waste streams – glass, compost and yard waste, construction waste, paper, to go containers– and creating a tracking system. They will come up with specific recommendations for residents, visitors, and our governments to undertake to reduce the volume of our ‘waste’ and increase the ‘Rs’ – repair, reuse, repurpose, recycle, rethink….

Could there be a ‘rags to riches’ opportunity lurking in our ‘trash’?

For those unable to attend last Friday’s session, you can get a taste of the conversation by watching two videos, both available on YouTube.

Check out The Blue Economy on YouTube for a 3:26 minute video on how the “green” economy only works for a few, while the Blue Economy can work for us all. See it at  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1af08PSlaIs

The second video is short and sweet from One Green Minute. The url is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMBxJTQqnRI.

This kind of innovative thinking is exciting, fun – and ultimately profitable.

If you have innovative ideas on ways to deal with our “waste stream,”  please contact us at info@ecoactionpartners.org or call 970- 728-1340.

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