Readers reflect about creative ways to recycle

It seems every time I write a column about recycling, I get to recycle it. Last week was no exception.

People e-mailed comments that touched me. Teri McGahee, whose grandmother made nylon stocking rugs like my mother's, said: "Your article brought a lot of reflection."

Jay Hickson said he remembers his grandfather pointing out his wedding suit in one of his grandmother's throw rugs. Then there was the one from Michelle Lubak who lived next door to my mother for 10 years in Pennsylvania. "I remember Aggie always using her stockings and rags to make things with. They turned out so awesome. Her talent sometimes went unnoticed."

Touching, yes. Because growing up I never noticed anything "awesome" about her rags, er, I mean, rugs. On a different note, I was tickled to hear of efforts to recycle in a new, old-fashioned way.

Gloria Bantekas, a founder of Gwinnett's Tiny Stitches, an organization that serves needy newborns, said, "When Tiny Stitches first started out, we took clothing we couldn't use for infants to a place in Dawsonville. It was a sort of re-run shop. The women's guild of Big Canoe bought them a floor loom which they used to make rugs ... mostly out of used denim. They were quite nice and they sold them. I have often wondered what happened to the loom."

Sue Martinson, my knitting mentor, told me, "Caron ECO yarn is 80 percent polyester and 20 percent soda bottles. On the label, it says that a scarf keeps one plastic bottle out of landfill, and an Afghan keeps 10 from the pile."

A fellow columnist, Phyllis Johnson who pens "Your Corner" for The Virginian-Pilot wrote to me about a local librarian, Jean Carideo, who used to make and exhibit quilts from men's ties. I say "used to" because Carideo said, "I realized that it was time to stop when I started picturing myself cutting up the ties of men who were still wearing them."

Rosanne Larkins of Dacula advocates the Nike Reuse A Shoe Program. "Old sneakers are ground up to make athletic surfaces such as ball fields, running tracks and playground surfaces. I've done that the last several years for Earth Day projects at Dacula Elementary School."

Donna Paige of Eatonton, wrote to say that instead of messing with recycling plastic grocery bags, she uses fabric bags from the grocery store. But what do you do with the plastic bags you already have cluttering your house? Can't you do something more resourceful than haul them off to be dealt with by someone else?

Larkins has the answer. "I haven't done it myself yet, but as part of my representing my company, Defining Time and Space, as the enviro person with the Gwinnett Clean and

Beautiful meetings I learned that similar to your mother's rugs with stockings, you can weave rugs made of grocery bags."

You can see for yourself www.instructables.com/id/Plastic-Bag-Rug/.

Susan Larson is a Lilburn resident. E-mail her at susanlarson4@yahoo.com.