Isla Mujeres Mystery ~ Lynda L. Lock
Local artist, Victor Villegas, recycles old light bulbs into whimsical plant hangers and jewel-like chandeliers.  

It’s a fascinating use for something that would normally end up in an overcrowded garbage dump or landfill site.  Tiffany Yenawine Wareing clued us in on the artistry of Victor Villegas.  
As for other unwanted items, Mexico’s recycling program is still very much in its infancy, giving me pangs of guilt about what we toss out. 

Items that are still useable, but not needed in our household go to local friends or are set out on the curb for anyone to pick up and hopefully put to good use.  Things made of copper are highly prized by scrap collectors.  

Aluminum and tin have some scrap value

Aluminum beverage cans have some value.  Tin cans have a much lesser scrap value.  I put the cans in a separate bag so the garbage guys can easily add them to their personal stash of good stuff.   Large cardboard boxes, the types used for TV’s, computer, appliances are flattened and left at the curb for the city trucks for pickup. 

At various locations around the island there are wire bins for recycling plastic beverage bottles.  The plastic bottle recycling program was originally started by Friends of Isla Contoy, with funding from PEACE and various island businesses. 

I asked a few folks, and it seems that items such as broken plastic patio furniture, plastic bags or yoghurt containers are not wanted; they cause a huge problem with sorting and recycling.   The bins are a small start on being environmentally responsible. 

Some glass beer bottles are recyclable.  Purchasers pay a hefty deposit for the bottles when buying a complete case at the suppliers. To get a refund the purchaser must return to the original location with the receipt, all of the beer bottles and the case.  This is the biggest reasons bar operators don’t want their customers walking out with a beer bottle in their hand.  If you want to drive with a beer in your hand, just don’t do it with their expensive recyclable bottles!
Cleaning up veggie and fruit scraps
With compostable items such as fruit and vegetable scraps our daytime herd of semi-tame iguanas do a good job of cleaning up.  Anything they don’t want the night-shift of hermit crabs is happy to consume.  Pretty much everything else gets tossed in the waste cans.  It pains me to throw away so much stuff! 
Then I had a middle-of-the-night epiphany; why not ask some of the local charities and service organizations what new or gently-used items would be useful to them.

Can be recycle to students in need of gym shoes
Tiffany Yenawine Wareing enthusiastically responded with a number of good ideas.  

Gently used sneakers for the students who need them for gym classes would be welcome, even adult sizes because many of today’s kids have larger feet.  Old or mismatched housewares will be recycled for the domestic violence shelter on the mainland – the Continental Zone area of Isla Mujeres.  Contact her via her FaceBook page, or drop off donations at Marina Paraiso’s office.
Hey, we’d like to go for a walk with you!
Eileen Regn at Isla Animals said they are always looking for used sheets, towels, and stacks of newspaper to help out with their bi-weekly spay and neuter clinics.  Pet cages, carriers, dishes, collars and leashes are welcome.  And there are plans for a larger clinic/shelter so additional household or office type items would be gladly accepted.  You can contact Isla Animals via their FaceBook page if you have items to donate, or stop by their current location at the entrance to the Mundaca Hacienda Park.  You can also donate your time and a bit of love by taking a homeless dog for a much needed walk.

2014 Diabetes Clinic
Karen Rosenberg, organizer for the annual Diabetes Clinic said they would happily accept any unopened current-date products for diabetics.  

She also asked that we remind everyone about the upcoming clinic September 21st starting at 9 am, at the Cruz Roja (Red Cross).  

Diabetes is now the number one cause of death in Mexico, so please spread the word to other islanders.
Karen says: “We have 200 glucose meters to distribute and many strips, and lancets.  No insulin or pills but the doctor from the Cruz Roja is going to be part of the clinic along with 4 nurses and EMT’s who are Islenos!”
Well, my thought processes have wandered from tin cans and bottles, to stray dogs and old towels but you get the drift; just a reminder to put a little thought into what you toss out, and what you recycle. 
It’s a beautiful paradise we live in, let’s keep it pretty.
Hasta Luego
Lynda & Lawrie

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2 Replies to “What a Bright Idea!”

  1. Lovely article, and now I will look for the weekly 'Notes' here instead of via email. I love getting my Isla Fix when I am not there
    . We will be back in 6 short weeks. See you soon!


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