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50 Shades of Green

Composting is only one way creative people are avoiding waste. From art to ecology, the alternatives are as wide as your imgination.

Rethink Recycling Sculpture
    High-schoolers were up to the challenge of Maryland Department for the Environment’s 11th annual Rethink Recycling sculpture contest. Students in 22 high schools from across Maryland imagined new uses for everyday waste, from rusted machines to aluminum foil to water bottles.
    No Anne Arundel or Calvert County schools rose to this year’s challenge; Calverton School signed up but didn’t meet the deadline.
    From 59 entries, first lady Katie O’Malley chose four favorites: a hand-stitched American flag, a seven-foot dolphin, an octopus and a Recycling Queen.
    Brittany Buck (Walkersville High School, Frederick County) made her life-sized queen with a milk-jug head and torso and plastic-bottle skirt. Everything was recycled down to her fingernails, which were soda can tabs, and her hair, made from curled magazine paper.
    Carlie Waganer (Liberty High School, Carroll County) enjoyed the irony of making a cow out of milk jugs in her sculpture, Got Milk.

Recycle Empty Oyster Shells
    Now you can join restaurants and caterers in returning empty oyster shells to the Bay.
    The Shell Recycling Alliance is part of the Oyster Recovery Partnership’s plan for reoystering the Bay. Old shell is the best habitat for new families of oysters and the communities they support. Your shell will help swell this year’s total return to 7.5 million shells. Billions of baby oysters await your contribution; four billion have been planted over the last decade.
    Drop off your shells Monday to Saturday, 8am-4pm, at any of Anne Arundel County’s waste management centers:    100 Dover Rd., Glen Burnie; 389 Burns Crossing Rd., Severn; 5400 Nutwell Sudley Rd., Deale.

Social Networking for Trash
    Do you like a trash-free Potomac?
    The cause now has its own social network, so people like you can jump from virtual reality to actuality. On the Trash Free Potomac Network, you can gather a following, volunteer, register a cleanup and find workshops to help make the Potomac trash-free.
    “The Trash Free Potomac Network is helpful in fostering and facilitating movement in the community in a year-round clean-up,” explains Lori Arguelles, executive director of the Alice Ferguson Foundation, the force behind a Trash Free Potomac. “Now we’re not just collecting data once a year in our annual cleanup.”
    Since 1989, the Foundation’s annual cleanup has freed the Potomac of more than six million pounds of trash. At this year’s pickup, fourteen hundred volunteers collected 262 tons of trash, including 185,300 pounds of plastic bottles.
    Connect with other volunteers, organizations, businesses and governments who are involved with solving the litter problem in the Potomac; register your event, or find one, at