A fantastic elastic idea (Day 311)…

elastic ball

Steve Ottridge, from Vancouver, wrote to Green as a Thistle with this idea:

“I save all the little rubber bands that come around my newspapers in the morning. Interestingly the Globe comes with 2 or 3 bands whereas the Post has but one band. About twice a year, I leave them all for the carrier and he reuses them for the next [period of] time (I leave them all for the Post carrier because he uses the least).”

Well, I have to say, for all the wrong my newspaper does in terms of the environment, it makes me happy that we’re finally doing something right. I mean seriously, Globe and Mailmultiple elastics? (On a side note, I’ve heard the Globe also gets delivered in a plastic sleeve each day — boo!)

This idea of collecting rubber bands, though, makes for a perfect Simple Saturday change. I’m not sure that I’ll bother giving them back to the carrier, unless he or she expresses a real interest in this, but I’m sure I can find some use for all of them. Maybe I can make one of those giant elastic balls à la Pee-Wee Herman (oh wait, that was a tin foil ball), or bring them into the office and fling them at Terence Corcoran when he’s not looking.


11 Responses to A fantastic elastic idea (Day 311)…

  1. Hellcat13 says:

    Nice easy-peasy idea. Our Citizen rarely comes in either an elastic or a bag…Occasionally a plastic bag if it’s pouring rain outside. Usually, though, our carrier just stuffs it in the mailbox.

    In other news — Yay Team Canada! Way to win your 4th World Junior gold medal!

  2. Beth says:

    I have a giant elastic ball at work…after almost 10 years of elastic collecting it is the size of a large grapefruit…I find it handier to find an elastic if I need it than scrounging through a junk or stationery drawer.

  3. Ave says:

    Our mail almost always comes with a rubber band around it (even it is only one item). I always put one back around the outgoing mail so the USPO can reuse them.

  4. kimberly says:

    that ball looks sooo appealing. i just wanna throw it around. it makes me wish i had a cat…
    on a side note – i used to deliver newspaper when i was too young to have a real job, and they gave me this huge bag full of rubber bands. i’m almost 24 and the bag isn’t even half empty (it’s in my parents’ kitchen now). it woulda been way cooler if they’d have just given me a rubber band ball instead of that lousy never-ending bag…

  5. Chile says:

    When I was a young’un with a paper route, I had mixed feelings about getting rubberbands back from the customers. While it was great for them to return them for reuse, they were a pain because of the dirty ink on them. I didn’t have to pay for rubberbands so I hestitated to use them.

    As an adult now, I do save my rubberbands but they are mostly from the CSA produce. Those are often muddy, but can be very easily washed in a bit of water. I also do this with any newspaper bands but that requires soap as well.

    My point is, if you plan to return the rubber bands, be kind and wash/dry them first. Cold water is fine and they can airdry. 😉

  6. limesarah says:

    I don’t get a newspaper, but when I did growing up, we never threw the rubber bands out. However, I think this was mainly because that would have required remembering to throw them out, rather than just putting them on the nearest flat surface, where they then eventually got incorporated into the household rubber band population. 😉

  7. pat says:

    I find that the rubber bands that I keep from various sources (Broccoli!) tend to disintegrate with time and snap very easily. I think if they are to be recycled then it should be fast- no holding on for 10 years!

  8. steve ottridge says:

    A follow up on rubber bands. If they do snap, put them in your compost. They are fine for holding Christmas outdoor lights to the top of a trellised fence. Put band around bulb holder, pull under top of trellis and place end of loop over bulb and holder from the other side. The bands will be stretched tight and will only be good in the compost after this usage.

    My understanding is that the carriers supply their own bands, my Post carrier was quite appreciative. I’m up real early in the morning.

  9. Aimeé says:

    I too had a paper route as a kid. We had to buy our own rubber bands and plastic sleeves (for rainy/snowy weather delivery). Many of my customers saved their bands and bags for me and it was much appreciated. Sometimes the bands would snap from overuse, but I became good at recognizing bands that were past their prime – one too many snaps on the hand cause you to learn quickly!

  10. Dannah says:

    It’s a great idea really. I still find it very surprising that papers are printed and delivered. You should have seen the look I gave the paper salesman at our local farmer’s market/natural foods store. I told him it wasn’t likely for him to get many subscribers among all these tree-huggers and that I read my news online. He actually said that the entire Dallas Morning News would be subscription based come January 1, 2008. If it’s true, that paper won’t be around long.

  11. Stephanie says:

    Hm… We get the Globe, and it always comes with just one elastic, no plastic sleeve.

    However the NYT that we get on Sundays comes in a plastic bag 😦 Don’t know what to do with it yet.

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