Saturday family time

I often look forward to Saturdays because there is still one more day left before the work week begins again. If I don’t have a chance to sleep in, and j.w doesn’t take the kids (or leaves me one while he plays MTG), it means that we can spend time together as a family – this usually means we do our weekly shopping trip at Costco or the Kitchener Market.

A couple Saturdays ago, it was certainly a nice kind of different: we took part of a little library community build and we visited the region’s waste management site.  

Little Library – Community Build

little library materials
Little library build, gable-style

At the start of the year, I had shared with j.w two of my resolutions[1]I don’t believe in resolutions as I don’t (like to) make promises I can’t keep goals for the year, which he has helped me to meet: make our bed daily (a little step towards to tidiness) and get a little library up and running in our front yard (community).

A community build event took place and j.w put together most of the little library house. To our surprise, we now share another thing in common with our neighbours two houses down: not only do our sons share the same first name, but they also have the same gable-style library that they picked up the same morning!

Sometime this summer, I aim to paint/stain it, seal it, and then put it up with some family-friendly reading, primarily books in the Christian and children genre. While there are plenty of other little libraries with children’s literature, I wonder what the uptake will be on Christian books. I have other little ideas for it, including maybe a Facebook group to post what’s available, a NFC check-in tag, as well a QR tag to track the location and review of the books that go through our little library – those are lofty ideas, so we shall see.

Waterloo Region Waste Management – Open House

Recycled material
Cubes of compacted recycled cans

After a morning of building most of the little library, we rushed to the waste management site. I had signed us up to go because of Bean’s interest in garbage trucks and buses – a school bus was to take us on a tour of the site, with pauses at the current landfill, and a stop at the recycling centre. If their goal of open houses is to send an environmental message home, I think it achieved it with our family; it probably ended up being the most educational for us, the parents. Here’s what I learned:

  • The (now world-wide) blue box recycling program started in Kitchener
  • The waste management site “hires” two hawks to send seagulls away a few times a week
  • Mount Trashmore, our local popular tobogganing hill, was discontinued as a landfill in the ’70s
  • Landfills that are at max capacity are capped with ceramic before being topped with soil and grass
  • Items you throw in the garbage that you know are biodegradable or claims to biodegrade in X days won’t actually ever if it ends up in the landfill because the environment isn’t right for it; it actually gets packed down (sort of WALL-E-like), so it lacks oxygen and organisms that break it down
  • A tarp-like sheet goes over every layer of garbage to keep it from blowing away and fumes and moisture are sent through pipes, where the methane gas is collected and converted into energy; I didn’t see any burning pipes anywhere, nor did it smell nearly as bad as the one we used to drive back next to Highway 1 back home before it got converted to a driving range

You could say that we unknowingly took part in some Earth Day weekend activities, with a specific focus on recycling / reusing (books in the community instead of the garbage, and learning about recycling operations in our city). It felt like a long day, but it wasn’t even mid-afternoon yet by the time we finished! While I do enjoy doing our regular stops, after this past Saturday’s activities together as a family, I find it’s worth waking up early if it means doing something different.

Some neat upcoming events in May around #kwawesome that you could do with your family, a date, or friends are:

  • Saturday, May 7, 9-10:30a Coffee walk around Downtown Kitchener (DTK)
  • Sunday, May 8, 2p Coffee tour bike-ride on Spur Line Trail
  • Friday, May 27, 6-7p Listening choir DTK (probably not suitable for families with little ones, as they will likely get impatient or lose attention since there’s no speaking and you stand and appreciate the urban noise) – other dates are also available

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