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Who Says It’s Junk?

Are cardboard tubes really junk? Or things of beauty? It's all in the eye of the beholder.
Just old cardboard tubes? Or raw material for an invention? Photo courtesy of Shutterbug75 and Pixabay.

When my son was little, he was an inventor.

“This isn’t junk,” he would proclaim upon finding the latest quirky pebble or bottle or box or bit of string. “You can make it into things!”

He would stash his treasure into the oversize junk-into-things box that lived in his closet. And when the Muse struck, he’d transform his bits of junk into something new and sometimes beautiful and (always!) interesting.

Turning diapers into sticky notes

I thought of my son’s junk-into-things box when I read Sarah Faulkner’s Science Daily article on turning diapers into sticky notes.

Sticky notes help me remember things.
Photo courtesy of RitaE and Pixabay.

Recycling diapers isn’t a new idea, but until recently, only the biodegradable cellulose components could be repurposed. New research has made it possible to break down the other components of diapers. These are super-absorbent polymers, which can now be converted into pressure-sensitive adhesives for bandages, tapes and—you guessed it!—sticky notes.

Creating adhesives from recycled polymers rather than petroleum could significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions and reduce global warming. And it could keep 3.5 million metric tons of soggy bum-wrappers out of landfills each year.

True confession

I don’t know how I ever lived without sticky notes.

My desk holds an assortment of sizes and colours. I’ve got plastic stickies, paper stickies and even stickies mounted in old-fashioned matchbooks. (I bought the matchbook stickies because they were cute, but they’re a real pain to pull out of their covers.)

I use stickies for everything—reminders, notes about interesting info, flags for important pages, etc., etc. They’re a lifesaver! And a crutch.

I often wonder if my memory would improve if I were forced to rely on it instead of relying on sticky-note reminders. My baba Lesoway had a memory like a trap and she’d never heard of sticky notes. She wouldn’t have used them even if she had. I still remember how incredulous I was when I learned Baba couldn’t read or write. “That’s impossible!” I protested. “Baba knows everything! And she remembers everything!”

As for me, all I can say is thank heaven for sticky notes.

Laptop covered with sticky notes.
Photo courtesy of Gerd Altmann and Pixabay.



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