May Day Tips

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 3:27pm

May Day is a traditional day of spring celebrations calling to mind May baskets and Maypoles. Or it is a day to unite workers around the world for better working conditions? May Day is also an internationally known call for help and assistance. As we infuse our daily lives with the sight, smell, taste, sound and feel of spring, and the quickening sense of our living earth, we must also heed its mayday call.

The lengthening days of May, when sunny, call us outdoors. We cannot help but be drawn outside to dewy mornings, and warm afternoons tilling gardens, tending seedlings or pruning and planting trees. And, there is nothing better than an evening walk listening to a chorus of spring peepers accompanied by the “cheeries” of robins settling down for the night, and the buzzy “peeents” of courting woodcocks.

May’s flowers however, are nothing without rainy nourishment. So, on rainy May days, why not heed the earth’s call for help and explore an unlikely venue: the R.I. Resource Recovery Corporation’s (RIRRC) website at Here you will find loads of resources to help each of us change our habits in little ways that can make big differences when it comes to assisting Mother Earth. For instance, consider the “three Rs” — Reduce, Recycle and Reuse. No matter how much we know about this basic principle we can all learn and do a little more. Here are three ways the RIRRC can guide you.

• Reduce — Backyard compost bins are available for purchase at RIRRC Administrative Offices (Building A), Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. The bins hold 11.5 cubic feet of material and are made from recycled content plastic. The bins are easily constructed, needing no tools, and only require approximately three feet of backyard space. They are $40 each. If you are a Facebook user and “like” RIRRC at, you can get yours for $25!
These great bins will also be available at the University of Rhode Island’s East Farm Spring Festival in South Kingstown on May 11. (

And, back by popular demand, the Ocean View Foundation will facilitate pick up and delivery (at OVF’s annual Earth Mothers Day & Pavilion Celebration on May 12) of these compost bins. Call me (Kim Gaffett) at (401) 595-7055 for details.

• Reuse — Check out RIRRC’s “Materials Exchange” program. “If it’s reusable stuff you’re looking to unload, then this is the place for you! From office furniture, copiers, barrels, pallets and equipment, to couches, TV’s, tools, toys and much much more. Whether you’re a business, a homeowner, or a renter-visit our materials exchange websites and post the items you want to give away. You’ll be saving money on trash disposal and helping to save space in the landfill. It’s easy and it’s free- just register and post! Remember, before you throw it away, you may be able to give it away.”

• Recycle — Today most of us have the basics of recycling down, but there are always a few clarifications needed. Do you know: that you can now recycle all plastics including deli containers; you cannot recycle used pizza boxes, what to do with compact florescent bulbs? A great resource exists at the RIRRC website called Recyclopedia: Your A to Z List of Recyclables — “a comprehensive A-Z listing of materials and instructions on proper recycling and disposal. Recyclopedia is complete with links to the resources you need to responsibly manage your waste and protecting the environment”.

For more opportunities to enjoy the wonders of May’s days and to learn more about how to answer earth’s May Day call, join these May Ocean View Foundation events and programs:

May 7 at 8 a.m.: Crazy-as-a-Coot Bird Walk, call (401) 595-7055 for location
May 9 at 7 p.m.: Sunset Walk, at Andy’s Way — wear your boots
May 12 at 11:15 a.m.: Earth Mother’s Day & Pavilion Celebration at OVF Pavilion
May 13 (maybe): Shad Bloom
May 21 at 8 a.m.: Crazy-as-a-Coot Bird Walk, call (401) 595-7055 for location
May 21 at 7 p.m.: Environmental Film & Soup, (Truck Farm) at the Island Free Library
May 23 – World Turtle Day
May 25 at 7:45 p.m.: Horsefoot Walk, watch for details
May 25: Full Horsefoot Moon
May 31 at 8:30 p.m.: Twilight Walk & Night Sky, at the Hodge Preserve, Corn Neck Rd.