Sunday, August 10, 2008

Local Woman Takes Care Of Mother (Earth)

Enthusiasm is contagious. Just ask the people who donated 300 shoes to Nike’s Re-use a Shoe Program in Mendham (Middle school?), because eco-lover Anna Hackman, got them excited to do so.

“Little ones change their shoes every six months or so,” Hackman cheerfully said in relation to the Re-use a shoe program, which gives people the opportunity to give in their old shoes so they can be recycled, remade, and given to less fortunate people.

“We maybe made a difference in underprivileged kids,” Hackman says.

The Re-Use a Shoe Program is just one of the many eco-friendly projects the mother of four and, as she puts it, real estate lawyer by trade (“I don’t have the impact as a lawyer as I have for this,” she says in relation to her many projects) gets herself into.

Starting out about five years ago taking on eco-building and recycling full time, Hackman also runs a popular blog called, Green-talk. Here at the blog, she knows almost as much about garnering people to read her Earth conscious articles as she does about keeping the Earth healthy.

“It’s a very personal blog,” Hackman says, “[and] I educate people on new ideas and personal perspectives.”

New ideas and personal perspectives such as how to use the salad containers from the fast food restaurant, Wendy’s, as a way to hold seedlings in a garden.

“My kids are fast food freaks,” Hackman jokes.

Or ways to use your expired credit cards so that you don’t have to throw them out in the garbage, a technique she also used in indicating place markers in her own personal garden.

“I cut up the credit cards into little strips and used them as markers for my seedlings,” she says.

Hackman herself knows that going green isn’t the easiest thing in the world to do. And that’s why she tries to come up with as many fun, and, more importantly, easy methods for people to get involved. Such as her work on Green Disc, where she collects old CD’s, DVD’s, and other forms of electronic media, and requests that people give them to her so she can recycle them herself.

“If they don’t give it to me, it might end up in a trash can,” Hackman says.

Or worse. But Hackman doesn’t stop with just shoes and discs. The self-proclaimed eco-builder who can find a second life for almost anything, even recycles items that aren’t typically found in blue and green boxes inside of restaurants and other public places—Socks.

“I found a woman in Israel who takes them and makes sock slippers out of them,” she says, and also admits that she gives any other old socks to the Morristown Mission, where the fabrics are reused and made into a profit. “They’re called tattered fabrics,” she says, “they don’t want you calling them rags.”

Whatever they’re called, they’re putting the Earth back on the right track. And you can bet a small part of that is because of Hackman’s great care and enthusiasm to get the job done.


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