Yikes! My desk is spilling over! But before attacking a new topic, updating older stories may relieve some desk mess. How about reporting good news for a change?

Recycling, was one of the first topics I addressed in this space. I’m proud to relay the baby step made by an American company that found a use for “post-consumer bottles,” the product label proclaims.

Don’t just hurry — RUN — to pick up a new pet bed, stuffed with the equivalent of nine two-liter plastic bottles, shredded into the softest, fluffiest fiber a pooch has ever snuggled into. Or buy another to replace that worn meditation pillow that hurts your ankles. They’re washable and probably pest resistant. Plastic trash destined for the landfill now has a use!

Our pup’s new bed came from Atwood’s but check other big box pet departments for products made by Dallas Manufacturing Co. Inc. (www.brinkmannpet.com) Macey voted hers four paws up.

Another company that’s trying to keep plastic waste out of waterways is Stasher. Their reusable, sealable silicone bag doesn’t contain BPA, latex and other bad things and is 100% recyclable when it finally gives up the ghost. The Stasher Reusable Silicone Bags are very pricey but they push the buttons of a committed conservationist.

Anyone who has ever washed out slightly used zipper bags to keep them out of the landfill needs at least a few of these, so treat yourself to one of the many sizes, assortments and colors at stasherbag.com.

Another positive news item from the Los Angeles Times was California ‘s legislative effort to require manufacturers to revamp their packaging by 75% by the year 2030. That’s what it will take to change the retail landscape without the federal government studying the problem for decades. California has the fifth largest economy on the planet so if Texas joined in, every manufacturer would hear clearly that people want to reduce pollution and waste. Imagine not needing a machete to get into a plastic shrink-wrapped object!

No daylight yet on DST

Speaking of Legislatures not listening to constituents, I’m still ticked that the “Texas Year-Round Standard or Daylight Saving Time Measure” — broadly endorsed by citizens and representatives alike — did not get on the upcoming Nov. 5 ballot. The House Joint Resolution 117 easily passed but somehow HB 3784 didn’t come together somewhere for the referendum to happen. Bummer.

Remember that on Nov. 3 when Daylight Saving Time ends. Again. We go to the polls two days later. If anyone had thought this through, there would be fewer cranky voters who show up to decide on the proposed Constitutional Amendments.

Driver license

renewal headaches

The daylong lines at the Texas Department of Public Safety offices across North Texas may be older news, but the lines hadn’t totally disappeared when I went through the Commerce Street-California Street intersection the other day. Drivers from surrounding metropolitan counties have kept the Cooke County DPS office full, which we discovered one August morning when my DH arrived at 8:10 a.m. and became number 82 in line.

Here’s a flash. Drive to Bowie. The pretty 50-minute ride, assuming it’s not icy, is quicker than waiting all day sweating on the sidewalk. Don’t make my mistake of thinking your expiring license is sufficient ID. Find your passport or dig for the birth certificate but don’t go until you do. DPS will not renew your driver’s license without that proof of identity. The new license with the gold star in the corner will be mandatory in October 2020 to use as personal identification. The federal REAL ID Act takes effect then.

But making two trips to Bowie in the same day was lots nicer than standing in line for hours when it’s 100 degrees. Yeah, guess who screwed up?

Treat a library with respect

Lastly, a word about our local Little Free Library boxes, of which there are at least seven or eight around town. I’ve been surveilling them recently. The good news is that they are being used. When you see a LFL box, stop and peek inside.

The bad news is that some users are taking “free” for granted. The messy state of the boxes is really disrespectful. The glass window was broken out in one and the books left got wet. Another was mistaken for a microwave, with packages of dry food mixed in with the jumbled books. Another LFL was the dumping ground for aged religious magazines. Others seemed to be giving but not receiving books in return.

Not to sound like Ann Landers, but come on! Parents, please monitor your kids and teach them the right way to treat books and some manners besides. You adults are encouraged to use the LFLs, but leave enjoyable reading material you want to share with someone else. There are other places in town that accept books and deal with nonfiction material.

The Little Free Libraries are meant to encourage people of all ages to read and share. Please don’t mess up a good thing. While you’re there, do a good deed and straighten up the titles for the next user’s enjoyment.

That’s my two cents for now.

Shelly Kuehn is a resident of Gainesville and a volunteer on the Gainesville Daily Register’s 2019 reader advisory board.

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