Link-O-Rama Mama — Bike Rides, Batali Food Stamp Challenge & Repair Cafes

by Katy on May 23, 2012 · 5 comments

It’s time again for Link-O-Rama Mama, where I lazily link other people’s well written and thoroughly researched articles.

Bike to School? For Shame!

File this under “Some people be crazy,” because a group of Michigan high school seniors planned a bike to school day as their senior prank and ended up suspended from school as a result. This “prank” replaced previous shenanigans such as graffiti, painting the lockers and putting glue in the school locks. So yeah, it was awful.

This group bike ride was not only endorsed by the mayor, (who handed out donuts) but also included a police escort for safety.

However, the school’s principal saw fit to suspend the participants from the last day of school, (which will mean some of the kids won’t be able to take their finals) and initially even wanted to bar them from walking across the stage at their graduation ceremony.

Click HERE for all the bizarre details.


A One Week Food Stamp Challenge for Mario Batali

Long time readers know that I’ve held a Food Stamp Challenge on The Non-Consumer Advocate for the past two years. Now celebrity chef Mario Batali is on the bandwagon, as he and his family have spent a week conducting their own food stamp challenge, and spending under a food budget of only $31 per person per week.

Batali serves on the board of his local food bank, and was motivated to participate in the challenge “In protest of potential cuts pending in Congress to the benefit program used by more than 46 million Americans.”

Batali’s two teenage sons ate school lunches for the week, (a benefit given to those who qualify for food stamps) and it sounds like lentils figured heavily in the family’s menu that week.

Click HERE to read about Mario Batali’s food stamp challenge experiences.


Amsterdam “Repair Cafés” Fight Against Planned Obsolesence

If you’re a fan of repairing instead of replacing, that’s great. But what do you do when your idealism outweighs your actual repair skills? Here in the U.S., you might be able to locate a repair shop, but chances are, the cost of repair is close to the cost of buying new, (if not actually more expensive.) Amsterdam has come up with a solution, as they’ve put together a couple of “Repair Café” events where volunteers take apart and repair your broken items.

Funded by a grant from the Dutch government, these events help those who would rather avoid tossing repairable items such as clothing, irons and vacuum cleaners.

I love this idea, and hope some idealistic Americans co-opt this idea and run with it. I am lucky to be married to Mr-Fix-It type, but such is not the case for many. I absolutely hate throwing away should-be-fixable items, and see this as a great solution to a never ending issue.

Click HERE to read the entire NY Times Repair Café article.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Lori May 23, 2012 at 11:32 am

I don’t remember when you usually do your Food Stamp Challenge – is it June?


Katy May 23, 2012 at 1:39 pm

The first year it was June, and last year it was July. I’m not sure if I’m doing it this year though.



Samantha May 24, 2012 at 4:35 am

I’m completely baffled by riding a bike to school being a prank. I think if the school wasn’t happy with how it was carried out, maybe they could get involved and make it a school wide activity.


Jenny May 26, 2012 at 6:18 am

Love the articles; thanks for sharing. And suspending kids for biking to school in front of a police escort? Ridiculous!


EcoGrrl May 26, 2012 at 6:51 am

Yeah I heard about the awful principal suspending the students. Here’s what’s going on in my ‘hood – with no suspensions – that you might enjoy:


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