Our winter seems to be breaking from typical standards. It’s been mild by our hardened expectations and seems pretty easy going, to the dismay of individuals like me who appreciate a hearty length of subzero temps.

A stint living in a freezer carries a far greater appreciation for the balmy times of spring through fall when they arrive, in my view. Plus, who doesn’t enjoy contemplating the chance of your car starting in the morning and whispering words of encouragement to the hesitating engine as it slowly comes to life. I, at least, find that a little uncertainty keeps my routine from becoming stale.

But, I digress as I wanted to highlight that we at the conservation district are sticking with past trends. We are having ourselves yet another set of activities at the library. This time for our topic theme will be recycling and repurposing throughout the months of February and March.

What does this mean? A fun activity with kids and a more informative presentation for families and adults, all tailored around our central theme of encouraging better waste management habits at home.

Similar to December, we will be partnering with the library’s Tinker Club for the youth activity. This time around though, we wanted students who attended to participate in something hands-on that demonstrates the idea of repurposing and being creative with “waste” materials.

With this in mind, what could be better suited than the STEM challenge of building a rubber-band car from recycled goods? The plan is to have kids get their creative juices flowing and put thier engineer hats on to build these simple toys and see how we can make something new out of the old. Join us on Feb. 24 from 4-5 p.m. at the Cloquet Public Library.

The adult-oriented program will be held Feb. 28 at 1 p.m. at Cloquet City Hall in the City Council Chambers. The presentation will focus on repurposing food waste into soil through the seemingly magical process of composting. We'll go through the options available in our region from backyard composting to putting it in bags and bringing it to drop-off sites.

Not to mention, the benefit this is to you in having less garbage to take out, less odor from trash and possibly money saved from turning trash into treasure. The presentation will tease in pointers on how to reduce your overall trash burden and optimize your waste.

The talk will be led by Karola Dalen, the resource and recycling coordinator from Carlton County’s Environmental Services office. Dalen is graciously sharing her time and expertise.

Her familiarity around recycling and repurposing is impressive to say the least. She is the person to reach out to for any questions you have in how to tailor food scrap recycling for your home or how to navigate the waters of what can and can’t be put in the recycling bin.

Please join us!

Chris Gass is the conservation education and outreach coordinator for the Carlton Soil and Water Conservation District. For more information about the Carlton SWCD and any of the staff's or supervisors' work with natural resources, call 218-384-3891. Find more information about Carlton SWCD on Facebook and at carltonswcd.org.