GLADE SPRING, Va. — A Glade Spring woman has written a children’s book to inspire people of all ages to conserve natural resources.

Carol Doss, executive director of Upper Tennessee River Roundtable, a nonprofit organization with an overall interest in improving water quality in Southwest Virginia, said she hopes her new book, “Project Bellville: Let’s Recycle,” will encourage young people, in particular, to better appreciate the environment by starting a recycling regiment at home.

The idea to write a book had been in the back of her mind when a family member encouraged her to put pen to paper during National Novel Writing Month, an annual internet-based creative writing project that takes place during the month of November.

Participants attempt to write a 50,000-word manuscript between Nov. 1 and Nov. 30.

“My participation in National Novel Writing Month helped me get the project off the ground,” said Doss.

Her book tells the story of Sarah Sweete, a teen who becomes so interested in recycling that she convinces others in her hometown of Bellville to join her in her dreams of saving the earth.

Sarah and her best friend form a club, Bellville Conservation Champions, and encourage other students to join their cause.

The 119-page book also contains tips for recycling; quotes about saving the Earth; reduce, reuse and recycle examples; and even activities such as directions for making paper beads.

“Kids today are pretty savvy about recycling — much more than when I was younger,” said the author.

“Something as simple as recycling in your own home can have a big impact on our natural resources. Making sustainable choices can have lasting effects.”

Doss has set up a bin system in her home to hold paper, plastic, metal, glass and cardboard, each sorted in individual bags. She placed the bin in a corner in her kitchen. She suggested placing the recycling bins where you think you are going to use them the most. Recycling bins can be purchased online or at any home improvement store.

“There are many things you can save and recycle so that they can be turned into something else. Of course, aluminum cans are recycled back into cans, but plastic bags can be recycled into something as cool as park benches,” Doss said.

“Recycling prompts people to start thinking about the importance of our nonrenewable resources. They won’t be around forever. We need to not use some things, reuse other things and recycle what we can. It’s all part of the big picture to protect our environment.”

Doss became interested in the environment while working as a reporter and editor of the Coalfield Progress from 1979 to 1986.

After moving into a job coordinating litter prevention and recycling for Wise County, Doss was instrumental in launching a countywide recycling program and helped to develop a convenience center system, modeled after the system in Washington County. She assisted in creating Wise County’s first solid waste management plan.

As executive director of the Upper Tennessee River Roundtable, Doss creates projects that focus on pollution prevention, cleanup and conservation, such as creating rain barrels, restoring and monitoring streams, picking up litter and creating education programs.

Doss also is executive director of Keep Southwest Virginia Beautiful. She works with Sustain Abingdon to organize the annual America Recycles Day, sponsored by Keep Southwest Virginia Beautiful.

“Project Bellville: Let’s Recycle” can be purchased online at and in person at Glade Spring’s Christkindlmarket from noon to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8, in the Point Pavilion in downtown Glade Spring.

Learn more about how to recycle by visiting the website for Keep America Beautiful at

For a list of solid waste facilities throughout Washington County, go to

Carolyn R. Wilson is a freelance writer in Glade Spring, Virginia. Contact her at

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