Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Top Ten Reasons NOT Recycling Will Afffect You

The idea of recycling has been around forever, but only widely promoted within the last 25 years. Progress has been made, but is it enough, and have enough people been recycling? No matter what you say, some people just refuse to recycle and don't care. For those type of people, here are the top ten reasons how NOT recycling will affect you (and everyone else).

10. Increased fuel cost. Creating more aluminum, plastic, paper, textiles, and other materials from scratch will use far more energy than reusing old materials. The more new products that must be created, the more energy used. The more energy used, less fuel is available. Less fuel, higher price.

9. Your kids! Why would you want to leave this whole mess for your children to fix? Do your part now and make it easier on future generations.

8. More work and more consumer debt. The higher fuel costs rise, the more everyone will have to work to catch up with rising fuel costs. The only alternative would be to fall into debt.

7. Contaminated drinking water. Throwing away toxic materials like paint, batteries, CFL bulbs, and chemicals will inevitably find their way back into the groundwater. Public water plants can't filter out everything, not to mention it affects wildlife, too.

6. The world becomes a giant dump. Landfills everywhere, garbage smell all over the place. The earth is only so big, where are you going to put all of this garbage? The only solution is to reuse things you've used before and to not use as much stuff.

5. It's less expensive than throwing it away. Dumpsters cost money, and so does trash pickup. Recycling is free.

4. More jobs. Recycling creates far more opportunities for employment than landfills and incinerators. More jobs will stimulate the economy and lower prices of goods.

3. It kills wildlife. Creating more waste not only takes up more space that wildlife use, but they use it as a feeding ground. Animals don't know any better than to scavenge off of our food scraps and waste, and can't diffrentiate between safe and unsafe food. There are also a number of harmful contaminants and materials in landfills that will easily kill or trap animals, like fishing line, nets, and plastic can rings (the kind that are on six pack containers to hold them together).

2. Cleaner air. Creating virgin products instead of recycling in most cases uses much more energy, and creates unhealthy emissions. Continued emissions leads to unhealthy living conditions and smog.

1. This is one point that everyone will understand: money. Creating brand new packaging, metals, plastics, paper and other materials on the average uses far more energy than recycling previously used materials. Use this as your arguing point if some stubborn people don't want to see it your way. Most people will understand when you mention the money and economic factor. A good example is aluminum. As opposed to creating new aluminum, recycling old aluminum uses 95% less energy.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Cutting Down on Back to School Waste

When kids go back to school, they need things. They're rough on stuff, they grow, and things don't last long. Clothes, shoes, notebooks, pens, pencils, coats, sweaters and backpacks are all things you'd be expecting to purchase. When making your back to school purchases, try to keep a few things in mind:

  • How much packaging the item you are purchasing is packaged in.

  • Is there a recycled version of the item you are using? If you're buying paper, can you purchase recycled paper instead?

  • Do you need a bag for the items you purchased? If so, why not use your reusable bag?

  • Do they really need the item you are purchasing, or is it just something they want?

  • Are you buying "fast clothing," or durable clothing? Fast clothing could be described as any article of clothing that you know won't last more than a year or so, like Old Navy and Target (almost disposable). Purchasing more durable clothing is more economical and eco-conscious.

  • Teach your kids about recycling and show them how to recycle their jeans.

  • Buying new bedding? Try to recycle it!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Don't Let Go!

Most people love balloons. They're fun, cheap to buy, and easy to get rid of. They're cheap entertainment, and they're attention-grabbing. Unfortunately, they also are very harmful to animals, just like plastic bags. Once released, balloons will eventually burst and return to the ground. Some may still be inflated when they eventually descend back to the ground or ocean.

Turtles, whales, sharks and dolphins commonly mistake floating balloons for food, namely jellyfish. These become entangled or block the digestion of the animal, killing it. Birds are also affected by balloons released, as you can see here.

What should you do about this? Don't release balloons! The best way to prevent balloons from causing problems for wildlife is to prevent their release. Read more about what the UK has done recently to halt balloon releases on this page by the Marine Conservation Society, which was used as a source for this blog post.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Ways to Recycle your Clothing

Go Green Birds Shirt from EcoGreenBags
If you're throwing away clothing, don't! You can donate it to many local charities. Here's a list of charities and organizations that will accept your donated clothing. They, in turn, will give or sell it to other people instead of the clothing winding up in a landfill! An estimated 6% of landfills are clothing items, a statistic that doesn't need to exist.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Recycling Odd Items

Ever wondered how you could recycle your old tennis shoes? How about your computer, or old outdoor furniture? Today you can recycle almost anything, and almost anything can be repurposed. From Christmas trees to batteries, there's a place that will take them. You can find out more about recycling odd items here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Small, Simple, and Free: Recycling your Toothbrushes

Even the small things do add when it comes to landfills. Toothbrushes and razor blade handles seem small enough that they should be the least of your worries, but they can be recycled as well! You can get a postage paid envelope from here that will allow you to send up to 13 ounces for no cost. Add several at one time to be more efficient.

CF Bulbs: The Downside

There are many positives for CF bulbs (compact fluorescent--the curly ones), though there is one downside: the trace amounts of mercury. Mercury is a toxic element, and is very harmful to the environment. If you have burned-out CF bulbs, you can return them to the place that you purchased them. They will properly dispose of them there. Break a CF bulb? There are some guidelines that you must follow! Read here to see the guidelines that has given.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Finding your Local Recycling Center

There are hundreds of sites that you might come across for green living tips, but one of the better green sites out there is One of the latest posts discusses how "in the United States right now, landfills are filling up and closing at the rate of approximately 2 a day," an alarming rate.

This brings up a good point about recycling. One of the biggest impacts you can make to reduce the amount of waste you create (and without taking up too much time) is to save all plastic or metal containers and recycle them. Laundry detergent bottles and water/drink bottles will take up the bulk of this space. By changing this one habit alone and recycling these containers, you can reduce your waste by 50%! Search for your local recycling center through here.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Pepsi: "Have we met before?"

If you've picked up a Pepsi can lately, you may have noticed the green messages they're trying to spread about the benefits of aluminum can recycling. The "Have we met before?" campaign will feature messages on billions of cans of Pepsi before the year end of 2008. Messages like "Recycling could save 95% of the energy used to make this can" will be the taglines featured. They should be in stores now, so take a look!

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Future of Green Driving: The Chevy Volt

Chevrolet's concept for the Chevy Volt has been been getting some major postive attention from tree huggers, Chevy fans, and the average consumer looking to save a buck on gas. The electric-gasoline "E-REV" vehicle, that's short for "extended range electric vehicle," will be able to travel an estimated 40 miles just on the battery. This means zero gas will be consumed! Charge it up again before your next drive, and you could potentially use NO gas. When the battery is depleted, the car still gets great estimated 50 MPG. There's already a huge wait, so if you're interested, think about joining the Chevy Volt mailing list!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Greenest Hybrids

If you're in the market for a new car and you're considering a hybrid, we've compiled some reviews of some of the most popular and fuel efficient hybrids on the market today.

The Greenest Hybrids

Some of the best-received hybrids are of course, the Toyota Prius, along with the Toyota Camry Hybrid, Honda Civic Hybrid, and Chevy Malibu Hybrid. Prius by far has the market cornered with 75% of hybrid sales going Toyota's way.