Category Archives: Repurposing

Ways to Have a Green Christmas

Here are a few ways you can make this Christmas season more eco-friendly:

green christmas1. Buy Less 

Gifts can fit a practical need and need to be bought new, while other are gestures of thoughtfulness. Find gifts that fit without overspending. 

2. Christmas lights

Solar LED lights are the most energy efficient lighting options. Convert those older light strings to save money this holiday season.

3. Wrapping paper

Instead of wasting loads of money on wrapping paper, save your children’s artwork throughout the year and wrap your presents in them. The kids will love seeing their masterpieces being handed around the family. Also, consider using gift wrapping paper from recycled materials.

4. Shop online

Rather than driving around shopping centers and mall car parking lots for hours wasting gas and time, then having to plow your way through the hordes of people in the shops, consider shopping online.

5. Reuse

Reuse or recycle gift packing materials, Bubble wrap can be stored for reuse, or recycled.

6.  Use eco friendly wrapping paper

Choose wrapping paper made using fibers such as hemp or paper using recycled content.

7. Make a list

Make your list and check it twice… Make sure you make a list of all the people you would like to give gifts to, this will reduce the amount of spontaneous purchases. You will also have the time to research online for the cheapest and best options or purchase.

8. Durable decorations

When purchasing decorations, buy good quality or make them yourself from reusable or recycled products. Good quality decorations may cost more up front, but they won’t need to be replaced as often

7. Christmas tree choices

Whilst artificial Christmas Trees last longer, the plastic used to make them can be quite toxic to our environment. Consider purchasing a real Christmas Tree or better yet substitute with an native tree. You can keep it in a pot through the holiday season than plant it in your backyard at the end of December.

8. Green gifts

Consider only purchasing eco friendly gifts. These gifts will tend to be unique will lighten your footprint this holiday season. The products available are often made from recycled goods or are made only of sustainable products and consist of eco friendly packaging.

9. DIY cards and gifts

Make your own cards and presents – these gifts are more likely to be treasured, extending their life cycle. You can also reuse last year’s cards by using them to make gift labels for this year.

10. e-cards

Instead of sending traditional Christmas Cards to family and friends, which cost both money and resources, reduce your carbon footprint by sending an e-card with a personal message.

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Green Tip: Recycle Your Printer Cartridges

An estimated 375 million inkjet cartridges are disposed of each year in the U.S. and a staggering 73% of them are only used once. The stats for laser jet printers are no better. This is both a waste of resources and money. Now you can recycle your cartridges and contribute to the materials used to produce remanufactured cartridges.

Many cartridge companies have the capability to reuse almost 100 percent of used cartridges to produce new ones, adding only new ink. It takes about 80 percent less energy to remanufacture the cartridge plastic compared to producing a ink cartridge it from new materials. Also, remanufactured laser cartridges use about half the amount of oil needed to make new cartridges. The process of recycling cartridges saves more than 38,000 tons of plastic and metal from going into the landfill.

You can also reduce your consumption by printing less. Not only will this save cartridge use, but it will also save paper. When your cartridge does run out, there are plenty of options that should be considered. You can recycle it in the following ways:

Reasons to Re-Use Ink and Toner Cartridges

  • Re-using and recycling cartridges uses less energy and resources. It takes around a half gallon of oil to make just one typical laser printer cartridge. This goes to show that every cartridge saved makes a big difference.
  • Oil is a non-renewable material and re-using and recycling cartridges conserves oil.
  • Printer cartridges also use aluminium and steel and these resources are also preserved when cartridges are re-used.

Ways to Re-Use Cartridges

  • Refilling: One way to get the most use out of your printer cartridges is to refill them. Refilling your printer cartridges is far more economical than buying new ones.It should be noted that cartridges can only be refilled a limited number of times before they need to be replaced. The average is three times.
  • Professional refilling: For those that don’t want to take on the refill process themselves, there is the alternative of having empty cartridges managed by an outside organization. This is not as economical as refilling cartridges yourself but it may be more convenient.
  • Recycling: Often the same companies who collect cartridges for refilling will also collect ones which can’t be refilled. They will often pay a fee for every cartridge recycled and they will ensure that the cartridges are either re-manufactured or recycled safely and kept out of the landfill.

Purchasing New Cartridges: Buy Green

When you do need to buy a new cartridge, the greenest choice is to buy re-manufactured cartridges. These cartridges are less expensive than brand new ones and they come with a guarantee to work as well as new cartridges.

Make Cartridges Last: Use Less Ink

  • Use draft quality where possible. If you’re just printing something for yourself or internal distribution, draft quality is usually fine and saves a lot of ink.
  • Print in black and white rather than color wherever possible. This uses a lot less ink and color ink is considerably more expensive.
  • If you are printing a lot, consider whether printing two sides to a sheet in a landscape format would work.
  • It can be more economical to print photos as a professional printing shop.

Resources for Recycling Toner Cartridges

Castle Ink Cartridges
(New York Area)
Recycle your ink and toner cartridges.
FreeRecycling Recycle Ink Cartridges and get cash! Recycling inkjet cartridges is a great fundraiser, help schools and nonprofit organizations to fundraising success or make some extra cash for you or your company.
FundingFactory
(For Organizations)
Educational and nonprofit organizations within the contiguous United States and Ontario, Canada, can earn technology, classroom and recreation equipment, and even cash through the Funding Factory Recycling Program.
eCycle Group
(California)
Recycle your inkjet and toner cartridges for cash. We have some of the best buy prices in the business. Guaranteed fast payment bi-monthly!
Toner Buyer.com Both of these companies buy empty ink and toner cartridges
Cash for Empties

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Filed under Recycling, Repurposing

Ways to Have a Green Christmas

Here are a few ways you can make this Christmas season more eco-friendly:

green-christmas

1. Buy Less

Gifts can fit a practical need and need to be bought new, while other are gestures of thoughtfulness. Find gifts that fit without overspending. 
2. Christmas lights

Solar LED lights are the most energy efficient lighting options. Worse case, convert all older lighting to some form of LED and reduce your energy cost by up to 90%.

2. Wrapping paper

Instead of wasting loads of money on wrapping paper,  use old paper bags, newspapers and school art work. If you do buy, use environmentally friendly wrapping paper. Choose wrapping paper made using fibers such as hemp or paper from recycled content. Also, reuse or recycle gift packing materials

3. Set Holiday Light Displays On Automatic Timers

Setting the light display on an automatic timer allows you to only have the lights on during optimal times, minimizing the waste of having the lights on during the overnight hours.

4. Shop online

Rather than driving around for hours and wasting time and gas, consider shopping online.

5. Cook As Efficiently As Possible

If you are cooking on an electric oven, the Environmental Protection Agency suggests that you can reduce your use of electricity by doing some of your cooking in a crock pot, which supposedly uses less electricity than an electric oven. You can also reduce your fuel consumption 

6. Durable decorations

When buying decorations, ensure you buy good quality or make them yourself from reusable products you find around your home. Good quality decorations may cost more initially but they won’t need to be replaced as often as their cheaper versions

7. Christmas tree choices

Whilst artificial Christmas Trees last longer, the plastic used to make them can be quite toxic to our environment. Consider purchasing a real Christmas Tree. You can keep it in a pot through the festive season than plant it in your backyard at the end of December. Real trees also support tree planting programs which soak up carbon from our atmosphere.

8. Green gifts

Consider only purchasing Eco Friendly gifts. You can find products available that are often made from recycled goods or are made only of sustainable materials.

9. DIY cards and gifts

Make your own cards and presents – these gifts are more likely to be treasured, extending their life cycle. You can also reuse last year’s cards by making gift labels for this year.

10. e-cards

Instead of sending traditional Christmas Cards to family and friends, which cost both money and resources, reduce your carbon footprint by sending an e-card with a personal message.

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Filed under Energy Conservation, Healthy Living, Recycling, Repurposing

What Types of Plastics Can Be Recycled?

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Plastic recycling directly affects a range of products, from drink containers, product packaging to shopping bags to piping. Plastic is nearly always the product of petroleum, which is a non-renewable resource. This fact makes recycling plastic even more important.

Plastics are identified by numbers 1 through 7. The plastic identifier is typically located on the bottom of the packaging. This code corresponds to the specific type of plastic. The list below illustrates examples of the identifier and examples of products that fall within each group.

#1 PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) – Carbonated drink bottles, oven-ready meal trays and water bottles

#2 HDPE (High-density polyethylene) – Milk bottles, detergent bottles, yogurt and margarine tubs, cereal box liners and grocery, trash and retail shopping bags.

#3 PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) – Cling free film (plastic wrap), vegetable oil bottles, loose-leaf binders and plastic pipes

#4 LDPE (Low-density polyethylene) – Dry cleaning bags, produce bags, trash can liners, newspaper bags, bread bags, frozen food bags and squeezable bottles, such as mustard and honey

#5 PP (Polypropylene) – Medicine bottles, ketchup bottles, medicine bottles, aerosol caps and drinking straws

#6 PS (Polystyrene) – Retail compact disc jackets, grocery store meat trays, egg cartons, aspirin bottles, foam packaging peanuts and plastic tableware

#7 Other - Three- and five-gallon reusable water bottles, certain kinds of food containers and Tupperware. Generally considered all other forms of plastic not included in #1 – #6.

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The Best Recycled Christmas Trees

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Ways to Reuse Cereal Box Liners

Here are a few ways to repurpose plastic cereal box liners:

  • As a sandwich baggie. Place your sandwich in the liner, wrap and go.Image
  • Use as a dog waste bag. Take them along of walks with your dog to handle their dog waste.
  • Carry them with you to use them as a small trash bag.
  • Use as shipping packing material. You can bunch to use as padding or fill with air and close  to make an air pillow.
  • Use as a wet/soiled clothes divider in your suit case or gym bag.
  • Bags can be used as a portable food container, such as packing trail mix or snacks on outdoor excursions.

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