Tag Archives: Recycling

Green Tip: Green Wedding Ideas

Your wedding is one of the most important days of your life, but your special day can also result in harm to the environment. It has been calculated that the average wedding can result in up to over 15 tons of CO2 that it also causes substantial environmental damage.

Luckily, if you do not have the time or know how, there are many wedding planners that specialize in eco-friendly weddings. However, there are many easy steps that the do-it-yourselfer can do to minimize waste on their special day.InvitationsOne way to cut down on paper usage, you can send e-cards or emails instead of sending out card invite. This would allow you to limit paper invites to those without computer access. For those paper invites, be sure to use recycled paper.

Flowers

The flower arrangements can be one of the most expensive and wasteful portions of the wedding. Try to get double use of the flowers by arranging to use the same flowers for the wedding and reception. The flowers could have a second life by drying and pressing the flower petals for use as handmade thank-you notes or for placement in your wedding memory book or photo albums.

After the wedding, you could dry and press the flower petals and use them to make handmade thank you cards for your guests and/or incorporate the petals into your wedding scrapbook or photo album. Also plan to have the leftover flowers sent to a hospital or a nursing home. .

Food

There are nearly always leftover food items at weddings. In the first place it’s a good idea to order the food with restraint, as people never eat everything there. If you do have leftovers, choose a venue that supports the environment and has a waste composting capabilities.

If composting is not an option, encourage guests to take home the remaining food or donate the food to a local charity.

Wedding Favors and Decorations

If you opt for favors, avoid disposable itmes that are not recyclable such as disposable cameras.  Use leftover decorations, and napkins either reusable or recyclable Go for favors which are not personalized with your names, so that they can be reused for future use.

Catering Service

This may be one of the most visible ways to make your wedding green-everyone talks about the food at a wedding. Making simple choices like using biodegradable utensils and plates that can be composted. Also choose organic and local food for the cuisine.

Honeymoons

Following the wedding, it’s time for the honeymoon. There are global opportunities for eco-tourism options that get get you fare of the beaten path. There are many companies that specialize in outdoor adventure activity and environmental advocacy. These companies promote sustainable tourism which safely connects people with the world’s greatest places and adventures. By combining the economic power of sustainable tourism with the ingenuity of those connected with nature and aware of its peril.

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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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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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What Types of Plastics Can Be Recycled?

Image

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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Make the Switch to 100% Recycled Paper

In the US, nearly 60% of our landfill waste is due to the disposal of paper products. We are landfilling our waste paper or having it incinerated at a high cost financially and on environmentally. The landfills leak toxic wastes and the incinerator Imageplants emit VOC’S (Volatile Organic Compounds) into the atmosphere.

Genuine recycled paper is 100% made from ‘post-consumer’ waste. This means the paper has been used at least once by consumers, collected, and converted back to pulp to form paper products. Consumers should look closely at paper that is labeled “recycled”. In many cases, the product may actually include pre-consumer’ paper waste — meaning virgin pulp that never left the factory.

The best paper to buy is bleach-free, 100% post-consumer recycled paper, because it uses up to 90 per cent less water and half the energy required to make paper from virgin timber, creates demand for waste paper that would normally end up in landfill, and no trees are cut down to make the paper.

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Engage Green Review

Engage Green Logo 2

Engage Green is a line of eco-friendly products such as upcycled bags, totes, briefcases, etc.   They mix an artsy design into their styles, and create quality bags that will last through all weather conditions.  They use sustainable materials to help eliminate their waste output.  Engage Green is known for its unique fashionable designs made out of Recycled Plastic [PET], Recycled Paper and Sustainable materials like Organic Cotton, Hemp and Cork.

Engage Green was born in 2007 in Brooklyn.  Engage Green believes in quality – durable luxury, made to last, made to perform well in all weather conditions. We turn consumerism into something positive by engaging what we call [The Green Cycle] – choosing the right material, creating a functional design and engaging environmentally conscious consumers.

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Benefits of Composting Toilet Systems

Full Life Cycle          

The use of a composting toilet system allows for human waste to become soil amendment for trees, landscaping and non-edible plants.

Reduce Water Use by 20% – 50% sun-mar composting toilet

The reduction in use of reticulated water for flushing, combined with the possible use of grey water can be a significant benefit in reducing home water usage.

Food Waste Management

Composting toilet systems may also be accept certain food waste, which will reduce the amount of food waste that will end up in the landfill.

Reduce Monthly Costs

The use of composting toilet system users benefit from the reduction or elimination of sewage rates and metered water billing, which can result in the savings of $400 – $650 per year.

Location Independence

Systems can be installed in a multitude of environments, including remote, high water table, lack of municipal water supply and environmentally sensitive areas.

Waste Management Facility Infrastructure Reduction

Each composting toilet system that is installed reduces the amount of waste that would need to be transported and treated at the local treatment facility. This will help to reduce some of the capacity and prolong the useful life of existing infrastructure.

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Eco Friendly Pet Litter

Green Your Pet Litter

Recently, with environmental awareness on the rise, there have been some concerns about the environmental impact of animal waste and pet litter. Pet owners are faced with determining how they should dispose of their pet’s waste most responsibly, what type of pet litter they should use, whether they in fact need pet litter and what the best way to dispose of pet litter is.

Commercial Pet Litters

There are a variety of pet litters available to buy in grocery and pet supply stores. The magnitude of choices can make it difficult to know which to choose. Two of the main types of commercial litter are are Clay-Based Pet Litters and “Green’ Pet Litters.

Clay-based pet litter is usually made from an absorbent clay called sodium bentonite. It’s clumping abilities mean that soiled clumps can easily be lifted out by pet owners, without them having to change all the litter in the tray. The only way to dispose of this type of cat litter is to send it to landfill. It can’t be flushed away. Plus, the sodium bentonite that acts as the clumping agent can poison your cat through chronic ingestion through their fastidious need to groom. Because sodium bentonite acts like expanding cement-it’s also used as a grouting, sealing, and plugging material-it can swell up to 15 to18 times their dry size and clog up your cat’s insides.

There are several other issues with the clay-based cat litters. The clay-mining processes used can be quite damaging to the environment.  Clay sediment is also permeated with carcinogenic silica dust that can coat lungs.

There are now a wide range of green pet litters available on the market. They are made of natural or recycled materials such as corn kernels, recycled paper and sawdust. Most green pet litter choices are either biodegradable or can be safely flushed down the toilet. This is a preferable choice for many pet owners who don’t want to contribute to landfill waste.

diy pET LITTER

Many environmentally conscious pet owners prefer to re-use some of their own household waste as litter for pets such as cats, rather than paying for ‘green’ pet litter or, worse, paying for commercial pet litter which is made from harmful chemicals and can only be sent to landfill.

Useful household waste and natural pet litters include:

  • Sawdust
  • Sand
  • Soil
  • Shredded newspaper; and
  • Pine leaves

Some pet owners limit their use of pet litter as much as possible. For instance, many cat owners have ‘trained’ their cats to mainly go outside when they need to go! Cats will usually bury their own waste, so do not need to be monitored or cleaned up after in the same way as dogs.

Composting Pet Litter

There is much argument over whether it is safe to compost biodegradable cat and pet litters. The arguments centre around the fact that some pet feces, such as cat and dog droppings, can contain organisms which are dangerous to humans.

However, some experts say that it is safe to compost cat and dog litter ONLY if you compost it separately from the main compost heap and well away from any vegetables. They also suggest burying the actual feces and composting the litter only.

As cat feces can cause potentially fatal toxoplasmosis, a lot of pet owners would prefer to err on the side of caution and do not compost their litter.

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Top Eco-Lifestyle Changes

1. Compost, Compost, Compost.  Start a compost pile or the use of a compost bin and make the most of your food scraps and lawn trimmings. 

2. Give Up Bottled Water. The production of plastic water bottles and the impact on landfills is significant. The long-term hazards of drinking from plastic bottles is still not fully known.

3. Walk Or Ride Your Bike. – walk your kids to school, walk or ride your bike to work and short errands. Reduce your carbon footprint and tone up by ditching the car keys.

4. Commit to Conservation. Wasting resources costs the planet and your wallet. Don’t overheat or overcool your home–a few degrees make a huge difference. Use a clothesline or manual spin dryer to dry your clothes instead using the dryer.

5. Turn it off – turn off those appliances. Turn off the lights you aren’t using. Switch the TV off at the plug each night and don’t leave your laptops and mobiles plugged in all day everyday. Not only will you be helping the environment but you will notice a difference in your energy bill.

6. Plant a tree or small plant. -  If you have a yard, plant a tree in your yard. If you do not have a yard, make a windowsill planter with a small plant. If every house in America planted one tree in their yard, it would improve air quality by 40 percent.

 7. Insulate your home. - By insulating your home you can cut your energy use dramatically. It follows that you’ll save yourself lots of money too.

 8. Start Recycling. – Get everyone involved. You can recycle not only consumer waste, but old clothes can be given new life by donating to a worthy cause.

9. Be an Green Advocate. – Teach those around you – Make sure your family, your children and your friends know the importance of making small changes in their lives that can considerably reduce their carbon footprint.

10. Ditch the Aerosol. - Stop using aerosol cans when possible. Aerosol cans deplete the ozone layer. Use spray bottles instead.

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