/* added RDW 9may09 */ /* added RDW 9may09 */

Monday, June 29, 2009

Reuse - Repurpose Items

Ideally one use items can be replaced with multi use items - or you can find a way to give an item a second life before recycling it.

Here are some creative ways to Reuse / Re-purpose items - rather than toss them in the trash. This post came from Lifehacker ... and has ideas for yogurt cups, corks, dryer antistatic sheets, twist ties and more.

I enjoy reading Lifehacker and get their RSS feeds ... and have a link to it on this blog -- on the right hand of the post.

lifehacker LINK
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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Starbucks "Take the Mug Pledge"

Starbucks is looking to reduce the number of cups they throw away and to make their "to go" cups more recyclable.

(1) Starbucks offers 10 cents / cup discount if you bring your own mug. The image at the left shows the approx (as of June 23rd, 2009) number of mug users.

(1) Starbucks will serve your coffee in a ceramic mug if you are drinkng at the store.

Reusing our own mug - or asking for your coffee in a ceramic mug - reduces the number trees cut to make disposable cups and reduces waste when they are tossed in the trash.

>>> Clicking on the "Reduce your carbon footprint will increase the meter one number!

"100% of our cups will be reusable or recyclable by 2015. ... significantly reduce our environmental footprint through energy and water conservation, recycling and green construction. ... committed to making 100% of our cups reusable or recyclable by 2015."

" ... there are two ways you can help to reduce the environmental impact of our cups: ask for your beverage in ceramic "for here" or use a commuter mug "to go.""

I make it a point to bring my mug to Starbucks.
>>> Do you??
>>> If not, why not?

Via: Starbucks LINK

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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Green Home and Business Consulting / Audits

I found this link from a MainLineNeighbors.com email ...

" ... we strive to reduce Home and Business Owners expenses by providing strategies for reducing your energy utility costs. Every dollar saved on utilities is an inherently Green practice with less energy and CO2 produced. ... Andrew Horning Consulting LLC provides Efficiency Consultation Services for both the residential and commercial markets. ... provide a menu of recommendations for energy saving eco-friendly strategies. ..."

Andrew Horning Consulting LLC LINK

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Friday, June 26, 2009

Eco-friendly doormat made of recycled flip flop sandal-foam rubber

I saw this last weekend at my local Bed, Bath and Beyond and thought it deserved a post ... a creative use / recycle / re-purpose of an item instead of putting it into a landfill.

" Contribute towards the environment while cleaning your feet! ... eco-friendly, ... made from recycled foam rubber that went surplus from the production... otherwise meant to head for the landfill."

Click the link below for more information on sizes, pricing, etc.

www.ecofriend.org LINK
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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Facts about plastic bags / Trash in the Pacific Ocean

We (should) all know that plastic bags contribute to litter and can take a long, long, long time to decompose ... or break down in nature.

Here are some interesting facts about plastic bags ... an a lot of reasons to consider using compostable bio degradable bags.

"Regular polyethylene-based plastic bags can take well over 100 years to degrade and are not compostable, ... Less than 2% of all plastic bags ever get recycled-most end up in landfill. ... Studies indicate that 100,000 marine animals and 2 million birds die each year from ingesting or being caught up in plastic debris.

I have been reading a good bit about HUGE swarms of plastic in the ocean and will post on those when I get a chance. In the meantime below is a sobering You Tube video on plastic in the pacific off the west cost of the US.

The video comes from the Algalita Marine Research Foundation. Since the video was made in 2001 and the amount of trash has significantly increased.

A very moving video. Two questions ...
>>> what were your reactions?
>>> has this spurred you to consider / reconsider using plastic bags and instead use a reusable bag?

Ecolife Products LINK
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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Green Starbucks Stores in Pike Place Market

Starbucks opened " ... an innovative new store in 2009 just a few blocks away from the original. ... has many green features ... on the picture the left are a number of "leafs" and clicking on these on the web site illustrates some the green features ... including ... LED and CFL lighting, reusing building materials, using green building materials and offering a 10 cent / cup discount if you bring your own mug.

Check out the interactive store to learn about each of the features in detail.

Via: Starbucks LINK

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tips for a GREENER Kitchen

Here are some EASY tips to make your kitchen GREENER ... these and more came from the ReynoldsRecycled website ... link at end of post. Most of these are easy to do ... but you may not have been aware of them.

" ... Save 5,000 to 7,000 gallons of water each year by foregoing the pre-rinse and sticking your dishes straight into the dishwasher. ... never run a dishwasher that isn't full ... Conserve energy by cooking in the right size pots and selecting the air-dry option on your dishwasher. ... Recycle anything you can, including paper, plastic, glass and cans. ... Bring your own reusable bag anytime you go shopping ... Cook in batches and freeze or refrigerate the remaining portions ... less energy, time and effort to reheat the leftovers than to cook new meals."

Via: Reynoldsrecycled.com LINK

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Monday, June 22, 2009

stm bags - born green

stm laptop and other bags are "born green". Incorporating green thinking into the entire production, transport and display process they try to minimize the environmental impact of their products.

stm is ..." ... aware of our ecological footprint and the impact we have on our world. ... don’t use any internal stuffing to bulk up the products for display purposes. ... eliminates waste (which reduces landfill) and ... cuts down on transportation by-products that can be damaging to the environment"

" ... packaged, using simple, reusable and recyclable poly bags. ... hang tags are printed on recycled material, using biodegradable coating ... use recycled materials where we can, and we participate in recycling programs. ... an ongoing commitment to improving our ecological footprint. When you use an STM bag, you are supporting a company that was born green"

Via: stmbags.com LINK.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Recycling Tips - From Saskatchewan, Canada 2 of 2

HEre are some more great, easy to use / do tips from Recycle Saskatchewan (Canada).

Others ... "... ask yourself if you can reduce your use. ... mulch grass clippings back onto the lawn as ready-made mulch. ... start composting ... Choose green products when you make purchases ... consider greener cleaners ... energy audit on your home ... consider renting items you use infrequently ... tote your own beverage in a reusable container or bottle, rather than buying a drink."

recyclesaskatchewan.ca/recycling-tips LINK

Alchemy Goods - turning useless into useful

Alchemy products are all made from reused materials. "Raw" materials are really reused bicycle tire inner tubes and car seat belt straps.

Read on for more about this interesting company .... their products and their story.

" ... mission... "Turning useless into useful." ... look for materials that are normally discarded that might have value with a little bit of imagination and some hard work. ... all our products should have the highest possible recycled content, ..."

" ... logo intentionally looks like the periodic table. The number in the upper right hand corner represents the percent (by weight) of recycled material in the product you purchased."

Via: alchemygoods.com LINK
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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Tweeds Dry Cleaning - A Greener Dry Cleaner

Most people think of dry cleaning as non environmentally friendtly ... with solvents like perchlorethylene (perc).

There are some newer process that use C02 and other safer cleaning agents.

Tweeds Dry Cleaning is one such environmentally friendly cleaner. In addition to using the Green Earth Cleaning process they use " ... biodegradable plastic bags ... and ... recycle our hangers to reduce waste in our landfills ..."

The " ... GreenEarth® cleaning process ... is better for the environment and your skin ... uses natural cleaning agents that don't harm the environment."

Via: Tweeds Dry Cleaning LINK

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Friday, June 19, 2009

Targus Eco Smart cases

Targus, a popular manufacturer of laptop cases has announced Eco-Smart - a product line that is more environmental friendly than the standard offerings.

"... Eco-Smart Cases reduce environmental impact in each of the stages of the product life cycle ... reducing the use of resources and the production of waste in distribution and packaging and by guaranteeing and taking end-of-life responsibility of product at final disposal. "

" ... Spruce EcoSmart line ... eco-friendly and economical. ... made of 100% recycled nylon and are PVC-free, making the production of these bags less harmful to the environment. metal used ... is nickel-free and all plastic components are recyclable."

Via: Targus LINK
Via: Targus LINK
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Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Terracycle Story - Total Recycling !

Terracycle is a company that turns what otherwise would be waste for a landfill into products carried at stores across the country. Products include gardening supplies, cleaners, school supplies, bags and backpacks ...

See the You Tube video with interviews of the founder, Tom Szaky, on a number of media outlets ... a really interesting success story.

See prior posting on our blog ... LINK

See the video ...

Via: Terracycle LINK
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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Bike Parking Required for new Zoning Permits in Philadelphia

Philadelphia is becoming more bike friendly. A recent City Council bill, # 090190, " ... require bicycle parking for new zoning permits. ... legislation was developed by the Bicycle Coalition and the Nutter Administration ... prompted by a Bicycle Coalition report ... on Philadelphia's bike parking shortage ..."

" ... four page fact sheet ... download the Fact Sheet and give it your property manager to encourage him/her to install bike racks in office building."

" ... Philadelphia Parking Authority installed bike racks at three of its Center City garages. ... Academy of Sciences committed to installing racks ... Philadelphia's Division of Aviation committed to installing ... racks at PHL ... the Streets Department issued a "notice to proceed" for ... 1400 new inverted U racks to be installed throughout the city. ..."

Making it easier to safely park a bike will help reduce car trips, save energy, and reduce pollution in Philadelphia.

Via: Philadelphia Bike Coalition LINK

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

abundantforests.org -- Environmental IQ test

Test what you know and what you should know about America's forests. Take the 7 question Quiz to find out your E-IQ (environmental IQ).

Find out the answers to questions like ...

It is better for the environment to have an artificial tree than a cut tree - Y/N
It is better to use plastic than paper bags - Y / N

Via: abundantforests.org LINK

Monday, June 15, 2009

Reynolds 100% recycled Aluminum Foil

Companies are aware of and advertising to consumers who want to buy products that contian recycled content. Reynolds aluminum foil is one such product ...

Recycling aluminum vs. creating aluminum from ore uses approx. 95% less energy and creates 95% less pollution ...

" ... Reynolds has introduced Reynolds Wrap® Foil from 100% Recycled Aluminum ... Food-safe foil made from a mix of pre and post consumer aluminum. ... packaging and core are made from 100% recovered paper and the inks used on the product packaging are water-based ..."

Via: ReynoldsWrap LINK

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Saskatchewan Recycles! 1 of 2

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. 3 good words to live by ... that are being taken seriously in the Canada province Saskatchewan. Their government is committed to being greener by reducing what goes into landfills and re-using materials.

Read on for more >>>

" ... committed to a healthy environment and a sustainable economy. ... need to get past the "throw away" mentality.... much of what used to be called "waste" is a resource that can be re-used...."

They have programs for " ... Electronic Waste Recycling ... Paint Recycling ... Beverage and Container Recycling ... Scrap Tire Recycling ... Used Oil Recycling "

They have a counter (images below) that show current total quantities of these materials that were not thrown in the trash ... as of June 14th, 2009.

Via: recyclesaskatchewan.ca LINK

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Apple's Greenest iPhone

Like their new iMacBook laptops - Apple is making their iPhones greener ... by removing toxic materials from the phone.

" ... new iPhone has arsenic-free glass, BFR-free, mercury-free LCD, PVC-free system, 23% smaller packaging. Smaller packaging also affects CO2 emissions ..."

Via: sustainlane.com LINK

Green Irene -- Getting to green

Wondering how to start being more green? Have questions? Need ideas?

Check out Green Irene. " ... helps you green your home today so you can save money tomorrow. ... Eco-Consultants throughout the country can help you and your family along the path to a greener, healthier, more sustainable lifestyle"

" ... questions about greening your world and saving money, ... Ask Green Irene ... links to articles on relevant topics, ... cost-saving product recommendations, and calculators to estimate savings from the green upgrades you make to your home or office."

Get answers to questions like ...
... the best HVAC filter for families with allergies
... best type of paint for a baby's room
... stopping unwanted (SPAM) paper mailings

Via: Green Irene LINK

Friday, June 12, 2009

EPA Watersense Quiz - Test your Water Knowledge

How much do you know about the water you use? Be it for drinking, washing, watering the lawn; or whatever? What are the biggest wasters ... where is it easy to save .. which easy choices can you make?

Test you Water IQ by playing the EPA Watersense Quiz (requires Adobe Flash - avail on the Linked web page)

" ... know everything there is to know about water? ... Test Your WaterSense! ... EPA's new interactive online quiz! ... Use the information you've learned ... and test your knowledge of water-using behaviors and common water-saving opportunities.

Some of the questions; paraphrased:
Which uses less water ... shower or bath?
How much water can you save daily turning off the water while brushing your teeth ...
How much of the water used to water lawns is wasted ... 10, 15, 25 or 50%?
How much of the water on the earth is available for people's everyday use ... 50, 28, 12 or 1%

Take the quiz and see just how much you really know ... about water.

Saving water is good for the planet and good for your wallet!

Via: EPA WaterSense Quiz LINK

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Micro-Pak - recyclable packaging protection

Many packages are "protected" by a small pack of sliica gel. Once the package reaches the consumer the silica gel pack is tossed into the trash.

"Micro-Pak® ... is an environmentally friendly and effective method for the reduction of bacteria, mold and mildew in footwear and other products. ... is more effective than ...other forms of mildew control." ... and is made of #4 recyclable LDPE.

"Micro-Pak® Green .. the latest generation ... offering you the same protection... but in a smaller and less expensive size." (picture at left >>>)

Via: Micro-Pak LINK

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Phila City Council Proposes Bill to Require Recyclable / Compostable Bags

The City of Philadelphia City Council has a bill proposed that will ban plastic bags in grocery stores. Bill # 090074 was introduced by Councilmembers DiCicco and Kenney to amend Chapter 9-600 of The Philadelphia Code, entitled “Service and Other Businesses,” ... with a new Section 9-614, entitled “Mandatory Use of Recyclable and Compostable Checkout Bags,”.

Basically the City wants to mandate the use of recyclable and / or compostable bags by most businesses ... the bill details which businesses (by type and size) are exempt. The bill details what it expects in terms of recyclable and compostable plastic bags.

The bill would become valid 6 months after passage ... fines would be $100 for the first offense and then $300 for the second offense in the same year and then $500 for each additional offense in the same year!

Via: City Council of Philadelphia LINK
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Think Green with Waste Management

Waste Management - wants us all to think differently about waste. In addition to the 3Rs that most are familiar with (reduce, reuse, recycle - they want to add a 4th "R" I- Recover.

" ... reverse the way you think about waste. ... waste ... as a resource. ... recycled aluminum can that can power a laptop. ... a pear that turns into energy as it biodegrades. ... the four R's - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Recover the resource into action is what Waste Management ... let's Think Green®.

Check out some cool links on Waste Management's web site to see how create energy from landfill gas, recycle materials, etc.

Via: Waste Management - Think Green LINK

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


The Direct Marketing Association has a program - Recycle Please - to help encourage recycling paper mailings. There are a series of logos and materials available to members to get the word out about recycling paper.

" ... an industry-wide public education campaign that encourages you to recycle catalogs and direct mail pieces ... people don’t know that they can also recycle catalogs, magazines, direct mail, envelopes, and packaging. ... only about 30 percent of this “mixed paper” is recycled annually in the United States, ... "

Recycling paper products: is easy; most all municipalities accept it, reduces landfill use, saves trees, reduces incinerator emissions, .... is a win - win for all.

Are you recycling your paper mailings ?? ??
>> I do!

Via: recycleplease.org LINK

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Green Seal® Certified

Consumers are looking for ways to buy green and looking for certification that products are green or meet certain industry standards. Multiple industries has picked up on this trend and is using it as a selling point - either to be more green or to save money and / or resources.

"Green Seal® sends a clear message: we care about improving the health and welfare of people and the planet. ... "

" ... To earn the coveted Green Seal a product must meet the Green Seal environmental standard for the category as demonstrated by rigorous evaluation, testing and a plant visit. ... a business advantage, for it identifies a product as environmentally preferable, provides third-party corroboration ... and distinguishes a product from competitors ..."

Via: GreenSeal LINK

Thursday, June 4, 2009

EPA WaterSense

Like most ways to save (energy, money, water, etc.) there are some simple things you can do that are either free or virtually free. See below for TIPS to save water.

Others require a little spending ... and when ready to upgrade water appliances check for the EPA WaterSense label. It can help " ... identify high-efficiency products and programs for certified irrigation professionals."


Here are some interesting facts ... click the link at the bottom of the page for ways to "cehck for and solve" these wasteful practices.

" ... Leaky faucets that drip at the rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons of water each year. ... leaky toilet can waste about 200 gallons of water every day. ... full bath tub requires about 70 gallons of water, while taking a five-minute shower uses 10 to 25 gallons. ... typical single-family suburban household uses at least 30 percent of their water outdoors for irrigation. Some experts estimate that more than 50 percent of landscape water use goes to waste due to evaporation or runoff caused by overwatering. ... "

Via: EPA WaterSense LINK