Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Jeans, Jeans

Home & Garden - LEISURE

9 Uses for Old Jeans

Published January 30, 2012
| Networx
There's few things more comfortable than a beloved, broken-in pair of jeans. But some day, when the denim's faded, the seams have split and the cuffs have frayed, you're going to be faced with a harsh reality: All good jeans must someday meet their end. But rather than let that precious fabric go to waste balled up in the back of your closet or, worse yet, getting tossed in the trash, you can (and should) repurpose and reuse those precious pants.

The durability, heft and stylishness of denim make it a great and versatile fabric for a variety of projects and purposes. Here are some great uses for your old jeans.

Coffee Cozy: Cut down on wasted cardboard coffee sleeves by making your very own denim coffee cozy from an old pair of pants. Simply snip the fabric to fit your favorite sized cup or mug and hem the top and bottom. [via Doctor Popular]

Knee Pads: Gardening is a great hobby, but sometimes digging around in the dirt all day can be tiring on the knees. Transform an old pair of jeans into a padded mat to spare your tired limbs while you garden. This handy guide will show you how to make a handsome knee pad, but for a quick and easy alternative that requires no sewing, simply cut off one pant leg, stuff it full of something soft and tie off each end with a zip tie. Of course, another way to save your knees is to hire a local landscaper.  [via Martha Stewart]

Patching Other Jeans: Don't let a small tear force you to toss an otherwise perfectly good pair of jeans. Cut patches from an old pair to fix up a current pair of pants. Use a bit of fabric glue to adhere the patch, and just like that, your pants have been fixed.

Sharpen a Razor: Stropping, the practice of removing microscopic burrs from a razor, is essential for getting a close, smooth shave that doesn't leave your skin burning. Usually done with a piece of leather, stropping can also be done with a pair of old jeans. The coarse texture of denim smoothes and polishes the surface of a razor, extending the life of a disposable blade. [via Instructables]

Desk Organizer: Using the back pockets on a pair of blues, you can make a handy desk-side organizer with a board and a glue gun. The pockets are a great place to store  pens, pencils and other office supplies. Or use it in the garage to store tools, nails and other hardware.
iPhone Sleeve: Cut up a pair of blue jeans and resew them to fashion a cheap, effective sleeve for your iPhone, iPad or other gadgets. Use a swatch from the jeans' rear and the back pocket can double as a storage place for credit cards and cash. It's an iPhone case and a wallet.

Heat Pack: Cut off a pant leg, tie off or sew up end and fill the leg with dried rice. Seal up the other end and you have a convenient hot pack to soothe achy muscles. Simply pop it into the microwave for a couple of minutes and apply wherever it hurts. A homemade heat pack would be perfect in a DIY gift basket for someone who deserves a little TLC. We'd like to give these (as well as a huge pat on the back) to the Dallas roofers who helped to rebuild several Texas churches that were lost to arson.

Make a Quilt: Anyone who has had to part with an old pair of jeans knows that it's hard to let go of such a well-loved and well-worn piece of denim. Transform that soft, supple fabric into quilt so that you can continue loving those jeans long after they lived their last day as a pair of pants. [via HGTV]

Keep Out the Cold: Fill a pant leg with sand and sew it up. Slide it against the base of a door to insulate your home in the winter months

Monday, January 30, 2012

NC Per Capita Waste Disposal Rate Decreases

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

 
"The three R's" — reduce, reuse, recycle — are three of the most important tenets of environmentalism. The belief is that if we all reduce how much we use/consume, reuse the things we already have and recycle the materials that can be recycled (instead of trashing them), our impact on the environment will be lighter. Less "virgin" material is used to create products, fewer products are made and Earth is a cleaner, greener place.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The 3 R's

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

 
"The three R's" — reduce, reuse, recycle — are three of the most important tenets of environmentalism. The belief is that if we all reduce how much we use/consume, reuse the things we already have and recycle the materials that can be recycled (instead of trashing them), our impact on the environment will be lighter. Less "virgin" material is used to create products, fewer products are made and Earth is a cleaner, greener place.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Honda Striving for Zero Waste-to-Landfill Status

Honda striving for zero waste-to-landfill statusHonda Motor Co. continues to strive for zero waste at its North American plants, according to its seventh sustainability report.

“In the manufacturing domain, we realized our longstanding goal to achieve virtually zero waste to landfills from manufacturing operations in North America,” Tetsuo Iwamura, chief operating officer, North American Regional Operations, said in the report. “As of April 1, 2011, 10 of 14 plants in North America are operating with absolutely zero waste to landfills, while the remaining four plants are producing a very small amount of landfill waste that accounts for less than one-half of 1% of all manufacturing-related waste.”

More than 95% of all waste generated in the assembly of Honda products in North America is either recycled or reused, the report said

In the report, Honda also said it wants to continue to focus on a minimum of 90% design recyclability, maintaining or improving new product designs to facilitate dismantling.

Source: Waste & Recycling News
By Shawn Wright

Friday, January 27, 2012

 
Think 2 Recycling Bins Are a Hassle? Try Sorting 34
Photo: Takuya Matsumoto
If you think recycling is a hassle, take a step across the Pacific Ocean to Kamikatsu, Japan. This small town of 2,000 residents on rural Shikoku Island has long taken waste separation to new heights and to what some in town feel is too extreme.

Garbage collection centers located throughout the town host 34 different waste bins lined up for just about every type of waste imaginable. Above each yellow or blue bin is a poster that describes what can be disposed in each separate crate. Cans, bottles and cardboard naturally have their own bins. But then the waste separation process becomes even more granular. Aerosol cans have their own distinct bin. So do cigarette lighters, disposable chopsticks, books and textiles.

Light bulbs and batteries must be separated, and glass from goods like mirrors and thermometers must not end up in bin #5, which is for clear glass bottles only. Speaking of glass, residents have to pay attention as their are six different bins. Even cigarette and other butane lighters have their own special recycling bin.

Do not mix up your plastic bottles because the ones that cooking oil or vinegar must be separated from PET bottles for water or soft drinks. Take those plastic lids off, too – they also have their own bin, which is set near the bottle and can bins so residents can conveniently plunk them into their own little space. As for the stacking of paper products, residents are required to use a tape made from recycled milk cartons instead of plastic or cotton rope.

Much of the trash ends up hauled away by recycling companies that are contracted with the town. But reuse is an important aspect of Kamikatsu’s waste diversion campaign. Unwanted goods, such as tableware and toys, are stacked on shelves so that other locals can take them home if they have a use for them. Local women apply their sewing techniques and churn unwanted textiles into chic handbags, sandals or even dolls. As for food scraps, each home has a composting bin, a requirement of residents since 1991.
Photo: Takuya Matsumoto
All that separation of bottles and jars is not enough, however: the items must be washed before they are disposed, which is one reason why as many as 40 percent of Kamikatsu’s residents have been unhappy with the system in the past. Most residents now accept or are resigned to the system, with the results that children are learning recycling habits at a very early age.

According to town councilman Takuya Matsumoto, this intensive recycling is far more preferable to incineration. While a contract with an incineration plant would save time and money if implemented immediately, Kimikatsu’s leaders believe that the town’s finances, not to mention the local environment, are better off with this current sort, recycle and reuse system.
Kamikatsu’s shift towards its aggressive recycling program began in 1995, when the town only sorted out glass and cans. In 2003, the town passed a “Zero Waste” ordinance, and in 2005, the program expanded to what is now that system of 34 separate waste bins. With the exception of three public holidays a year, residents can bring their trash from the early morning until after midnight, where they can sort their unwanted trash with the guidance of a city employee.

The city also runs a program that collects waste from elderly residents who are not up to the task of carrying their trash to the recycling center for a small fee. Note how the responsibility for disposing and separating the trash falls on residents: Kamikatsu has no garbage trucks. Volunteers, said Matsumoto in an interview, have an enormous role in ensuring that the town’s recycling program runs smoothly, and their efforts have resulted in a clean place to live with no landfill or incinerators.

The overall goal for Kamikatsu is to achieve zero waste by 2020. With its recycling rate well over 90 percent, this rural hamlet is well on its way.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Wouldn't this be a fun castle to live in! It is made completely from reused materials...so creative!
 
www.treehugger.com
The Junk Castle was built in 1970 by a high school teacher, from sheet metal, washing machine parts and a 1952 Oldsmobile.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Here is a great game from Disney! It teaches you about what is recyclable and how to sort your trash.
disney.go.com
Play Disney's hottest online games from Disney Channel, Disney XD, Movies, Princesses, Video Games and more!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Trash the Cowboy Way

Cleaning Up the Old West the Modern Way

By KEN BELSON  New York TImes
 
TOMBSTONE, Ariz. — It is fair to say that well before the Earp brothers shot three cowboys in a lot behind the O.K. Corral, this city had a trash problem. Mule and horse droppings were everywhere. The stench of leather being tanned, charcoal burning and ore being dug out of the earth burned the nostrils. Garbage piled high in the muddy streets.
This may explain why Ordinance 6, which in 1881 created a Board of Health and outlined how to dispose of animal carcasses, rotting food and dead bodies, precedes Ordinance 9, which famously banned carrying guns in the city. After all, residents were more likely to die of disease than gunfire back then.
And still, more than 130 years later, the city continues to wrestle with its refuse.
Tombstone has had a tough time keeping up with the trash created by the streams of tourists who come to see the shootouts, saloons and graveyards. Trash pickup slows when one of the city’s two-person garbage crew calls in sick, or if a truck has to be sent to Phoenix, more than 170 miles away, for repairs.
Declines in tourism and in income from the state’s revenue-sharing program have hit the city’s $3.5 million annual budget. Last July, a fire nearly wiped out the city’s water supply infrastructure, which will force Tombstone to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to repair its aqueducts.
So last week, Tombstone started paying Waste Management, a private hauler, to collect its trash and expand its recycling program. The city still will collect money from each household for trash collection, but will turn it over to Waste Management instead of keeping it.
The company will buy the city’s two trucks, one of which is for backup, enabling the city to retire its $180,000 in debt on them. The city will no longer have to worry about fixing trucks or buying garbage cans, and the wooden barrels that doubled as garbage cans on historic Allen Street will be replaced with solar-powered compactors that will wirelessly alert the city when they are full.
“In this trickle-down economy, we’re on the bottom,” said Mayor Jack Henderson. “We looked at everything, and one of the things we didn’t do well was garbage. This is a big decision for our little town.”
Tombstone is only the latest city to outsource services to save money. Waste Management works with dozens of other cities nationally, according to Rodney Glassman, the director of public sector solutions for the company in Arizona and New Mexico. Cities have also hired outsiders to provide police protection, emergency medical care and water and sewage services.
But Tombstone, with a population of 1,500, is unusual because it creates a disproportionate amount of trash. The city welcomes at least 200,000 tourists a year. During the Helldorado festival or Wyatt Earp Days, three times as much garbage as usual is generated. Visitors have been surprised that they cannot recycle soda cans and plastic bottles.
Yet in a city that lives off its past, change can come slowly. Tombstone’s roughly 580 households will continue to pay $17 a month for curbside pickup, though not recycling, which must be done at centrally located depots. Waste Management will take the recycled materials from the depots and pay the city for the materials, which it will later sell.
But some residents fear that Waste Management will raise its rates. Each home will now have two cans for garbage instead of one, but garbage will be collected only once a week instead of twice, leading others to worry that the summer heat will turn their trash into a stinking mess.
Retirees fret that the new drivers will not help them carry their trash cans to the curb.
“A lot of people are nervous,” said Carla Molina, who drove the city’s garbage truck for the past dozen years and will now focus on recycling, because the city will have to prepare the materials for recycling by Waste Management. “I try to be positive, but some people don’t understand.”
Still, the city known as The Town Too Tough to Die has survived by being practical. After World War I, when residents wanted to turn Tombstone into a tourist spot, they cleaned up Boothill Graveyard, which had been used as a dump. Over the years, the city outsourced its phone, gas and electric service and closed its landfill.
Nancy Sosa, the city archivist, recalled that when she was a child growing up in this high desert 35 miles from the Mexican border, city workers picked up trash by hand and used a pickup truck to supplement the garbage truck.
“We’re not stuck in 1881,” she said while showing off the city’s Code of Ordinances, which she cleaned after retrieving it from the basement of the old city hall. More than “130 years later, there are others who can do garbage pickup so we can focus on other things.”
Residents along historic Allen Street said they understood why the city hired a private hauler, though they were less clear that Waste Management, in consultation with the city, could raise its fees to offset increases in inflation, fuel and landfill costs. Increased recycling, though, may cover any price increases, said George Barnes, the city manager. Tombstone now receives about $15,000 a year for its cardboard, a figure that is likely to double now that plastic, aluminum and newsprint will be collected as well. This is equal to one city worker’s salary. “Frankly, we were amateurs in the garbage business for a long time,” Mr. Barnes said over lunch at the Crystal Palace Saloon. “People have been saying, ‘Gee, when are we going to join the next century?’ ”
Barbara Highfield, the owner of Tombstone Real Estate, is one of those people. Since moving here from Oregon 18 years ago, she has collected cans and bottles in her car, hoping to find a place to recycle them. Guiltily, she sometimes threw them in with the trash. “When relatives would come from Oregon, they were appalled by my bad behavior,” she said. “I’ll be glad to be able to recycle again.”



      

Monday, January 23, 2012

Iron Eyes Cody

Almost three decades ago, Keep America Beautiful created a powerful visual image to dramatize how litter and other forms of environmental pollution were hurting America, and how litter was every individual's responsibility. 

Iron Eyes Cody adKeep America Beautiful's landmark public service ad, which featured the now-famous face and tear of the actor Iron Eyes Cody, first aired on Earth Day 1971. It was titled “People Start Pollution, People Can Stop It,” and it went on to become one of the most successful and memorable campaigns in advertising history. This public service ad — which became widely known as the “Crying Indian”ad —and the several versions that followed, are credited with helping to fuel the fledgling environmental movement in this country.

Keep America Beautiful's follow-up PSA, titled “Back By Popular Neglect,” first aired on Earth Day (April 21) 1998. It recalls the famous face and tear of Iron Eyes Cody, and delivers a strong message about litter prevention and individual responsibility. It was adapted to include information about the 1999 Great American Cleanup™.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Litter Facts

Findings from Keep America Beautiful


  • In the past 40 years, since 1968, the amount of litter in America has decreased by 61% nationwide, a change attributed to aggressive, long-term public education and cleanup programs. Yet litter remains a costly and often underestimated problem for the environment and quality of life.




  • Litter conservatively costs our nation $11.5 billion per year. These are direct costs, including cleanup and prevention programs, and are carried largely by businesses and taxpayers. Not included in this figure are significant indirect costs:
    • Decreased property values. 93% of homeowners, 55% of real estate agents and 90% of property appraisers surveyed stated that a littered neighborhood would decrease their assessment of a home’s value
    • "Opportunity Costs” such as decreased commerce and tourism in blighted areas
    • Health effects and related costs of littered environments




  • The study concludes that at least 51.2 billion pieces of litter are left on roadways in the U.S.; an average of 6,729 pieces of litter per mile.




  • Cigarette butts comprise 38% of all items littered on the highways, streets, parks and playgrounds (in urban, suburban and rural areas of America).




  • People matter. Most littering observed in the study -- 81%-- was committed “with intent” by the individual, and was mainly attributable to lack of individual awareness or sense of obligation. The study showed that 17% of all observed disposals were classified as “improper” or littering.




  • Context matters. 15% of all littering can be attributed to context. The strongest contextual contributor to littering is the prevalence of existing litter. Other contextual variables affecting litter are the number of trash or ash receptacles present, and the distance between receptacles.




  • Age matters. Older individuals (30 and over) littered less than younger individuals, but gender was surprisingly not related to litter rates.
  • Saturday, January 21, 2012

    Purina and Keep America Beautful Team Up

    Does your cat recycle?  Check out this site:  http://togetherwecanrecycle.com/

    Friday, January 20, 2012

    Beautification Grants



    NC
    Coca-Cola
    Bottlers Council





    News Release
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                       
    January 19, 2012                                                                                                                        
    Practicing Green Pays
    Apply for Keep NC Beautiful’s $500 Community Improvement Grants

    RALEIGH– Keep NC Beautiful in partnership with the NC Coca-Cola Bottlers Council is accepting Community Improvement grant applications for projects to be completed in 2012 that address litter prevention and clean-up, waste reduction and recycling and beautification.

    Schools, youth and civic groups, non-profits and Keep NC Beautiful affiliates are eligible to apply. Three $500 awards will be issued for each category along with an individual category that is open for one winner at $500 or two at $250 each.  Applications are based on the following criterion: response to need, impact,  measurability, education, partnerships, innovation and recognition. The application process is designed to be basic and require minimal staff time.

    Priority will be given to applications that highlight programs or projects in conjunction with the annual Keep America Beautiful Great American Cleanup (March 1 – May 31) and America Recycles Day, celebrated in November.  Also of importance are public educational initiatives focusing on enhancing cleanup and beautification efforts and increasing waste reduction and recycling behaviors.

    Applications can be downloaded at www.keepncbeautiful.org and are due by February 15. Winners will be announced March 1. For more information, contact KNCB Program and State Leader Brenda Ewadinger at 704.442.0791or bewadinger@keepncbeautiful.org

    The 2011 winners included: Penn-Griffin School for the Arts, High Point; Phi Theta Kappa-Guilford Technical Community College, Jamestown; US Green Building Council at NC State University, Raleigh;  Better Badin Inc, Badin;  Nash Central High School Environmental Club, Rocky Mount; Triangle Reuse Alliance and The Green Chair Project, Raleigh.

    INFO ON KEEP NC BEAUTIFUL:
    Keep NC Beautiful is a nonprofit organization that engages and empowers individuals and organizations to take greater responsibility to keep North Carolina beautiful.

    Heather Thompson
    Executive Director
    Keep NC Beautiful
    919.783.6993 office
    919.215.4196 cell

    Thursday, January 19, 2012

    When is a Countertop Not a Counter Top?

    Texas Man Makes Gifts from Old Countertops

    kitchen, counter, countertop, sink, oven, stove, house, home, cabinets
    After home remodels, scraps of old countertop often find their way into the trash. But Kyle Douthit saw potential in these acrylic surfaces and transformed them into a business. Photo: Flickr/Augie Schwer

    Kyle Douthit worked in the countertop installation business for years and saw pounds of leftovers from home remodels get dumped in the trash. About five years ago, the Abilene, Texas resident devised a clever way to recycle old acrylic surfaces – use them to create gifts inspired by his home state.

    Douthit noticed that the nonporous surfaces would make great trivets or cutting boards and began experimenting with the materials in his driveway, according to an article published on Tuesday by Abilene news provider Reporter News.

    “My family came up on some tough financial times,” Douthit told Reporter News. “I started just collecting the small pieces, making gifts for family and friends.”

    Douthit first began testing the materials in his spare time, creating 8-by-8 acrylic boards in the shape of Texas, according to the article. Recipients found diverse uses for the unique gifts, from pizza servers to business card displays.

    Five years later, Douthit transformed his front yard hobby into an online business that has replaced his full-time job. His collection of Texas-themed cheese plates, serving plates and cutting boards – dubbed Triv-Boards – sell for less than $30 and have become a raging hit in the Lone Star state.
    “You never know where blessings are going to come from,” he said in the interview. “But I’ve learned that sometimes they come in the form of a Texas trivet.”

    Douthit cuts each piece of acrylic by hand and sands down the edges to create a smooth finish. And his whole family has gotten in on the recycling action. It’s not uncommon for his daughters Brittney, 17, and Emily, 14, to be in the warehouse working on pieces, Douthit said in the article.

    Triv-Boards are available for purchase online and in some local retailers. A portion of all sales from November and December – the company’s busiest season – will be donated to Tents of Mercy, a ministry in Israel.

    Wednesday, January 18, 2012

    Sorting Trash

    Andrew Winston Tweeted 1-12-12
     
    Just toured an recycling facility in Denver. Sorting is tough job. Pic is 2 days of trash.
     

    Tuesday, January 17, 2012

    2011 Big Sweep Results


    North Carolina Big Sweep
    Did you know 16,212 NC Big Sweep volunteers worked 64,556 hours cleaning 1,234 miles and retrieved 385,272 pounds of debris in 2011? Volunteers learned first-hand about the harmful effects of litter when they found 17 entangled animals.

    Sunday, January 15, 2012

    Sprint to Launch More Green Phones, Packaging


    Samsung, Samsung Epic, Samsung Epic 4G, Sprint, Sprint cell phone, cell phone, smart phone, mobile phone, Sprint Samsung Epic
    Photo: Sprint
    Sprint announced this week that it will require all new phones to go through third-party testing to improve repairability, recyclability and energy efficiency.

    The testing criteria, developed by product certification firm UL Environment, includes materials used, impact on health and environment, energy management, sustainable innovation, performance and product stewardship.

    To meet the criteria, Sprint is encouraging phone manufacturers to increase their use of modular design, which will improve both the repairability and recyclability of devices, the company said.

    Through the 2012 standard, which includes packaging as well as product design criteria, Sprint will also introduce a line of sustainable packing materials for its phones. To up the green factor of its packaging, the company plans to eliminate plastic laminate, print with vegetable-based or low-VOC (violate organic compound) inks and use water-based or eco-friendly adhesives.

    New packaging standards are expected to encourage the reduction of packaging volume and size; increase the use of recycled fiber and post-consumer waste; and minimize the use of glues, inks, labels and plastics, the company said

    Saturday, January 14, 2012

    NC to unveil vehicle charging station at rest area

    Raleigh adds more electric car charging stations
    North Carolina is set to unveil one of its first electric vehicle charging stations at a state rest area.

    The state Department of Transportation is scheduled to hold a ribbon-cutting Wednesday at the Alamance County rest area on Interstate 40/85 near Burlington. One also will be located near Benson at the junction of Interstates 95 and 40.

    Raleigh-based Praxis Technologies Inc. provided the stations through a grant from the state Commerce Department. Praxis will host the event, which will include speakers from the transportation and commerce departments.

    Friday, January 13, 2012

    Check out this Decomposition Notebook

     NCSU WRR

    Check out this cool notebook made from 100% post consumer waste recycled paper.

    Thursday, January 12, 2012

    Belts on the Floor

    Flooring Made From Vintage Leather Belts

    Ting, Ting London, Ting London floors, Ting London flooring, leather belt floors, leather belt flooring, vintage leather belt floors, Ting London vintage leather belt floors, living room, family room, apartment, house
    Photo: TING London
    Looking to add a touch of vintage to your home? Skip the pricey antique shops and opt for some fab flooring that your friends will have to see to believe.

    TING London, a U.K.-based upcycling manufacturer that also makes eclectic handbags and furniture from old seat belts, is selling bespoke flooring made from 100 percent recycled leather belts for an old-school-meets-new-school look that’s sure to spice up any home.
    The high-grade vintage belts are stripped of their metals, hand-cleaned with chemical-free substances and re-worked to create an eye-catching, glossy and “hard-wearing” finish, the company said.
    Ting, Ting London, Ting London floors, Ting London flooring, leather belt floors, leather belt flooring, vintage leather belt floors, Ting London vintage leather belt floors
    Photo: TING London
    Belts are carefully hand-selected from local sources, according to the company – which has an assembly team in London for European distribution and in Los Angeles for sales in the states. Each tile is designed in-house, ensuring no two are exactly alike.

    Available by the square foot, the tiles are also suitable for table and bar tops, walls and feature areas, as well as floors.

    The best part about these chic leather tiles? When you’re finished with them, just give TING a call, and they’ll recycle them for you! The manufacturer will recycle belts from your flooring to make new tiles or even create another product for your home. Contact the company for pricing and delivery details.

    Wednesday, January 11, 2012

    New Solar-Powered Cover for the Amazon Kindle

    New Solar-Powered Cover for the Amazon Kindle

    portable solar charging, amazon kindle
    The new SolarKindle Lighted Cover features a built-in solar panel to power its attached LED reading light while recharging the Amazon Kindle. Photo: SolarFocus
    Amazon Kindle owners can now harness the power of the sun to illuminate and charge their e-readers, using the new SolarKindle Lighted Cover, which was unveiled at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

    The flexible, lightweight cover features a built-in solar panel that charges an attached LED reading light and provides extra power to the Kindle.

    Simply slip your device into the SolarKindle case, and its solar panel still start powering your Kindle, whether you expose the panel to sunlight or shade. After fully recharging the e-reader, the solar panel automatically switches to transferring energy to the reserve battery that powers the reading light.
    One hour in direct sunlight can provide almost three days worth of reading time on the Kindle.
    Available online starting Jan. 14 for $79.99, the SolarKindle is the newest product from SolarFocus, a company that offers a line of portable solar-charging solutions for mobile devices.

    Tuesday, January 10, 2012

    Competition is Not Just for the Basketball Court

     
     
    just registered for this year's division compeition.Track how we recycle compared to UNC!

    Monday, January 9, 2012

    The 3 R's From Keep America Beautiful

    landfill


    WASTE REDUCTION & RECYCLING

    Americans generate 250 million tons of garbage per year.  What's your impact?

    Garbage isn't something we want to think about every day, but managing waste has long-term environmental and economic consequences that can’t be ignored. Since 1960, the amount of waste generated in America has nearly tripled. Our society as a whole - consumers, corporations and governments - must think proactively about reducing our impact.

    Keep America Beautiful believes that every consumer makes two important choices that affect the amount of waste in America:

    • What products we choose to buy or use, and

    • How we choose to dispose of the product when finished with it.

    At the point of purchase or use, consumers have the opportunity to consider a product, its packaging, how it is constructed, whether it can be reused or recycled, and whether it is made from recycled materials. By choosing recycled, recyclable or reusable products, we can extend the functional life of a product and divert it from the landfill.
    Purchasing recycled products also helps by creating a market for the recycled material, "completing the loop." Consumer demand is a powerful factor affecting the waste stream, and our decisions make a huge difference.

    Sunday, January 8, 2012

    Green Your Romantic Winter Getaway

    HOW TO: Green Your Romantic Winter Getaway

    ski resort, ski slope, ski slopes, mountain, mountains, snow, couple at ski resort
    Photo: Flickr/Skistar Trysil

    1. Plan a staycation

    Most of us start browsing travel sites when planning a romantic vacation. But why inflate your carbon footprint – and your monthly bills – when you can enjoy a touch of relaxation right in your own home?
    Consider this: the average North American vacation for two will cost $244 per day for lodging and meals, according to the American Automobile Association. Add travel expenses to the mix, and you could be looking at a pretty hefty price-tag for your getaway. Minimize the hassle (and your credit card bill) by planning a staycation instead.
    Clear your work schedule, find a sitter for the kids and take a moment to truly enjoy your home with your partner. For those cozy nights in, prepare a tasty candle-lit meal, or pamper each other with homemade spa treatments.
    To stave off cabin fever, plan day-trips to unexplored locations in your hometown. Take a walk through a local park or botanical garden, visit a new sustainable restaurant or take in a show at a nearby concert venue. Turn off the cell phones, and don’t check your email for the duration of your at-home vacation to make you feel “away from it all.”
    READ: 8 Ways to Green a Staycation

    2. Travel green

    For an eco getaway that’s a little farther from home, consider choosing a destination accessible by train or bus to cut down on your carbon footprint. Using public transportation also minimizes the stress of your trip (read: no driving or security lines). Check out our handy regional guide to finding a hot destination near you.
    READ: Green Winter Weekend Getaways
    If you’re set on a far-off destination for your trip, the question often becomes: To drive, or to fly? Most people think road trips carry a smaller footprint than air travel, but that isn’t always the case.
    A round-trip, non-stop flight for two people creates approximately 0.9 pounds of carbon emissions per mile, according to the TerraPass carbon calculator. So, flying creates a fairly sizable footprint compared to driving a small, fuel-efficient car – which creates about 0.6 pounds of carbon emissions per mile, according to Sightline Institute.
    But if your car gets 21 MPGs or less, flying may be better than road-tripping to your vacation destination. Sightline Institute estimates that larger, less fuel-efficient cars can produce a whopping 1.1 to 1.6 pounds of carbon emissions per mile, making the footprint of your airline ticket seem much smaller.
    To banish both planes and cars from your winter vacay, consider traveling by boat like eco couple Barnali Ghosh and Anirvan Chatterjee. Over 12 months, the planet-friendly twosome visited 56 cities in 14 countries, including China, Turkey, Russia and Italy, and rode in only one car – cutting their travel footprint by more than half.
    READ: Couples Travel the World Without Planes, Cars

    3. Choose a planet-friendly destination

    From buying all-local to heating with renewables, a growing number of hotels and resorts are upping the ante when it comes to sustainability. So, when choosing lodging for your getaway, opt for a hotel or resort with a conscience.
    Check out our top romantic eco getaways and winter destinations to get you started, or search the Green Hotels Association database for sustainable picks from across the country.
    READ: How to Find the Best Eco-friendly Hotels

    4. Pick an organic sip

    No romantic retreat would be complete without a bit of vino. So, why not choose a wine that’s good for you and the planet? Organic wines are made from sustainably-farmed, Certified Organic grapes – meaning less impact on local ecosystems. Many also say these wines are tastier and better for your bod.
    The Organic Wine Company provides a huge selection of Earth-friendly wines, including reds, whites, blushes and bubblies for the sip that suits you best. If you can’t find this brand at your local grocer or prefer to save shipping costs and emissions, look for other sustainable wines from your area.
    READ: New Company Refills, Reuses Wine Bottles

    5. Get outside

    Whether you’re staying home or traveling for your winter getaway, the greenest thing you can do is get outside.
    Enjoying the outdoors helps you remember why protecting the planet is so important, and you’ll save on energy, too! Instead of setting the thermostat to the perfect temperature and turning on the lights in every room, plan some fun outdoor activities to feel at one with Mother Nature.
    Take walk, hike or bike ride to explore your destination sans-car. And don’t be afraid to try something different! If you and your partner are typically skiers, give snowboarding a try. If you’re visiting a warm-weather destination, take a surfboarding, snorkeling or parasailing lesson to add some outdoor fun to your getaway. Learning something new together is a fun bonding experience and a great excuse to get outside.

    Home Electronics Disposal

    There was an error in this gadget