Monday, September 30, 2013

Recycling Aluminum

Did you know that recycling aluminum saves 92% of the energy required to make products from raw material? Energy savings from recycled copper and steel are 90% and 56%, respectively. Check out some other reasons why one reader argues that scrap metal is the ore of the future.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

How many time will you move in your lifetime

You're likely to move 11 times in your lifetime, adding up to about 660 boxes. That's half of a ton of pine trees. Check out this #infographic on the life cycle of moving boxes, and find out how to make a low-impact move.

Save trees by recycling your moving boxes — and learn some fun facts in this infographic from MyMove.com.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

‘I Want to be Recycled’

‘I Want to be Recycled’ Campaign to Target the Nearly Two-Thirds of Americans Who are Not Avid Recyclers
By 1-800-RECYCLING

PSA campaign is first in over 40 years from Keep America Beautiful and Ad Council, creators of iconic “Crying Indian” anti-littering ads.

The average American produces 4.4 pounds of trash a day, and on the whole the United States produces over 250 million tons of trash a year. However, only about 35 percent is currently recycled, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). To address this national concern, the Ad Council and Keep America Beautiful (KAB) today launched a public service advertising (PSA) campaign designed to raise awareness about the benefits of recycling with the goal to make recycling a daily social norm.

According to research released today by the Ad Council, only 52 percent of Americans say that they are “very” or “extremely” knowledgeable about how to properly recycle. Additionally, only 38 percent say they are “avid recyclers,” recycling as much as possible and willing to go out of their way to do so. While there are several barriers to recycling, among the most common reasons given for not recycling are that respondents did not have enough information about where to recycle or what types of materials they are able to recycle.


Keep America Beautiful
The “I Want To Be Recycled” campaign is targeted to motivate Americans to recycle every day. Created pro bono by San Francisco-based ad agency Pereira & O’Dell, the campaign shows that recyclable materials can be given another life and become something new if someone chooses to recycle.

The campaign directs audiences to IWantToBeRecycled.org, a new website with a localized search tool allowing users to find where to recycle either at their curbside or their nearest recycling center. The website illustrates the recycling process through an interactive infographic and offers detailed information on what materials can be recycled, how they should be recycled and what products they can become in the future.

“We are thrilled to be again collaborating with Keep America Beautiful, our longstanding partner in creating PSAs that lead to a more sustainable environment, as we work to increase rates of recycling nationwide,” said Peggy Conlon, president and CEO of the Ad Council. “Together, I know that we can reach the ‘occasional’ recycler and transform recycling into a simple, daily habit for millions of Americans.”

“This campaign is the emotional push needed to raise awareness and positively change people’s behavior to recycle more. Our intent is to increase recycling rates, which translates into measurable benefits including waste reduction, energy savings, natural resource conservation and job creation,” said Brenda Pulley, Keep America Beautiful senior vice president, recycling. “Based on survey feedback, we know people want to recycle. This campaign is designed to tap into that desire as well as provide helpful tools to make recycling easier.”

“The core idea is to tell people to recycle and give their garbage another life. Showing that a bottle has dreams seems like a very powerful yet delicate way of doing it,” said PJ Pereira, chief creative officer at Pereira & O’Dell.

The Ad Council and Keep America Beautiful partnered together more than four decades ago in 1971, creating a PSA campaign highlighting how litter and other forms of pollution were hurting the environment. The PSA, which featured Iron Eyes Cody, “The Crying Indian,” first aired on Earth Day in 1971 and emphasized that every individual had a personal responsibility to help protect the environment. The ad became one of the most memorable and successful campaigns in advertising history and was named one of the top 100 advertising campaigns of the 20th century by Ad Age.

The “I Want To Be Recycled” campaign is funded through Keep America Beautiful by Alcoa Foundation, American Chemistry Council, Anheuser-Busch Foundation, Nestlé Waters North America, Niagara Bottling, Unilever and Waste Management. In addition, one of the featured TV PSAs, titled “Stadium,” was filmed on location at M&T Bank Stadium, which is home to the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens. The stadium’s exterior, and additional select areas throughout the venue, is constructed partially from post-consumer recycled aluminum.

The online survey, commissioned by the Ad Council, was conducted in partnership with C + R Research. Research was conducted nationwide from June 25 – July 8, 2013. The sample consisted of 999 U.S. adults ages 18 to 64.

The Ad Council is distributing the new PSAs for television, radio, outdoor and digital media to more than 33,000 media outlets nationwide. Following the Ad Council’s model, the ads will run in space and time entirely donated by the media. The campaign will be supported by a comprehensive public relations and social media program on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

About Keep America Beautiful
Keep America Beautiful is the nation’s leading nonprofit that brings people together to build and sustain vibrant communities. With a network of more than 1,200 affiliate and participating organizations including state recycling organizations, we work with millions of volunteers to take action in their communities. Keep America Beautiful offers solutions that create clean, beautiful public places, reduce waste and increase recycling, generate positive impact on local economies and inspire generations of environmental stewards. Through our programs and public-private partnerships, we engage individuals to take greater responsibility for improving their community’s environment. For more information, visit kab.org and follow @kabtweet on Twitter.

About Pereira & O’Dell
Pereira & O’Dell (pereiraodell.com) is an international award-winning advertising agency that combines techniques from traditional advertising, digital, PR and design to create innovative campaigns, programs and products that are in sync with how consumers behave today. The agency was recently named to both Advertising Age and Creativity 2013 A-Lists based on the company’s business performance, impact on clients’ businesses as well as industry leadership and innovation.

About Ad Council
The Ad Council is a private, non-profit organization with a rich history of marshaling volunteer talent from the advertising and media industries to deliver critical messages to the American public. Having produced literally thousands of PSA campaigns addressing the most pressing social issues of the day, the Ad Council has affected, and continues to affect, tremendous positive change by raising awareness, inspiring action and saving lives. To learn more about the Ad Council and its campaigns, visit Adcouncil.org, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or view our PSAs on YouTube

Friday, September 27, 2013

Atlanta’s Oakland Park

Atlanta’s Oakland Park Recycles Materials and Saves Energy
By April Stearns

A collection of 65 LEED Silver condos in the heart of Atlanta offer the best in green design and sustainable living.

Atlanta’s Oakland Park is a community consisting of 65 boutique condos. According to building’s website, some features of the condos include a view of the Atlanta skyline, one- and two-bedroom floor plans (ranging from 688 square feet to 1,424 square feet) and a location in an easily accessible area of town. But, another incredibly important feature for those eco-minded consumers looking to purchase a new home is Oakland Park’s LEED Silver-certified construction.

LEED is a rating system oriented around design, construction and operation of buildings. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council in 1993, LEED’s construction standards help lessen the environmental footprint around the world, as well as create healthy, cost-effective and comfortable living environments.

Oakland Park serves to conserve energy and recycle materials through a number of features that satisfy LEED requirements.


Atlanta’s Oakland Park condos offer LEED Silver-certified urban living. Photo via tmdsoutheast.com.
Energy-conserving features include:

•Balconies and operable windows providing light in winter
•Sub-metering of water in each home
•Low-voltage fluorescent light fixtures and bulbs
•Energy Star appliances
Recycling features include:

•Recycling bins conveniently provided in the building
•70% of building materials were sourced from within 500 miles of Atlanta
•1,500 tons of construction waste recycled during build-out
All of the LEED requirements Oakland Park satisfies can be seen here.

Oakland Park’s features fulfill the needs of a small family or single, active adults. Those on the go can enjoy moped and bike racks, a fitness center and a quick jaunt to bus and train stops, restaurants, the Atlanta Zoo and more. The building offers a safe community with a barbecue on the rooftop sun deck, controlled access to parking and common areas and a quick elevator ride to ground-level retail restaurants and shops.

For those looking for an eco-friendly home in the heart of Atlanta, Oakland Park might just be the place for you. Prices of available units at time of publication start in the low $140,000s.

For more information, see oaklandparkatlanta.com.

About the author
April Stearns is a writer based in Santa Cruz, CA. Currently a student at the University of California at Santa Cruz, April is studying creative writing and film.…

Learn more about April Stearns

Thursday, September 26, 2013

DIY Recycled Bird Feeders

DIY Recycled Bird Feeders

List from Alexis Petru
Invite your feathered friends into your garden this spring with these seven bird feeders you can make out of materials you might have otherwise thrown away or recycled – plastic bottles, milk cartons or scraps of wood. There’s a project here for everyone, regardless of your age or skill level; from young children and DIY novices to crafting pros who are handy with drills and hacksaws.


Bird feeder #1: You can make a simple, quick DIY bird feeder out of a soda bottle and two wooden spoons or dowels.

recyc1. Soda bottle bird feeder
A favorite of the elementary school classroom, the soda bottle bird feeder is a simple DIY project for bird lovers of all ages. After rescuing a 1-2 liter soda bottle from the recycling bin, look around your house or yard for two wooden spoons, dowels or twigs you can use for the project; these will create a place for the birds to sit while they eat.

Then follow the instructions on BirdFeederPlans.org to cut small holes in the bottle where you will insert the spoons or dowels; parents will need to help their kids with this step. Fill the bottle with bird seed, twist the cap back on and then hang the bird feeder from a tree or porch with string or fishing line.

If you’re not feeling crafty but still want to upcycle an old soda bottle into a bird feeder, consider buying this $10 kit from Uncommon Goods: Simply attach a the readymade nozzle and hanging wire to your own soda bottle to make a bird feeder in minutes.

Bet You’ll Love: Weekend Craft Ideas For Kids

2. Milk carton bird feeder
Fashioning a bird feeder out of a milk or juice carton is just as straightforward as building one from a plastic soda bottle. Simply cut out equally sized “windows” in three sides of the carton, leaving 1-2 inches of space from the bottom of the carton. Then poke two holes at the top of the carton and feed in fishing wire or other sturdy string, so you can hang the feeder from a tree or porch. Read the complete directions at 99BirdHouses.com.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

What It Takes to be a Zero-Waste Business


Feature from Mary Mazzoni

Earlier this summer, Tom’s of Maine released its first-ever Goodness Report – outlining health, sustainability and human welfare initiatives at the company. One of the most notable goals detailed in the report is to send zero waste to landfill by 2020.

Considering how waste-intensive manufacturing tends to be, the personal care brand’s lofty target got us thinking: What does it take to be a zero-waste business? We sat down with the Tom’s of Maine team to find out.


A Tom’s of Maine employee separates materials for recycling at the company’s manufacturing facility in Sanford, Maine. Photo: Tom’s of Maine
“Here at the factory we take recycling pretty seriously,” said Peter Duquette, operations leader at the Tom’s of Maine manufacturing plant. “We’re conscious of not putting anything in the dumpster that we don’t have to.”

Located in the rural community of Sanford, Maine, the Tom’s of Maine manufacturing facility sent 90 kilograms of waste to landfill per ton of product produced in 2011, with a respectable 51 percent reuse and recycling rate.

To cut waste numbers down to zero, the team plans to take a multifaceted approach, which includes reducing waste at its source, expanding reuse and recycling and devising creative solutions to help consumers dispose of its packaging.

“Unlike a lot of other financial decisions that are made in a business, the financial decisions we make around reducing waste are decisions based on our core values,” explained CEO Tom O’Brien. “One of our core values is environmental responsibility, and to be environmentally responsible you better be focused on reducing waste.”

How the Victorians Recycled


How the Victorians Recycled


In recent years, recycling has been promoted as a way to save the rainforests and conserve our natural resources. But in 19th century England, an entire class of people made their living by recycling.

It started at the very top level: Upper-class women gave their castoff clothes to their handmaids. The maid wore the garment until she tired of it or got a new gown from Madame, and passed it along to the lower household help (scullery maids, cooks). Once the clothing was no long wearable, the final owner added it to the "rag bag," a collection of fabric scraps and pieces, which he or she ultimately sold to the rag-and-bone man. He, in turn, sold the rags to a paper manufacturer, since paper was still made using mostly linen and rag.

Household cooks made extra pocket money by selling the "drippings" of roasted animals to poor people, who used the congealed fat instead of butter. Household ashes were sorted through for any valuables (discarded silverware, brick chips, etc.) by servants and then sold to brickmakers. The bone chips and pieces of brick they'd salvaged were sold as construction material, and old boots and shoes were collected and sold to makers of Prussian blue pigment. The homeless poor scoured the streets, collecting dog droppings, which they sold to tanyards, who used the material for processing leather.

All of it was grueling, exhausting, thankless labor, but for many folks of that era, it was the difference between supporting oneself and being committed to a workhouse.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Tips for Gardening in the Fall

Feature from Mary Mazzoni

Fall vegetables are some of the year’s tastiest. Photo: Flickr/Salvadonica, Chianti, Tuscany
Gardening may seem like more of a spring and summer hobby, but the mild autumn months are a great time to spend outdoors in your yard. Check out our top tips for reducing waste, saving water and having loads of fun in the garden this fall.

Keep your veggie garden growing
You’ve likely already harvested the bounty of your summer vegetable garden, but that doesn’t mean the growing season has to end. No matter which area of the country you live in, you can find plenty of fruits and veggies that would be happy to call your garden home.

In most chilly regions — such as the Northeast and Midwest — crops like arugula, collard greens and spinach are ideal for September plantings. In warmer areas like the Southeast and Southwest, you can plant more diverse crops, such as broccoli, cauliflower and kale.

Gardeners in most states should have success with members of the cabbage family, as well as root vegetables like beets, carrots and radishes. Brussels sprouts and fennel also do well in the colder months, and fall is the perfect time to plant garlic and shallots for harvest next summer.

While most of these hardy vegetables can withstand a light frost, check with your local nursery to see which varieties work best in your region. Also, find out the average date of your region’s first killing frost, and plan to plant your crops early enough to let them reach full maturity before that date. Seedlings may be an option if it’s too late to plant from seeds.


Leaves are just what your compost pile needs. Add fall leaves to your compost pile
All those fallen leaves make ideal carbon-rich additions to your backyard compost pile and can help you strike the proper balance between green and brown waste.

While you’re at it, set aside time to do some pruning after your bushes, trees and shrubs shed their leaves for the season. You’ll avoid laboring in the yard during the cooler months, and your compost pile will reap the benefits of additional brown waste to counterbalance food scraps you’ll add throughout the winter.

Smaller twigs and trimmings can be tossed on your compost pile as is, but you may want to run larger branches through a wood chipper first to help them decompose faster.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Amazon Environmental Presents Recycled Latex Paints

Amazon Environmental Presents Recycled Latex Paints
By Allyson Koerner

Amazon Select paints steer clear of landfills by using more than 80% post-consumer content material.

Spring is the perfect time to fix up your home, as it’s a great time to get all of your projects out of the way just in time for the warm summer months ahead. This year, why not stray from the norm, and try to fix up your home with the most eco-friendly products available? This way, not only will you benefit the planet, but you can also turn your home into one rockin’ green masterpiece!

To steer you in the right direction, check out some awesome recycled paint that will surely transform your interior walls and outside projects. The paint, called Amazon Select, is presented by Amazon Environmental.

Amazon Select, which is Green Seal approved, offers some of the most eco-friendly recycled latex paints in the paint industry. Each can contains premium-quality paint that is made during Amazon’s reprocessing system, ensuring the color, gloss, viscosity and coverage meets each customer’s specifications.

The latex-paint recycling process
1.Amazon sorts each paint by opening and inspecting each can received. It is then determined if the paint is usable. Those of high quality are then hand sorted by color and selected as a reusable paint.
2.Paints of the same color are mixed together in a tank with a high-speed mixer. The mixture is then tested for viscosity, color, sheen, coverage, pH and other paint elements. If necessary, the paint is adjusted with additives. When finished, the paint is filtered and packaged.
What are the benefits?
1.By using recycled paint, you are helping save all those resources that go into creating new paint, i.e., the energy, the transport, the pigments, the minerals and the chemicals.
2.Recycled latex paints prevent other paints from filling up landfills, and from consumers tossing paint down the drain.
3.Amazon’s paint contains more than 80% post-consumer content material, qualifying it for LEED credentials.
4.Amazon Select is much more preferable than low- or no-VOC paint. For example, creating a gallon of virgin paint uses more resources and more energy compared to the manufacture process of Amazon’s recycled content paint.
In addition to its sustainability, Amazon Select offers customers a variety of 12 standard colors like Whipped White, Stony Gray, Mocha and Autumn Mist. Each is available in a flat finish. If you want more vibrant colors, you can contact Amazon directly for custom colors and paint sheens.

Amazon paints are available for purchase across the country. Amazon is so confident that you will love its recycled paint that it will refund any purchased paints within one year of shipment, no questions asked.

Be sure to browse through all of Amazon’s eco-friendly standards, and see how you can improve your wall color this season

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Cromley Lofts Following the LEED

Cromley Lofts Following the LEED
By Maggie Wehri

Upgrading its historic roots with fresh, green features, Alexandria, VA’s Cromley Lofts achieved an enviable tiny environmental footprint.

Cromley Lofts began as a warehouse in Alexandria, VA, in 1910, serving its founder, William Peck’s private business interests of retail groceries, wood and coal and an active railroad corridor. As times have changed, so has this property’s value and purpose. Alexandria builder and developer William Cromley purchased this asset in 2004 with a higher expectation in mind by developing a sustainable residential condominium.

Occupying 1210 Queen St. in Alexandria, Cromley Lofts is an eight-residence condominium located near historic King Street. Offering one- and two-bedroom floor plans, Cromley considered the environment through every step of redevelopment and construction.

During the building’s refurbishing period, many materials were recycled and reused to reduce landfill waste. Other building materials used for this project are considered “rapid renewable resources” that can typically be harvested in 10 years or less. As a result, each unit is complete with custom-designed bamboo kitchen cabinetry and natural cork flooring.

Upon its build-out Cromley Lofts earned LEED Gold certification. Created by the U.S. Green Building Council in 2000, this certification promotes the delivery of energy and water efficiency in the built environment. Recognized across the globe, LEED is a cutting-edge program supporting its leaders while creating high-performance buildings and saving money.


Interiors at Cromley Lofts blend the building’s historic features with cutting-edge green upgrades. Photo via cromleylofts.com.
According to the USGBC, LEED-certified buildings cost less to operate, reduce energy consumption and cut water bills by as much as 40%. Without a doubt, LEED certification increases property value as well.

Cromley Lofts values two major aspects: sustainability and health and quality of life. To achieve these goals, each unit is equipped with plumbing fixtures designed to reduce water consumption by 30%. Units are also designed to reduce energy consumption by 20% by doubling code required R-values of insulation, installing double-paned argon-filled windows and doors and utilizing furnaces with high 14 SEER ratings.

Cromley Lofts utilizes the least toxic materials and techniques available. Designed to maximize natural lighting and indoor air quality, each of the building’s spaces has a direct view of the outdoors. In addition, Cromley Lofts holds a landscaped green space and a vegetated green roof. According to Cromley Lofts, this custom roof reduces ambient air temperatures and filters storm water runoff while harmonizing the site and adjacent park.

Although Cromley Lofts is at the top of the sustainable infrastructure game, residents do pay top dollar for these features. Due to limited spacing and prime location, spaces range from $535,000 to $645,000.

With the housing market on the rise, many consumers are looking at much more than just dollar signs. Cromley Lofts challenges other property owners in northern Virginia to meet its new golden sustainability standard.

For more information on Cromley Lofts, please visit the building’s website.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

September events connect children and volunteers with nature in state parks

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RALEIGH – Parents, grandparents and caregivers can help children connect with nature during special events at North Carolina’s state parks in September, according to the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation.

Take A Child Outside Week, which is Sept. 24-30, features special ranger-led programs at all state parks in a concerted effort to introduce young people to the outdoors and healthful activity. A touchstone of the week is National Public Lands Day Sept. 28 when many state parks will offer opportunities to volunteer and build an ethic of natural resources stewardship.

“State parks have always been safe but exciting places for people to rediscover nature, offering miles of trails, free interpretive programs by rangers and nature museums,” said Lewis Ledford, state parks director. “Now more than ever, there are new opportunities for families to explore the natural wonders of North Carolina’s state parks and to get directly involved in improving them.”

North Carolina’s state parks join environmental groups everywhere in presenting special nature programs during Take A Child Outside Week. The global celebration originated in 2006 in North Carolina. Take A Child Outside Week offers both a rallying call and a website, www.takeachildoutside.org, to help kids choose nature trails and fresh air rather than video games.

Research has shown that engaging children in nature promotes learning, creativity and healthy lifestyles. Along with special interpretive programs during the week, all state parks offer an award-winning Junior Ranger program for children ages 6-12 who wish to discover even more while earning distinctive patches from the parks. Twelve state parks offer self-guided hiking trips with marked trails that help explain the trails’ natural features.

The 20th annual National Public Lands Day is Sept. 28 and gives volunteers a chance to make a difference in the state parks. Nine state parks will have volunteer service projects and many others will celebrate the day with hikes and special programs. Volunteers can help build a new trail at Elk Knob State Park, remove litter by canoe at William B. Umstead State Park, repair a fishing pier at Falls Lake State Recreation Area or plant native wildflowers at Lake James State Park. Complete information about state parks and their programs can be found at www.ncparks.gov.


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Friday, September 20, 2013

Reducing Your Household Hazardous Waste

Reducing Your Household Hazardous Waste
By Wendy Gabriel

Reducing your need for HHW in the first place can make your life a little easier and it is a safer environmental option.



According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the definition of “household hazardous waste” is any “leftover household products that contain corrosive, toxic, ignitable, or reactive ingredients… Products, such as paints, cleaners, oils, batteries, and pesticides, that contain potentially hazardous ingredients, require special care when you dispose of them.”

Improperly disposing of HHW can “pollute the environment and pose a threat to human health,” the EPA continues. Luckily, most communities in the U.S. have HHW facilities where consumers can bring old, leftover or unwanted HHW for safe disposal.

Reducing your need for HHW in the first place can make your life a little easier and it is a safer environmental option.

Here are some tips for reducing your HHW:

•Use the least hazardous products possible. Many products have less toxic or nontoxic options. If you have to purchase a hazardous product, check into less hazardous alternatives. To find out more information about safer pesticides, visit beyondpesticides.org.
•Read labels. Make sure you are buying a product that is going to do what you need it to do. Once you purchase, follow the instructions for safe use, proper ventilation and storage. Using more of a product than is necessary could pose a danger to your health and could impact the environment in a negative way.
•If you have leftovers, give the product to someone who can use them. Look around for a home for your leftover hazardous products. Maybe a friend, neighbor, charity or other community group is in need of something you no longer need.
•Avoid aerosols. Aerosols pose both human and environmental health concerns. Plus, they are not economic — much of the product ends up dispersed into places it was not intended to go.
•Recycle. If you need to use a product that is hazardous, make sure you dispose of it properly at the end of its useful life. Many cities have HHW facilities where you can drop off your hazardous waste. Check if your community has a HHW facility that collects year-round. The EPA advises that some of these facilities “have exchange areas for unused or leftover paints, solvents, pesticides, cleaning and automotive products, and other materials. By taking advantage of these facilities, materials can be used by someone else, rather than being thrown away.”

Thursday, September 19, 2013

On Begley Street

On Begley Street, the new web series from Hollywood's most ardent environmentalist, Ed Begley Jr., premiered Sunday night. Did you watch?

Ed Begley Jr. Returns to Educate, Entertain with 'On Begley Street' -...
earth911.com

A new web series takes viewers into the Begley home, which the family is attempting to make LEED Platinum Certified.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Recycle Motor Oil

Spilled motor oil can cause major environmental damage, affecting human health and checkbooks in the process. Always recycle motor oil to ensure safe handling. http://bit.ly/1ba6XG7

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Living in a School Gym

If living in an old gym doesn't sound appealing, wait until you see this home conversion.

Would You Live in a Converted Schoolhouse? - Earth911.com

This gorgeous home conversion in Utrecht, Netherlands, may make you think twice about unused public spaces. Once the gymnasium of an abandoned

Monday, September 16, 2013

Lavender is the new garlic

Lavender's long been the star ingredient in lotions, but it's handy in the kitchen, too — check out our recipe for grilled salmon with lavender and basil ... mmm.

Cooking with Lavender - Earth911.com

Lavender is the new garlic. A little dab in salad dressings, teas and seafood marinades goes a long way.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Don't give your fruit the boot! Use any fruit on the verge of spoilage to make shrub syrup. Mix it with water -- or alcohol for the grown ups -- to make refreshing drinks you can enjoy well into the fall. Here's a recipe. Salud!

Put Summer Berries to Use by Making Shrub Syrup - Earth911.com
earth911.com

You can still enjoy the flavors from the season in the sun — even when the calendar shows it's long past — by using summer fruits to make shrub syrup

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Nube Hammock Cover

Love communing with nature, but hate the insects and rodents creeping around in the grass? Check out the Nube, a hammock cover, made with environmentally friendly dyes and materials that can be recycled.

http://earth911.com/art-entertainment/the-nube/

Friday, September 13, 2013

New York City residents generate how many pounds of trash every day?

Pop Quiz: New York City residents generate how many pounds of trash every? Hint: It's in the tens of thousands. To curb the problem, Mayor Bloomberg launched the "Recycle Everything" campaign, with a goal of doubling the amount of waste diverted from NYC landfills by 2017. http://earth911.com/general/nyc-recycle-everything/

Bloomberg Urges New Yorkers to ‘Recycle Everything’ - Earth911.com
earth911.com

New Yorkers generate more than 10,000 pounds of trash every day, which is why NYC's "Recycle Everything" campaign is so crucial.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Reducing Your Household Hazardous Waste

Reducing Your Household Hazardous Waste
By Wendy Gabriel

Reducing your need for HHW in the first place can make your life a little easier and it is a safer environmental option.



According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the definition of “household hazardous waste” is any “leftover household products that contain corrosive, toxic, ignitable, or reactive ingredients… Products, such as paints, cleaners, oils, batteries, and pesticides, that contain potentially hazardous ingredients, require special care when you dispose of them.”

Improperly disposing of HHW can “pollute the environment and pose a threat to human health,” the EPA continues. Luckily, most communities in the U.S. have HHW facilities where consumers can bring old, leftover or unwanted HHW for safe disposal.

Reducing your need for HHW in the first place can make your life a little easier and it is a safer environmental option.

Here are some tips for reducing your HHW:

•Use the least hazardous products possible. Many products have less toxic or nontoxic options. If you have to purchase a hazardous product, check into less hazardous alternatives. To find out more information about safer pesticides, visit beyondpesticides.org.
•Read labels. Make sure you are buying a product that is going to do what you need it to do. Once you purchase, follow the instructions for safe use, proper ventilation and storage. Using more of a product than is necessary could pose a danger to your health and could impact the environment in a negative way.
•If you have leftovers, give the product to someone who can use them. Look around for a home for your leftover hazardous products. Maybe a friend, neighbor, charity or other community group is in need of something you no longer need.
•Avoid aerosols. Aerosols pose both human and environmental health concerns. Plus, they are not economic — much of the product ends up dispersed into places it was not intended to go.
•Recycle. If you need to use a product that is hazardous, make sure you dispose of it properly at the end of its useful life. Many cities have HHW facilities where you can drop off your hazardous waste. Check if your community has a HHW facility that collects year-round. The EPA advises that some of these facilities “have exchange areas for unused or leftover paints, solvents, pesticides, cleaning and automotive products, and other materials. By taking advantage of these facilities, materials can be used by someone else, rather than being thrown away.”

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

6 clever reuses for plastic bread tags

Here are some practical ways to use that pile of plastic thingies that you can't bear to just throw away.

ByNetworx.com

Plastic bread tags are ubiquitous. They don't just close bread bags; you can find them on plastic mesh produce bags, and tons of other supermarket items. How many plastic bread tags do you throw away per year? I know that I'm probably responsible for throwing at least two per week into the garbage. Multiply that by everyone in the USA who buys bags of pita bread, loaves of bread, and bags of produce, and that's one massive pile of plastic!

One way to reduce the amount of solid waste that you produce is to upcycle the things that you'd otherwise throw away. Plastic bread tags have a lot of potential uses. These six are practical and easy.

1. Bread tags as cord labels: You know how cords get tangled up under desks? When you need to unplug or move one, you end up unplugging and moving all of them. Eliminate that problem and reduce plastic waste by repurposing bread tags as cord labels. Simple write the name of the device that each cord connects, and place the bread tag on the cord. It's such an easy way to organize your technology.

2. Mini-scrapers: Bread tags are hard plastic and have a good edge on them. That's why they work really well as scrapers. They're especially good for getting into nooks and crannies that are too small for larger scrapers. Use bread tag mini scrapers to remove baked-on food in the corners of baking pans.

3. Garden label: Write the name of the kind of plant in each pot on a plastic bread tag, and then affix each tag to the edge of its respective pot. It's a cheap and easy way to stay organized when you're starting plants in trays.

4. Tape marker: Isn't it frustrating when you lose the business end of a roll of tape? Solve that common annoyance by using a plastic bread tag as a tape marker. Just fold the end of the tape over the plastic bread tag, and your tape will be ready to use next time you reach for it.

5. Use a bread tag as a guitar pick: This is a real MacGyver solution! If you're ever without a guitar pick when you need one, take the tag off a loaf of bread. Turn the open end away from the guitar (that end will catch in the strings) and strum with the flat end of the tag.

6. Use a bread tag as a hair tie clip: When you travel, it's so easy to lose your hair ties. Keep them all in one place by sliding each one into the opening of a single bread tag. It's so easy to do, and will save you the frustration of needing a hair elastic but not being able to find one.

With tricks like these, you can do good things for the Earth and also for your organizing and decluttering efforts.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Composting then and now


Recycling and compost bins beckon residents to divert waste at the Port of San Francisco. Access to citywide commercial composting is still largely limited in the United States, but we’ve come a long way in recent years. Composting now recovers more than 20 million tons of waste annually, according to the most recent EPA data available.

In a recent report submitted to the EPA, the nonprofit research organization Econservation Institute identified more than 180 commercial and residential food scraps collection programs across the nation, in communities with populations less than 200 on up to ones with more than 600,000.

Composting recovers more than 20 million tons of waste annually, according to the EPA.
Despite these encouraging numbers, recovered organics still amount to less than a third of the material that could be composted – meaning we still have a lot of work to do.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events

Saturday



October 12
Craven Community College 8 am-1pm

October 12
Pamlico County Courthouse 9 am-12 noon

Call 252-633-1564 for more information.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Meeting Postponed

N.C. Coastal Resources Commission September Meeting Postponed
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RALEIGH – A meeting of the N.C. Coastal Resources Commission, originally scheduled for Sept. 24-26 at Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head, N.C., has been postponed.

The meeting will be rescheduled for a later date, after new appointees to the commission have been confirmed, and their first meeting can be scheduled.

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Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs - Phone: 919-707-8626 -- 1601 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1601

Jamie Kritzer, Public Information Officer, 919-707-8602, Jamie.Kritzer@ncdenr.gov

Pat McCrory, Governor -- John E. Skvarla, III, Secretary

An Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action Employer

Friday, September 6, 2013

Recycling Airplanes

Images of the latest gleaming aircraft models regularly pepper websites (including this one), but where do all of those dead airplanes go?

The numbers are huge: approximately 12,000 aircraft are set to be decommissioned by 2020.

In addition, 2,000-3,000 planes are estimated to have been abandoned around the world (primarily in developing countries) according to the Aircraft Fleet Recycling Association (AFRA).

As their aircraft near the end of their service lives, aircraft owners must find ways for dealing with retirees.

For aircraft at that awkward stage when they're no longer safe to fly but still too sturdy to demolish, there are storage facilities like that at Marana Aerospace Solutions in Arizona or the Mohave Air and Space Port in California.

The problem is, they're only temporary.

Too dangerous to fly, too strong to die. Unfortunately they can't all be luxury hotel suites.While some parts -- especially engine parts -- practically sell themselves and find new homes on new planes, other airplane parts can get more innovative second lives, such as the ones featured below.

Furniture

Futuristic rivets, elegant curves, gleaming surfaces and the ability to withstand extremes ... it's easy to see why furniture designers would be intrigued by the potential of decommissioned airplanes.

The widely acknowledged leader in this niche industry is MotoArt, a California-based company that's been designing sleek, sexy beds, tables, chairs and sculptures constructed from deconstructed airplanes for more than a decade.

"We have over 100 designs and have produced thousands of pieces that you find nearly in all parts of the world, from the Dubai Burj, to the Sears Tower, and even as far away as the North Pole," says managing partner Dave Hall.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Fed by Threads

Plenty of apparel companies are choosing to make their garments with sustainable fabrics these days, but some companies go a few steps further, making clothing that is good for people, animals and the environment. One such group is Fed by Threads, a Tucson, Ariz.–based company that makes vegan clothing for women, men and babies that uses sustainable fabrics, is made in the USA and provides 12 emergency meals at food banks for each item sold.

According to Alok Appadurai, who founded the company in 2012 with his wife, Jade Beall, people connect with the Fed by Threads brand in four main ways.

“They care about the economy, they care about reducing our impact on the environment, they care about taking care of people who are struggling or they’re interested in supporting places that don’t harm animals,” Appadurai explains.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Upcycle Your Beverages

.....Upcycle Your Beverages: 20 Uses for Coffee, Tea, Soda and Beer
By Angela Colley

Americans consume an average of 44 gallons of soda, 27 gallons of coffee, 7 gallons of tea, and 20 gallons of beer per year, MarketWatch says.

The problem is, if your house is anything like mine, not every beverage you buy ends up being consumed. I’m always finding half-full cups of coffee, watered-down tea, or unfinished beer in my house. In a perfect world, that wouldn’t happen, but I’m a realist. Sometimes there’s going to be a little left in the bottom of the cup (or leftover grounds in the pot).

But rather than waste it, I reuse it. I like to think of it as upcycling. Here are some examples:

Coffee
1.Stain wood. Dab a washcloth in coffee and run it over a scratch in your wood furniture or hardwood floor. The coffee will stain the scratch and help blend it in.
2.Kill the garlic and onion smell. After cooking with garlic or onions, rub used coffee grounds on your hands and wash with soap. No more smell.
3.Keep bugs away. Used coffee grounds act as a natural barrier to insects. Line your garden or potted plants and keep pests out.
4.Fertilize plants. A friend once told me to mix coffee grounds in the soil for tomato plants. I tried it and grew a crop of gorgeous tomatoes.
5.Stop fridge odors. Coffee grounds act like baking soda in the fridge. Pour a cupful into a bowl, stick it on the top rack, and the grounds will absorb odors.
Tea
1.Soak pots and pans. For grease and burnt-on food, fill the sink with warm water, drop in two used tea bags and soak the pan overnight. In the morning, the pan will scrub clean easily.
2.Reduce under-eye circles. Pop leftover tea bags in the fridge. After they’ve completely cooled, place the bags over your eyes for 10 minutes. The cooled tea will reduce puffiness.
3.Shine your shoes. Gently rub a used tea bag on your dark-colored shoes in a circular motion, then buff with a dry towel. The tea will clean your shoes and add a little shine. Warning: Liquid can damage suede. Use this trick only for leather or imitation-leather fabrics.
4.Clean glass. Fill a spray bottle with half leftover tea and half water. Spray the mixture on windows and wipe off with old newspaper. You’ll get a streak-free shine without all the chemicals.
5.Soothe skin. Tea can soothe irritation from poison ivy, sunburns, razor burns or bug bites. Just soak a cotton ball in cool tea and dab on.
Soda
1.Clean stained pans. I recently let an artichoke steam too long; the pan ran out of water, and the bottom of the pan turned black. Scrubbing didn’t work but Coke did. I poured 1 cup of Coke in the pan and put it on low heat on the stovetop for 30 minutes. After, the stain washed right out.
2.Remove rust. For small rusted items, place the item in a bowl of soda and let it sit overnight. In the morning, clean and polish the item and the rust will come off.
3.Marinade meat. Soda makes a slightly sweet, slightly tangy marinade for chicken, steak or ham. Just soak the meat in soda for 30 minutes or more and cook as you normally would.
4.Eliminate oil stains. To remove oil stains from your garage floor or driveway, soak the area with Coke, let it sit for one to two hours, and wash it off with a hose.
5.Clean windshields. Shake up a can of soda and spray it over your windshield. Let the mixture sit for five minutes and wash with soap and water. Bugs and film will come right off.
Beer
1.Polish gold jewelry. Pour beer into a shallow dish and soak your jewelry for one to five minutes. Take the pieces out and dry them off with a cloth, leaving jewelry clean and polished.
2.Attract wasps. If you have a wasp problem on your porch, fill a container with beer and place it just off the porch. Attracted to the smell, the insects will dive into the container.
3.Remove stains. Pour a small amount of beer on a stain on your clothes or carpet. Blot the stain with a dry towel and watch the stain disappear.
4.Barbecue chicken. Beer makes for the easiest barbecue chicken recipe ever. Simply open a can of beer, place a whole chicken over the can and carefully set it on the grill.
5.Make batter. Replace the water in a batter recipe with beer for a new flavor. Beer batter works great for chicken, vegetables and even breads.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Blue Planet Eyewear

Blue Planet Eyewear’s Environmentally Unique Frames
By Wendy Gabriel

Using recycled scrap plastics and metals and sustainable bamboo in its frames, Blue Planet Eyewear creates eco-conscious, stylish sunglasses and readers.

Blue Planet Eyewear’s name alone invokes a sense of environmentalism. The socially responsible company makes eco-friendly sunglasses and reading glasses.

Here is what makes Blue Planet Eyewear unique:

•During the process of manufacturing eyeglass frames, excess metals and plastics are squeezed out of the molds, which creates waste that typically ends up in landfills. Blue Planet Eyewear recycles that excess material back into making eyeglass frames. Blue Planet’s metal and plastic frames are made with recycled, sustainable bamboo or reclaimed materials.
•Blue Planet’s sunglasses provide maximum ultraviolet and glare protection and are scratch resistant.
•All paints used are lead-free.
•All metal plating used is nickel-free, keeping toxic metals out of the manufacturing process.
•All boxes, interior/outer packaging and hangtags are made with at least 65% post-consumer material. Blue Planet’s marketing materials are printed using soy-based inks on FSC-certified recycled paper.
Here are some examples of Blue Planet Eyewear’s frames:

Blue Planet Eyewear BP2004 readers, made of bamboo. Photo via blueplaneteyewear.com
Here is the socially responsible aspect: For every frame sold, Blue Planet Eyewear is committed to donating an eyeglass frame to help restore sight to someone in need. So, when you buy a pair Blue Planet sunglasses or readers, the company donates a pair to the Lions Sight & Hearing Foundation. The Lions volunteers then distribute their glasses to 80 countries around the world where sight renewal is most needed. Buy a pair = Give a pair. All told, in 2012, Blue Planet Eyewear donated more than 10,000 pairs of eyewear to those in need.

For more information, visit blueplaneteyewear.com. To purchase Blue Planet Eyewear, visit karmicanarchy.com.

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

— Mahatma Gandhi

Monday, September 2, 2013

Labor Day Schedule

Happy Labor Day everyone. Our Administrative offices will be closed today but the Tuscarora Landfill, Newport Transfer Station and Grantsboro Transfer Station will be open on their regular schedules.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Labor Day Schedule

Happy Labor Day everyone. Our Administrative offices will be closed tomorrow, September 2, but the Tuscarora Landfill, Newport Transfer Station and Grantsboro Transfer Station will be operate on their regular schedules.

Home Electronics Disposal

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