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Found 29 results

  1. Waste management has become a serious issue in the world ever since the rise of industrialization and the population boom that started in the 20th century. With over 7 billion people across the globe producing waste within their homes, companies and communities, a need arises to educate people and promote waste management in order to battle the effects of global warming and decrease the harmful effect that waste production has on the environment. Assess the amount of waste you produce Start your waste management plan by writing down the amount of waste your household, company or project produces on a monthly basis. You can categorize waste into different types such as scraps, human waste, water waste, energy waste and natural materials. Additionally, remember to note the trash produced by excavation and building crews, if you are running a renovation project. Every waste management situation will have different parameters, so make sure to observe all crucial elements in waste production. When managing waste in your company, you will have to account for the amount of waste that every employee produces and that will include water, energy and material waste. After you’ve assessed the amount of produced waste, you can divide it into recyclables, reusable materials and refuse. Recyclable waste is usually consisted of flyers, clothes, bottles, plastic and paper, among other. Refuse materials are mainly consisted of kitchen and industrial waste in the form of old cleaning supplies, cords, bulbs and electrical trash, and is best reduced to a minimum by limiting consumption and opting for more durable, long-lasting items, such as switching from regular lighting to LED lighting, etc. Lastly, reusable “waste” can be anything you can make use of for a prolonged period of time, such as partially printed paper, delivery boxes, jars and paper bags. Set up an action plan Once you are finished with categorizing and have assessed the amount of waste, you’ll need a concrete plan of action for each type of waste. Note that waste disposal is not cheap and it’s always better to prevent waste accumulation and production than to deal with excessive amounts of it every month. Along with being better for your budget, prevention is eco-friendly as you are reducing the amount of greenhouse gas emission and waste production. You can limit the amount of resources you use that later become refuse and use only the reusable and recyclable materials. Instead of constantly changing traditional light bulbs that consume and waste vast amounts of energy, switch to LED lighting that preserves the energy and lasts longer. In addition to saving energy, it will also cost you less. Further, in order to reduce water waste, make sure that all water sources are only used when necessary and fix every leakage. Opt for water-saving appliances like washing machines, dishwashers and refrigerators that are energy-friendly. Recycling is fairly easy - you just need to love nature enough. Make sure to divide your recyclables into different bags and learn the schedule of your neighborhood’s recyclable waste pickups. Finally, you can move onto planning your refuse waste management. Trash is bound to accumulate at some point, and after you’ve implemented all the new rules of reusing and recycling, it’s time to get rid of the trash you are left with. Start by noting the means you will use to dispose of your trash by assessing the cost, choosing removal crews and types of vehicles they have depending on the amount of waste you’re dealing with. Waste can often be difficult to classify, and in order to avoid hitting a roadblock in your disposal efforts, make sure to consult with environmental experts about proper waste classification. Lastly, draw up concrete goals for you waste reduction project. You’ll need a realistic set of goals if you want to make your waste management plan work. You can define these by assessing the percentage of trash you want to reduce over a period of time, all the while increasing the use of recyclable and reusable materials. Waste management is no easy task as it requires planning, preparation, time and effort, but with these guidelines you will be able to create a concrete plan of action to boost your waste management efforts and make the process as quick and efficient as possible.
  2. If you are in charge of waste disposal in your community, you will be responsible for making sure that waste products are disposed of in a manner that is green. Community waste products that are normally safe can become hazardous if they are not managed properly. For example, motor oil is normally safe, but can contaminate drinking water in large quantities. Even products that are not hazardous will fill up landfills. Renting a Dumpster When it is time for your community to dispose a lot of waste, it is important to do so in a rented dumpster from a company like Tri-State Disposal. Disposing of large quantities of waste in any other way would be terrible for the environment and may also be against dumping laws. More dumpsters can be rented as needed when the volume of garbage is larger than expected. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle The best way to make waste more manageable is to follow the three R's: reduce, reuse and recycle. While you cannot force residents of a community to perform these actions, you can remind residents and provide them with tips on how to achieve this ideal. To also ease the burden of disposing of hazardous waste, encourage residents to use safer alternatives. For killing pests, for example, encourage residents to use less toxic pest control methods such as the use of boric acid. Hazardous Waste Pickup Day Communities should implement programs in which residents can mail hazardous waste to a facility where the waste can then be disposed of. The hazardous waste should be kept separate from the regular trash. The type of products that need to be disposed of in a particular manner include: Household cleaners Garden chemicals Sharps Mercury Paint Batteries Automotive products Many of these products can be recycled. Others will need to be sued up and will then no longer need to be disposed of. For example, homeowners who need to dispose of household cleaners could simply give them to a neighbor to be used. Changing the habits of your community to make it more eco-conscious can be challenging, but with a little practice, your members of your community will make habits and good recycling practices of their own. Then, your community will reduce the amount of garbage that ends up in landfills and will protect the environment from hazardous waste.
  3. Business and consumer electronic equipment that’s no longer useful is classed as e-waste. As some components contain dangerous materials, it’s important that you dispose of them properly. This article will help you do just that: E-waste is created from anything that’s electronic so this includes TVs, monitors, computers, mobile phones, printers and fax machines to name but a few. The threat to the environment from harmful materials such as mercury and lead is significant, so it’s vital that the recycling of these goods is made a priority. Nearly all electronic waste contains a form of recyclable material including glass, metal and plastics. Your local council will have a recycling centre where you can take your electronic goods to ensure they’re dealt with safely. They may also provide a weekly kerb collection, where you can put small waste electrical and electronic equipment in a carrier bag alongside your green box. Items collected will include kettles, toasters, irons and other small kitchen appliances, clocks and watches, video and DVD players, cameras and chargers, small power tools and games consoles. Alternatively, you can use a local rubbish removal company to dispose of TVs, ovens, washing machines and other electronics if you want your e-waste removed immediately. The actual recycling system is done in a very methodical way. There will be an initial picking process where batteries and copper will be taken away before items are shredded into pieces to be sorted thoroughly. Data destruction will take place at this point too. Small debris is then spread out evenly on a conveyor belt before it’s broken down even more. All dust is disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner. A magnet will remove all iron and steel, and any brass or aluminium will be separated as the metallic elements can be reused and resold. Water is used to separate any glass and plastic content. Recycling monitors and old televisions is a bit more complicated because of the cathode ray tubes. The tubes have to be carefully removed before the shell can be shredded into small pieces. Magnets will again take away any iron and steel from the broken bits of glass, and the remainder is cleared of oxides, leaving clean glass to be sorted. If equipment is still in part working order, you could consider donating it so that it could be professionally repaired and reused. This is then called continuing the life of the product. A lot of old products can be exported to developing countries, but this does sometimes bring its own problems as the lifespan of the equipment is not very long, giving that county an e-waste build up. There are also a number of charity shops who’ll be willing to find a new home for your unwanted, working electrical items. Remember too that some electrical items contain valuable materials that can raise money for charity. Mobile phones are often collected to get funds for cancer care or children’s care. Some retailers may also have take back schemes that will accept your old appliances for re-cycling in store when you buy a new one. This often applies to mobile phone retailers who’ll let you send your old phone back through the post to be reconditioned or recycled. Today all companies selling electronic equipment must provide you with a means of waste recycling products by law. You may be charged if they have to collect them from you, but the cost of the recycling process must be free.
  4. Business and consumer electronic equipment that’s no longer useful is classed as e-waste. As some components contain dangerous materials, it’s important that you dispose of them properly. This article will help you do just that and think twice before littering or illegal dumping all kind of waste: E-waste is created from anything that’s electronic so this includes TVs, monitors, computers, mobile phones, printers and fax machines to name but a few. The threat to the environment from harmful materials such as mercury and lead is significant, so it’s vital that the recycling of these goods is made a priority. Nearly all electronic waste contains a form of recyclable material including glass, metal and plastics. Your local council will have a recycling centre where you can take your electronic goods to ensure they’re dealt with safely. They may also provide a weekly kerb collection, where you can put small waste electrical and electronic equipment in a carrier bag alongside your green box. Items collected will include kettles, toasters, irons and other small kitchen appliances, clocks and watches, video and DVD players, cameras and chargers, small power tools and games consoles. Alternatively, you can use a local rubbish removal company to dispose of TVs, ovens, washing machines and other electronics if you want your e-waste removed immediately. The actual recycling system is done in a very methodical way. There will be an initial picking process where batteries and copper will be taken away before items are shredded into pieces to be sorted thoroughly. Data destruction will take place at this point too. Small debris is then spread out evenly on a conveyor belt before it’s broken down even more. All dust is disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner. A magnet will remove all iron and steel, and any brass or aluminium will be separated as the metallic elements can be reused and resold. Water is used to separate any glass and plastic content. Recycling monitors and old televisions is a bit more complicated because of the cathode ray tubes. The tubes have to be carefully removed before the shell can be shredded into small pieces. Magnets will again take away any iron and steel from the broken bits of glass, and the remainder is cleared of oxides, leaving clean glass to be sorted. If equipment is still in part working order, you could consider donating it so that it could be professionally repaired and reused. This is then called continuing the life of the product. A lot of old products can be exported to developing countries, but this does sometimes bring its own problems as the lifespan of the equipment is not very long, giving that county an e-waste build up. There are also a number of charity shops who’ll be willing to find a new home for your unwanted, working electrical items. Remember too that some electrical items contain valuable materials that can raise money for charity. Mobile phones are often collected to get funds for cancer care or children’s care. Some retailers may also have take back schemes that will accept your old appliances for re-cycling in store when you buy a new one. This often applies to mobile phone retailers who’ll let you send your old phone back through the post to be reconditioned or recycled. Today all companies selling electronic equipment must provide you with a means of waste recycling products by law. You may be charged if they have to collect them from you, but the cost of the recycling process must be free.
  5. Recycling isn't just about tossing your plastic and glass into a blue bin at the end of the week. There are many different ways to limit the amount of waste that you and your family send to the landfill. A few changes to your daily habits could help you reduce your carbon footprint and protect the environment around you. Put an End to Water Waste A single leaky pipe or running toilet can waste over 200 gallons of water per day. That amount of wasted water will put quite a bit of strain on your local aquifers and other water sources. Homeowners should constantly check their water meters to see if they might have any leaks that are affecting their utility bills. You should also consider updating your plumbing system so that your greywater is reused in your toilets or out on your lawn. Read the Labels on Your Electronics Electronics can be incredibly devastating to the environment when they are not properly disposed of. Many of them contain harsh chemicals and acids that might not decompose for hundreds of years. If you are unsure of what to do with your old electronics, then you should call your local trash company to see if they have a program to recycle old devices. Recycle During Your Larger Projects Quite a bit of waste is created during most home renovations. Before starting your next project, you might want to consider renting a dumpster, such as one from Lakeshore Recycling, instead of leaving piles of debris in your yard or filling up your regular trash bin with potentially hazardous materials. This is especially important if your home is more than a few decades old. Many older homes are filled with toxic materials such as lead and asbestos. Compost Your Food Even though your food products will quickly decompose in a dump, you can actually improve the health of your local plants by composting at home. Compost bins and holes can be filled with a wide variety of leftover materials including egg shells, coffee grounds, bones, fat, and the skin off of fruit. When left for a short period of time, it will turn into a natural fertilizer that is extremely good for your trees, plants, and grass. Those who spend more time learning about the recycling process might find out that they can recycle or reuse many of their everyday items. Not only will that help your local environment, but it will also slow down the rate at which manufacturing plants must continue to use natural resources.
  6. The right landscape can greatly improve both the curb appeal and market value of a home. From landscaping arrangements that feature native plants or sophisticated irrigation systems that may reduce upkeep and maintenance costs to outdoor lighting options that may improve the appearance of an outdoor area after dark, there are numerous ways to improve the look and feel of an outdoor space. The following three resources can make a welcome addition to any lawn or landscape. Xeriscaping With Native Plants and Soil The potential water conservation that xeriscaping makes possible may result in lower utility bills and less demanding maintenance and upkeep efforts. Maintaining an attractive landscape may prove to be an uphill battle for those who utilize trees, shrubs and other outdoor plants that may have trouble adapting to a new climate. Soils that provide the right composition and pH balance and plants that are able to thrive with very little moisture may allow property owners to design the perfect outdoor landscape while ensuring water usage is less likely to place some strain on household budgets. If you’re unsure which materials to use to maintain these plants, consult a company like Bourget Bros. Building Materials and see what they recommend. Automated Irrigation Systems Automated systems offer a number of advantages. More precise control over watering and irrigation schedules and the means to ensure that lawn maintenance can be performed with greater ease and convenience can both make a considerable difference. These systems can be especially valuable during hot summer months for homeowners who lack the time or opportunity to water during the early morning or late-evening hours. Features like water-flow sensors can also ensure that lawns and landscaped areas are less likely to be over-watered, an issue which may cause excessive soil erosion or cause harm to plants. Recycled and Repurposed Materials Brick, stone, and even glass are all popular choices for homeowners seeking to utilize recycled materials to create hardscaped areas. Hardscaping offers a simple and effective way to redirect water flow, limit soil erosion or to create a more distinctive landscaping layout or design. Repurposing used and salvaged materials offer a cost-effective and environmentally sustainable option for home and property owners who may be working with a fixed budget or that wish to create a greener home. For many property owners and households, lawn and landscape irrigation often represents a sizable portion of utility usage each month. Materials, plants, and installations that allow for superior water conservation efforts make it easier than ever to create and maintain a green home. A few well-chosen landscaping upgrades or additions may result in greater savings than many property owners might expect.
  7. As recycling technology has improved over the past decade, it has led to some confusion regarding what can and cannot be recycled. Can you throw plastic bags in the recycling bin? Do you have to wash out jars and bottles before recycling? What about Styrofoam and used paper towels? These tips can help you better understand what is recyclable and what should be tossed into the trash. Plastic Bags Although most recycling facilities have the ability to recycle plastic bags, most prefer that they not be included in a recycling container other than those designed for plastic bags. Bags can wrap around and jam recycling equipment and they can contaminate paper bales, according to some recycling companies. Instead of tossing them into your recycling bin, take them to specialized locations for recycling. Many grocery and department stores now have bins available for plastic bag recycling. Plastic Bottle Caps Although caps and plastic bottles are made from different types of plastic, both are recyclable. Keep the cap on the bottle as a loose cap can slip through the sorting lines at a recycling facility and end up in the trash accidentally. Separated caps are also difficult to spot as the recyclable material is sorted going into the machinery. Styrofoam In most cases, Styrofoam is still not recyclable. Styrofoam, which is actually expanded polystyrene, can be contaminated easily. Since recycling facilities do not deep clean the items they process, dirt can be embedded into the recycling material. Styrofoam is also a petroleum product, making it flammable and difficult to break down. However, some recycling companies do have special Styrofoam recycling technology, so you should check with your recycling center to know if they accept Styrofoam. Although people don’t tend to have a ton of Styrofoam piling up, they are more likely to accumulate a ton of it when they are moving or renovating. This is because it is in the packing supplies or in the boxes of new appliances. If you ever find yourself in this situation and cannot find a place to recycle it, make sure that you get a trash bin from a company like Kingston Skips that specializes in disposing of different types of rubbish so that you can make sure that it is properly taken care of. Pizza Boxes Most people believe that pizza boxes, which often have the recyclable symbol imprinted on them, can be tossed into the recycling bin. However, most programs do not accept pizza boxes due to the food and grease that can accumulate on the box. In fact, most food containers that contain greasy foods are not recyclable, such as Chinese take-out boxes. Because materials are not cleaned at the recycling center, you should rinse food residue from jars and bottles as much as possible. The jar or bottle does not have to be spotless, but most of the food left on the inside should be rinsed. Used napkins and paper towels are not recyclable for the same reasons. Juice and Milk Cartons Although juice and milk cartons are mostly made of paper, they often have a thin coating on the outside. In addition, some juice containers have an aluminum foil lining to keep the juice fresher. Although all three of those items are recyclable, it can be difficult for the center to separate them. Check with your recycling center to be sure that they have the equipment available to separate the different components from juice and milk cartons. Recycling is one of the best ways to protect the environment. By understanding what is and is not recyclable, you will not only make it easier on those who must collect and process recyclable items, you can also make adjustments in your daily life, avoiding those items that are not recyclable in order to reduce landfill waste.
  8. With the holidays officially upon us, it's easy to get overwhelmed and lose sight of what truly matters this time of year. Amidst all the shopping and festivities, some of the most rewarding acts of cheer this season are performed for the good of one's community. Nothing brings a town or urban borough closer together than small but heartfelt acts of generosity, from volunteering with local shelters and charitable programs to taking extra care to keep things clean and looking their most inviting. In the latter case, here are just a few of the ways cleaning up your community can ring in the spirit of the holidays. 1. Teach Them While They're Young When our children see us taking joy in an act of kindness, they're all too happy to join in! Bundle up your little ones and make an afternoon of cleaning up the neighborhood, collecting discarded trash, shoveling drives and walkways, and making those small but effective adjustments that transform any community into a welcoming abode. 2. Flex Your Winter-Green Thumb Community gardens and parks often fall to neglect when winter hits and the snow begins to collect, which is truly a shame. By clearing paths and walkways, trimming back greenery, and even hanging lights or garlands (where permitted) outdoor public spaces can enjoy just as much holiday traffic and activity as the warmer indoors. 3. Reuse, Recycle, Rejoice You're probably well aware of just how much garbage and debris a household can accumulate over the holidays, and the overflow can eventually spill over into unwanted spaces, considerably dampening the cheer. By collecting, sorting, and properly disposing of waste before it qualifies for snow sledding, you can make way for the real attractions of the season. You should consider having a waste removal company such as Ware Disposal to help remove the garbage and debris in your area. 4. Pick Up For Those In Need Often the elderly and physically impaired aren't able to get out and give their properties a good holiday cleaning, so why not lend a hand? Offer to clear the gutters, drives, and walkways to make room for festive decorations and easier mobility, and pick up any trash that may have gone undetected. It will not only be a great help to your neighbor, but spread the best kind of holiday cheer. Whether it's sweeping an elderly neighbor's walkway or tidying up the public park, taking some time out of your busy holiday schedule to give your community a boost goes a long way to ensuring a happy, healthy season for all.
  9. With the average person in the United States generating over 4 pounds of trash per day, the importance of recycling should be blatantly clear. The things we discard have long been finding their way into the soil that produces our food, the water we drink, and the air we breathe. Our trash contributes to the break-down of ecosystems and directly kills millions of animals per year. Sadly, the trash itself isn’t the only problem. Not only are we throwing it out in the first place, but we are manufacturing more of the same products that we discard. When we manufacture new glass jars, aluminum cans, or paper, we are cutting down more trees, using more energy, emitting more greenhouse gases, and using more water. What is the answer to this conundrum? Yes, recycling! Start with the no-brainers: aluminum cans, plastic bottles, glass jars, cardboard, newspapers and magazines. Yet, don’t stop there—keep going! Here are 10 things that you should consider recycling the next time you’re faced with the decision of whether or not to throw them out: 1. Mattresses: When you purchase a new mattress, be sure that your retailer participates in a mattress recycling program where they will properly discard your old one. 2. Plastic Cards: For example, gift cards, credit cards and hotel keys. This year’s used up gift card can live again as next year’s gift card. 3. CDs & DVDs: With the ability to stream and download, we don’t really need these any more. That means that so many are getting thrown out. Consider donating them or taking them somewhere that will recycle them properly. 4. Writing Utensils: You can send that cup full of dried up pens, markers, highlighters, mechanical pencils, and even those stray caps for recycling. 5. Packing peanuts: The Styrofoam variety are a big no-no for the landfills, but can be recycled into many different products. 6. Trophies: Your old high school trophies can be made into shiny, new trophies through special programs. 7. Electronic waste: Electronic devices should always be disposed of properly. Ware Disposal and other recycling companies actually specialize in depositing these items safely. 8. Auto fluids: If you change your own fluids, proper disposal is a must. Most automotive stores have a recycling program, and so just make sure that you ask whether or not they have one before you go to them for services. 9. Toothbrushes and razors: These and many other personal care products can be dismantled and recycled so that they don’t pile up in the landfill. 10. Christmas Trees: Most communities have recycling programs that will turn your holiday tree into anything from erosion barriers to fish habitats, which means that things that come from nature can go right back to benefiting the earth again. Most of these ideas are fairly easy to accomplish and really only the beginning to all of what you can do. Doing a quick internet search for recycling centers in your area will get you started, though. A little bit of knowledge and a few extra minutes of your time is all it takes to make a lasting impact on our planet for generations to come.
  10. Upcycled Circuitry: 4 Creative Uses for Old Tech

    Technology often has a nostalgic link to the era in which it was in vogue. However, just because a piece of tech is found to be behind the times by modern standards, this does not mean that its usefulness has vanished. Sometimes it is when an old piece of tech has lost its appeal that someone discovers a new purpose for it. Then, that which was believed to be condemned to the shelves at the rear of the storeroom gets a new purpose—and sometimes new popularity. Old technology can give life to new and innovative ideas. Here are a few of those innovations to consider. That Old Transistor Radio While the younger generation is busy with their iPods and MP4 players, the older generation remembers the days when hand-held transistor radios were all the rage. Despite being less popular today, many might be shocked to learn that blind people still use transistor radios to help them to navigate screen changes on other electronic devices. Since the radio provides an audible change in the static hum of AM frequency channels when the screen of a nearby electronic device has changed, this can be used to help a blind person know that something has taken place on a screen they cannot read. Some blind people have successfully used this method to navigate the use of drum machines and other previously inaccessible electronic devices. All Those Unused Monitors Often people buy new computer gear and stick their old monitors in the garage or at the back of their closet. Before long they realize they have a slew of old monitors. Removing the monitors from their base makes it possible to arrange the monitors in a vertical, homemade frame. The more monitors you have, the more you can use to make a multiple screen video display. With enough video cards to drive their use, a person can finally have that multiple display they always wanted for watching television or running their home security system through. Sometimes, a broken monitor is just a simple repair away from being incredibly useful. Research what the problem might be online, or contact a service like Contec Direct to see if it’s worth the trouble. Phone Cameras If you are the type to have a bunch of old cell and smartphones laying around in a box, it might be time to put their on-board cameras to work. Instead of spending a fortune on new cameras for your home security system, simply making use of these older cameras is one way to outfit your home with 360-degree monitoring. One perk is that old phones, even when they aren’t connected to a phone network anymore, can still connect to your WiFi network. You can have a home security system without having to run wires to every corner of your house! The Old Bulky Television Many people have an old broken television they are no longer using. Many of the older televisions are bulky and served as a place where the family gathered around on movie night. Now broken, it is okay to wait until the television has had time to drain its power and start gutting out its insides. With the inside empty, the display box with the glass screen front can be used for displaying some other scene or object of your choice. You could even completely gut it, and plant some flowers inside for a contemporary urban art piece! Old tech is all around us. Some of this tech may still have a lot of useful functions. With a little creative thought and hard work, you would be surprised what can be made out of your collection of outdated technology.
  11. Innovations continue to emerge as business and governmental agencies step up to the challenge of reducing solid waste. From planning for the future to large-scale examples of best practices in waste-stream sorting, here are five intriguing advancements in recycling: 1. Design for Recycling The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries recognizes advancements in this area with an annual award. Samsung Electronics America won the award in 2016 for its design of a TV incorporating snap-together parts instead of screws, allowing a recycler to disassemble it in ten minutes or less. 2. Wear. Donate. Recycle. Did you know the average person in the U.S. throws away 70 pounds of clothing and textiles each year? Some municipalities are considering textile recycling programs or even fining residents who throw away clothing instead of donating it. The Council for Textile Recycling works to create awareness among consumers, charities, recyclers and others and has a goal of zero textile waste going to landfills by 2037. So expect to see much more of their slogan, “Wear. Donate. Recycle.” 3. Sink Your Shucks You might not realize that even natural materials can have uses beyond the landfill. Consider oyster shells, as an example. A recycling program in Texas called "Sink Your Shucks" takes oyster shells discarded by seafood processors and uses them to restore ocean reefs. In August 2016 they celebrated recycling one million pounds of oyster shells this way. That's making a difference! 4. In-house Options Businesses that end up with lots of cardboard boxes — and needs packing material for shipping — have found a great solution with industrial cardboard shredders such as those offered by Advantage Business Equipment. Not only do they provide a sustainable way to get rid of cardboard, but the shredders can also pay for themselves very quickly by supplying the business with virtually free packing material. 5. Smart Waste Management As communities struggle with lower commodity prices, they're looking for ideas to streamline and improve their recycling efforts. A great example is the Southern Nevada Recycling Center in Las Vegas, operated by Republic Services and winner of the 2016 Gold Excellence Award in the Recycling Systems category from the Solid Waste Association of North. It's huge—110,000 square feet—and is capable of processing 70 tons of waste per hour through its material recovery facility. Fortunately, there are many great examples of environmental stewardship as efforts continue to make the most of our resources, protect the environment and create a sustainable future. Keep yourself informed on new ways that you can save the environment through recycling.
  12. Sustainable living is becoming more popular over time. Plenty of people are trying to reduce their ecological footprint by doing things such as eating less meat, composting food waste and using reusable shopping bags. While all of these things are great, creating a greener community will increase the effects of these efforts. Here are five ways to get your community to live greener lifestyles. Eat Local Transporting food thousands of miles increases emission output into the air. This increases pollution, and experts tell us that this effects our climate. Purchasing local also keeps resources in the area and benefits local farmers. Create a community garden! This is a great way to get family and children involved in a project benefiting the residents and environment. Recycling Everyone knows our trash output is too high. Trash sits in landfills for decades before composing, if it ever does decompose. Communities need to have multiple recycling drop off points, and have a skip bin in each location from their local waste management company. Electronics often end up in the landfills as well. This is the improper way to dispose of old and broken electronics. Set up drop off points so residents have a safe way to get rid of these items. Transportation A large portion of the pollution in our air is caused by transportation. Reducing this will clean up the community. Here are some ways to help. Organize a carpool group. Have a walk-to-school program. This decreases emissions and provides exercise times for children. Petition for bike lanes on the roads. Encourage Political Participation Everyone has a voice that should be heard. Creativity is one of the things needed to create greener communities. Getting involved in local politics can make these visions come to life. This is also a great way to get the residents involved. Let them know about local butchers or farmers so they know where to purchase food products. People will participate if they know how. Volunteering People who volunteer their time can help create preserve and aid the land. Organize a group of people who are willing to take time and pick up litter along the roads. This is a great way to get children involved as well. Cleaning up the area and streams is beneficial to the land and animals as well. There are so many ways to get involved in the community. The first step is spread awareness and encourage a discussion on methods to better the community.
  13. 6 Different Waste Disposal Methods

    Dealing with waste is one of the present-day challenges that modern societies face. In the constant battle with tones and tones of waste, modern methods have to be developed in order to provide adequate solutions. Waste disposal methods take many forms, some of which more popular than others. Which one is used depends on a variety of factors, such as technological advancement and present features in the location where waste removal takes place. Here are few of the top techniques used for waste disposal: Filling a landfill - undoubtedly the most largely used method today. In essence, the method is all about burying waste in land, which is where the name comes from. Usually, a pretreatment is executed before actually burying the waste. This features eliminating the dangers and odours of the waste. The main drawback of the method is that it comes with a certain free land requirement. That is exactly why the method is becoming less and less popular, as available land is little, the method of waste clearance is being reconsidered on a global scale. Incineration - burning the waste at high temperatures in specialized facilities is another method of waste disposal. As a result, solid waste is reduced to gas and residue, which is 20-30% less than the original volume. In that lies the main benefit of this method and the reason why it is largely preferred in countries that have no available space for landfills. Recycling - converting products of waste into usable materials is the essence of recycling. It is a method, which helps preserve raw materials and energy and in that way provides great benefits. As a very positive side effect, recycling also helps prevent air and water pollution and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Recycling should be a top priority not only for waste collection companies, but also households. Resource recovery - the process of extracting useful components and parts of discarded waste is known as resource recovery. The collected materials are then used either in the creation of new products, or are alternatively converted into heat, fuel or electricity. Composting - composting is a bio-degradation process, which is applicable for waste of organic nature only. Think plants and kitchen waste that can easily become nutrients and food for your garden. The process is eco-friendly and preferred in organic gardens, as it provides a supply of nutrients at any time. A place to store the compost long enough so that microbes can decompose it is required. Plasma gasification - this method is similar to incineration in that plasma torches operating at over 10 000 degrees F turn liquid and solid waste into synthesis gas. The molecular bonds of the waste collection going through this method of disposal are broken. The benefit is that through this method renewable energy can be created, all while destroying dangerous materials. These are the most popular methods for waste disposal currently used worldwide. Each holds drawbacks and benefits, which should be considered before being implemented.
  14. Saving the Cost of Products in Recycling

    What is mill scale? It is found on all hot-rolled steel products. A particularly thin outer film of hematite, Fe2O3, is found on the surface of steel. The inside part of the magnetite contains very fine metal grains as well as residual black FeO that contributes to the coarseness of descaled metal. Found on all hot-rolled steel products this waste product is not able to be used unless handled in a protecting air or descaled. What is mill scale? The oxidized, hardened, surface that advances on steel as it goes through its process that is hot is what is called mill scale. It contains oxidized iron, iron as well as other undefined contaminants such as oils and carbonates. Byproduct waste Mill scale is the by-product waste of steel which can be used again as the prime substance in many other industry processes. There are other companies that produce by-products that other industries can use in their recycling processes and can deliver materials of good quality to other industries. These quality materials have value among the companies that recycle material and that are reliant on the industry as well as the application. The price for mill scale depends on the application as it can vary. Add FE units Even through the material mill scale is a waste stream, when there is depletion of standard scraps many iron or steel manufactures prefer mill scale as an addition to the FE units. But the composition depends on what type of steel is being produced. More uses There are many uses and more are being investigated all the time. This helps with the cost attributed to recycling. The recycling business has become costly often costing much more than a company can afford. This is what happened with companies that first recycled paper, glass, and aluminum cans. When all of these products are recycled it cost money and uses other materials. The solution of this problem is to find ways to use the waste-products of recycling. Steel industry An example is of the steel industry. Tons of materials are moved from mills into landfills using space and resources that are valuable. But by keeping these streams clean and using separating, they are able to take these materials to sell and reused in other industries. Mill scale in all its forms can serve other uses in other industries. Replaces iron ore and limestone Usually mill scale consists of large amounts of FE or iron with smaller amounts of silica and alumina. This is common when recycling using the “sintering” process. Recycling by this method assists in sparing raw materials such as iron ore and limestone that are normally used. Often these raw materials need to be shipped from far away so by using mill scale this addition expense is avoided. Used in sinter process There are numerous studies investigating the potentials by-products of recycling in the process known as ‘sintering’. Aside from the sinter process, several of the preferred sinter goods are able to be accomplished by the use of 40 up to 50 kg of mill scale per sinter ton. Sell of mill scale There are companies that get mill scale (iron oxide) from sources of production in the United States and sell it for export or domestic use. Use in China This waste product by most U.S. steel producers is being used in China especially when China first became a worldwide steel maker. All FE materials that were by-products were considered by China as potential supply options which made the process of making steel for them cheaper. For more information on mill scale you can found information at http://mineralrecycling.com/
  15. The demand for energy grows as the population of our planet increases. By conserving, recycling, repurposing, and creating new sources of energy, we can get the same job done without depleting our natural resources and adding to pollution. Here are four modern problems surrounding energy issues and how they can be solved. Sustainable Communities People living in highly populated urban areas need energy resources in large amounts, creating high demand and large impacts on the environment. Developing energy solutions used in highly populated areas have a major impact. For example, making it easier for people to ride public transit, cycle, or walk for everyday trips conserves energy and reduces the use of fossil fuels. Developing green buildings, which emit less pollution, results in cleaner air and water as well. Biosolids The sewage generated from large populated areas was traditionally pumped into the waterways causing pollution. As sewage management progressed, the solids filtered from sewage were transported to landfills or incinerated. None of these methods are earth-friendly. The advent of biosolids, which turns sewage into agricultural materials by using industrial dryers, greatly reduces fuel consumption. Companies like Uzelac Industries use this self-sufficient system to recycle biosolids into useful agricultural materials. Recycling Food Waste Today, high volumes of food waste in the beef and poultry industry, as well as many other types of commercial food waste from manufacturing, is a concern for many environmentalists. As organic removal and recycling services grow, they help many food manufacturers reach recycling goals and reduce waste output. The waste collected is recycled into high-energy animal feed ingredients which reduces the amount of waste put into landfills, provides animal feed, and saves energy that would be used to transport and process the waste. Recycling makes a useful product out of material that would otherwise be an adverse issue. Substitutes for Fossil Fuels Finding alternatives in place of costly fossil fuels is a need in many industries. Many different types are still being experimented with and studied, like ethanol, biofuels, and hydrogen fuels. Urban waste water can be used as an inexpensive, carbon-neutral substitute for fossil fuels. Using drying systems, large metro areas take the huge levels of sludge a large population generates, and reduces the liquid. Then, this dried sludge can be used to produce energy that's sustainable, easily available and cheaper than fossil fuels. The levels of energy needed to sustain the population grow each day. Solutions that preserve the environment and conserve energy are important to the health of the planet. To meet that demand, it's important to look to adopting earth-friendly solutions that recycle and conserve energy while creating renewable sources.
  16. If you are one of those folks shying away from jumping on board the recycling train, this is for you. It's a fact - not everyone wants to recycle. Not everyone wants to wash dirty plastic cups or break down stiff cardboard boxes, either. How about you? Do you think recycling is a waste of time and effort? Did you know that recycling can help us all actually breathe easier? Think of ten of your friends and two of them have allergies due to air pollution. By using recycled glass items where manufacturing processes are reduced, we are left with a whopping 20% less muck to cloud up our breathing space. That may not sound like a lot. Then again, are two lives or 20% of your friends important enough for people to take advantage of the benefits of recycling? Not just yes; but heck yes! Recycling not only helps clean out your cabinets filled to the brim with old plastic butter containers; it enhances the quality of life for billions of people while salvaging and preserving Mother Earth's greatest assets. Is Recycling Trendy? During the entire stretch of the 1900's, U.S. citizens proudly recycled. WWII recycled approximately 1/4 of waste. Prior to WWII, various recycling programs had been established within 70% of U.S. cities. Many folks can remember as children being motivated to recycle soda pop bottles for the $0.05 they could earn in return. Is recycling trendy. Not so much. Why Recycle? Most of us understand there is some benefit to recycling. What doesn't necessarily ring loud enough is why we should bother to care. Supporters like Lakeshore Recycling can provide lots of information about recycling for the home and businesses. We need folks who get the big picture about the benefits that recycling provides for us all. Recycling participation is a hands-on support system for people and the environment. Compacted landfills take up valuable land space while infusing toxicity under and above ground, negatively affecting natural resources. With over 7 billion people worldwide producing approximately 7.5 pounds of garbage daily, that leaves approximately 54,112,192,470 pounds of waste, that is something we simply cannot ignore. In conclusion, there is extensive profit to be made on all levels of recycling. Cleaner air and land, healthier minds and bodies, and earning a buck are about as many reasons as we need to step up our recycling game. The recycling train is standing by. Come on! Jump aboard!
  17. Grey water Recycling in your Home

    We all know we need to be saving water but there's sometimes confusion about what sorts of water we should save and how to make the best use of it. Collecting rainwater is one thing, another possibility is to make use of grey water in your home. What Grey Water Is... This is water that's been used once. Anything that hasn't been used to flush a toilet counts as grey water. So that's water from your: SinksShowersBathtubsWashing machinesDishwashersAll of this water can be reused in your home or garden. We'll look at the best ways of doing so in a moment. The Best Ways to use Grey WaterMost experts agree that for the average household it's best to keep things simple. If you don't use a pump it can't fail. When there are no filters involved, they can't block. Working on this principal, you may well find that using your grey water within your home is impractical. This is a shame as it's estimated that doing so could reduce your household water usage by around 30-50%. But retrofitting your home to include grey water storage tanks designated for internal reuse will involve a degree of expense and often the space to put the storage tanks into simply isn't available. If you happen to be building a new home or doing extensive renovations, especially in your bathroom, then thinking about water conservation is a must. In this case it certainly is worth thinking about reusing grey water, to flush toilets for example. In most instances however, the best use of grey water is to supplement rain water harvesting to supply your garden. The simplest way to do this is to divert your 'gently used' grey water into a holding tank. Rely on gravity to get it into the tank, but make sure that there's a system in place to ensure your holding tank doesn't overflow. Using Grey Water SafelyGrey water will have far less pathogens in it than 'black water', that's the water flushed down your toilet which is destined for the sewage system. But it would be unrealistic to assume that there are no hazards involved in grey water use and storage. Food scraps in washing up water will break down and bacteria will grow in it. Water used to wash clothes or for showers and baths may also have some bacterial or viral contamination. Then there's the issue of the chemicals you've used to wash yourself, your clothes, or your dishes with. When you're planning the reuse of your grey water you should: Consider the soap and detergents you use in your water: You'll need to switch to eco-friendly products before starting to use grey water for your garden.Use a competent plumber for any permanent installations: You don't want any leaksDon't store grey water for more than 24 hours: This is especially important if you plan to use kitchen sink or dishwasher water. Food waste in the water will start to break down and smell.Use grey water to irrigate garden landscaping or ornamental plants: Unless you're planing to install purification systems you shouldn't allow grey water to come into direct contact with edible parts of food crops.Do check to find out what your local regulations are before installing any systems: You can find out more about the rules and standards that apply through the UK planing portal.Grey Water Recycling versus Rainwater HarvestingThe great advantage to recycling grey water is that most homes have a year round steady supply of it. Rainwater in contrast tends to be most available when it's least needed. Sadly grey water recycling is still in it's infancy in the UK. This is a tragedy considering the potential for water conservation. Every drop of water that comes out of the mains supply has been treated to the point that it's fit to drink. Using it to flush the loo when there are other, better sources of water for that, represents a waste of cash and waste of a precious resource. But until grey water recycling systems become more popular and more widely used, the payback time and maintenance requirements for them may prove prohibitive for many households. Rainwater harvesting in contrast makes immediate economic and ecological sense. If your gutters are kept clean and water flows freely, capturing your rainwater is cheap, simple and safe. So for the present at least, it's absolutely the first thing you should be considering when you're thinking about how to save water. Sources: http://www.gutterslondon.co.uk/blog/living-off-grid-public-water-supply/ http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/jul/21/greywater-systems-can-they-really-reduce-your-bills http://www.anglianwater.co.uk/environment/how-you-can-help/using-water-wisely/greywater-reuse.aspx http://greywateraction.org/contentabout-greywater-reuse/
  18. The United States discards a huge amount of waste material every minute, and developing countries aren’t far behind. Some brilliant minds have been able to see piles of refuse as potential income and useful materials, from companies like Lakeshore Recycling to home decorators reusing old fabrics. People everywhere are willing to come up with ways to turn trash into treasure. Recycling is sustainable and profitable, benefiting entrepreneurs around the world and the planet. These developing worlds have been able to use recycling to make their country more sustainable one garbage can at a time. Mexico In developing countries, waste recycling starts at street level. In fact, one percent of the urban populations in developing countries make their living picking up trash. Mexico City has a gigantic trash problem, about 12,000 tons of solid waste per day. One of the worst offenders in plastic bottles. Mexico was found to be the second largest consumer of polyethylene terephthalate bottles, and the city found providing nice blue recycling bins was not empowering the venture and has turned to other means to help get sustainable. Rethinking incentives, the city set up a vast farmers' market named Mercado del Trueque; and true to citizen values, featured barter. Trash and recyclable waste were exchanged for 'green point' vouchers based on weight. More than 3,000 families showed up with bags of trash on opening day, exchanging it for vouchers to spend on fresh vegetables at the farmers' market. It’s a unique idea to get more citizens involved in recycling and appealing to what would work in their lives. Philippines In the Philippines, events started out a bit less controlled than Mexico City's project, but soon gained speed. Payatas is one of the most impoverished parts of Manilla, with almost 40 percent of residents unemployed. Rotting waste reeked about the disposal facility, and people dug out nuggets of junk to sell at scavenger shops. Food waste was unearthed and sold to pig farms. Today the disposal facility is operated by a private manager helping with the Payatas Alliance Recycling Exchange. The ugly landscape of waste material has been dozed over and seeded for a park. Bio vents line the mound, exuding gasses from decomposing waste, used to fire an electricity generator. This generator powers electricity to light the streets of Payatas and a workshop for citizens. Three thousand former scavengers are now employed at the waste recycling facility, integrating the formerly unemployed and junk shop owners into a productive work force moving waste, and improving living conditions at the same time. Egypt Electronic waste is a huge dilemma in most countries, as everyone wants to purchase the latest technology and don’t know how to dispose of old models. In Egypt, it is discarded everywhere. Electronic waste, or E-waste as it’s been termed, presents hazards to those collecting it. The people of Zabaleen district in Cairo obtained an E-waste learning center through CID consulting in 2009. CID consulting is one of Egypt's leading entities in E-waste management. The purpose of the learning center is to offer young people a chance to earn money while learning about plastic and electronic waste recycling. The growing waste in electronics has become a booming business and helped to employ many people in Egypt. Recycling is a fascinating field for the inventive and the entrepreneur, a treasure trove of unique future possibilities for workers, factories, and even whole countries. With new technologies and green initiatives being pushed all the time, recycling even in third world countries has become possible and sustainable.
  19. Paper bags can be recycled and repurposed in numerous ways, and some of the most advantageous uses can help keep your garden in tip-top condition. Here are a few ways in which your paper can aid your plants. Include in Composting Paper bags are relatively thick and highly absorbent, so they make the perfect brown matter for your compost. Dense paper can be shredded into small, narrow pieces, and then mixed in normally, while thinner paper bags can be torn into larger bits and scrunched up into small balls which improve airflow. The paper will break down eventually, so it makes a great material for composting. However, you will want to make sure that all plastic parts – such as handles – are removed. You should also avoid using bags which use anything other than soy-based inks. Block out the Weeds Open up your paper bags so they cover a large area, and then use them to stop weeds from infesting your garden. All you need to do is remove the top layer of soil – working around plants – and then lay sections of paper over the bare ground. You can then cover this layer with a few inches of mulch, compost, or any other organic material. This will help stop weeds coming through, and it’s a far cheaper solution than using shop-bought weed-blockers. The paper will eventually break down naturally, but give the soil a good tilling during early autumn to help it on its way. Protection from the Cold Most garden plants are hardy enough to last out the winter, but freezes have the potential to either damage or kill them. The best – and easiest – way to ensure that a cold snap doesn’t do away with your garden involves simply tying a paper bag around the top of the plant. This acts as insulation, keeping the warm air in and the cold air out. This is best done overnight. In the morning, be sure to remove the covering. Remember to never use plastic bags to cover a plant, as plastic will damage it. Next time you’re shopping, ask for paper bags instead of plastic, then use these tips to keep your garden looking great.
  20. These days it is possible to recycle plastic, but there are several different kinds of plastic, and they differ in some important respects. Some plastics are more likely to leach into the environment than are others. Some are more bio-degradable than others and some are simply safer to use. Plastic containers always have a symbol on the bottom. It's a triangle with a number in it. The number indicates the type of plastic used to make the container. There are seven kinds of plastics: 1) PETE or PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) Plastic #1 is usually clear and used to make soda and water bottle, beer bottles, salad dressing bottles, peanut butter jars, and mouthwash bottles. It can be recycled as furniture, fleece, carpet, and tote bags. While many recycling programs accept it, it is known to let bacteria accumulate. 2) HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) Plastic #2 is generally opaque, and it is one of the three safest plastics to use. It tends not leach much. It is used to make milk jugs, shampoo bottles, juice bottles, butter tubs, and household cleaner containers. It can be recycled as pens, picnic tables, benches, fencing and lumber. Most curbside pickup recycling programs accept it. 3) V or PVC (Vinyl) Plastic #3 is used to make food wrap, detergent bottles, plumbing pipes, medical equipment, and shampoo bottles. It can be recycled as flooring, speed bumps, and decks. This plastic may still contain phthalates which have been linked to miscarriages and some birth defects. Plastic #3 also contains DEHA which can cause cancer after prolonged exposure. People should not burn or cook with this plastic. Curbside recycling programs usually won't accept it. 4) LDPE (Low Density Polyethylene) Plastic #4 is one of the three safest plastics to use. It is used to make shopping bags, clothing, squeezable bottles, bread bags, and carpet. It can be recycled into compost bins, floor tiles and paneling. Curbside recycling programs are starting to pick up this plastic. 5) PP (Polypropylene) Plastic #5 is one of the three safest plastics to use, and it is used to make yogurt containers, shampoo bottles and medicine bottles. It can be recycled into brooms, ice scrapers, signal lights and bicycle racks. Recycling programs increasingly accept it. 6) PS (Polystyrene) Plastic #6 is more commonly known as Styrofoam which is notoriously hard to recycle. It is therefore bad for the environment. It also leaches potentially dangerous chemicals, especially when heated. It is used to make egg cartons, meat trays and disposable plates and cups. Recycling programs usually don't accept it. 7) Miscellaneous Plastic #7 is a catch-all for any plastic that doesn't fit into the above six categories. It's a mixed bag, and some of the plastics in this group contain the chemical bisphenol-A (BPA) which has been linked to health problems like hyperactivity and infertility. It can be used to make sunglasses, nylon, and computer cases. It can be recycled into plastic lumber. It is usually best to avoid plastics as much as possible. But if using a plastic is necessary, it is best to choose Plastics #2, #4, or #5. Given the dangers associated with them, Plastics #1, #3, #6 and #7 should not be used or recycled. Informational Credit to Lakeshore Recycling
  21. In a culture that recycles over 150 million metric tons of metallic materials each year in the US alone, one cannot honestly say that there is no recycling effort taking place. Yet, many people are not aware of the many benefits that can be derived from a comprehensive effort to clean up the environment. Our article below covers several direct benefits produced today by scrap metal recycling operations across the US. Economic Reasons The US scrap metal recycling industry in 2008 resulted in the creation of more than 85,000 jobs and $86 billion being generated in revenue. That same year, the US exported roughly 44 million metric tons of scrap commodities that resulted in a more balanced US trade economy. Production of everyday items such as staples, paper clips, fasteners, jewelry, tools, city infrastructures and elements of buildings themselves all make up the scrap metal industry. Today, the industry is not only good for the environment, but it's good for business as well. Over 450,000 new jobs were created within the last three years at a time when the economy appeared to be in dire straits. Best of all, they were high quality, good-paying jobs that fed money back into a fragile and stagnant economy. Energy/Natural Resources Producing metals from virgin ore is an expensive process--both naturally and economically. However, the recycled scrap metal process not only reduces the amount of greenhouse gas emissions, but it also helps preserve the earth’s precious natural resources. For instance, using recycled material saves up to 92 percent aluminum, 90 percent copper and more than 56 percent of steel stockpiles. Moreover, the recycling of just one ton of steel preserves more than 2,500 pounds of iron, 1,400 pounds of coal and more than 120 pounds of limestone. In addition, one ton of recycled aluminum helps conserve 8 tons of bauxite ore and 14 megawatt hours of electrical energy. Ecological/Environmental Benefits In a concentrated effort to preserve the ecological system, one cannot stress enough the importance of having a comprehensive program for recycling of scrap metals. Being that scrap metals are as usable, malleable and less expensive to produce then virgin material, it’s crucially important to have professional recyclers do the taxing work of removal and recycling according to General Recycling Industries Ltd., one of the many Edmonton scrap yards. All things considered, there are no valid reasons for not recycling scrap metals. The scrap metal industry consistently proves itself as being cost effective for those involved inside the industry and outside of it. But more importantly, as the obvious stewards of earth’s resources, scrap metal processing just may help avoid a possible future ecological disaster.
  22. An Eco-Friendly Christmas

    Christmas is, for most of us around the world, a time for seeing family, eating good food and giving presents, but there is a catch. Christmas tends to leave us with a lot of waste materials. Wrapping paper, food, boxes, plastic packaging, and surprisingly quite a large amount of this is not recycled. Business in particular need to be doing more to ensure that their products are providing an effective solution for an eco-friendly Christmas, which can be worked in with all of your seasonal marketing to give an excellent result. For example; making packaging thinner, including less packaging, reducing the glossy effect on wrapping paper, reducing the use of hard plastics and so on can help to reduce the amount of waste that isn’t recycled. What a lot of people don’t know is that wrapping paper isn’t always recyclable, it requires more specific, high standard machinery to break it down and recycle it because of the glossy finish, and attempting to recycle it in an area unable to do so can result in a fine, and this fine isn’t exactly a small one – in some areas it can cost you £1000, just for your attempts to recycle your wrapping paper. So, before you try sticking the paper in the recycling bin you should check with your local council to ensure that they are able to process and recycle the wrapping paper, rather than you ending up with a problem. What do you do if you can’t recycle it? Well – personally I’m all for reusing, which is particularly easy to do if you have kids; after all they’re happy to do crafts with an bits of scrap paper or material you might have lying around; so giving them something pretty and shiny like wrapping paper will open a whole new range of creative possibilities for your children. Of course it isn’t great that more than half of our Christmas fails to be eco-friendly, and even if you are able to make up for the failings of the companies responsible there should be more done to ensure that our annual festivities aren’t creative a problem for our environment. Companies producing wrapping paper should be making moves to make them a more eco-friendly, biodegradable solution, as well as packaging companies doing more to produce environmentally friendly packaging and reduce the amount of packaging that their product do use. These efforts would help to reduce the amount of waste materials in our homes during the Christmas period, and drastically help to promote recycling during this period. There are of course things that you can do at home – keeping wrapping paper that is still usable and using it to decorate boxes, workbooks and so on, reusing it to wrap gifts or even shredding it to use as a protective padding for small or fragile presents during transit, and this makes for a more attractive solution than plain shredded paper, but is not as secure as bubble wrap. There are plenty of options for crafts using wrapping paper, with the range of colours, designs and materials offering a perfect and basic solution for decoration, with the material offering a generally more durable option than some of the alternatives. They make a great option for protecting workbooks, notebooks and sketchbooks as well as a selection of other things. Try creating some interesting crafts with your left-over wrapping paper this year and share with me what you’ve done – I would be very interested in seeing it!
  23. The Funny Way To Recycle Rubbish

    All grown people sooner or later come to the conclusion that life is a game. Depending on your mindset, you can consider this as a positive or a negative assumption. But let's try to see things from the bright side now. When you're playing a game – outdoors or on your computer, you don't take things too seriously. Thus, the importance of your activity is dramatically reduced and the chance to get the job done increases. This principle is the foundation of what experts today call 'gamification' or making a particular job more fun. See how recycling and waste management can be successfully gamified as well. Gamification: Theory & Practice First, let's examine the concept of gamification a little bit more in-depth. The trick is to achieve a game-like experience in a non-game, real-life environment or situation. Of course, this is done using techniques and ideas directly taken from the science of playing: be it electronic games or classic sports played outside. Gamification is proven to be a working yet not aggressive method to make people more engaged with a given activity and make them behave in a desired, predicted way. Turning tasks into game is quite useful in the fields of problem-solving and chores management. Jobs that are generally considered boring are transformed to something more enjoyable or even attractive – cleaning chores, rubbish disposal, filling out surveys and documents/forms and many others. Gamification is also used in teaching with impressive results and that's completely understandable as young people today not always have a high motivation to learn at schools. How Volkswagen's Fun Theory Treats Junk Now it's time to see an interesting experiment - a rubbish recycling gamification. It comes from the world-renowned automotive brand Volkswagen. Their project is called The Fun Theory and has its own dedicated website. There, visitors can see videos that show various practical implementations of real-life games. Also, an award is going to be given to one of the selected ten finalists. Voting has already ended but the entries are still available to view on the site. Back on the actual glass junk experiment. The concept behind this example of gamification is that people rarely recycle the glass bottles collected at their homes. To encourage street passengers to return them, the guys at Volkswagen mixed a regular rubbish container and an arcade machine into one device that they called The Bottle Bank Arcade. For added authenticity, the machine even featured chiptune sounds typical to the vintage game consoles. Weird flashing lights were present, too. So, was the experiment a success? Simply put, yes. The results were more than satisfying and the figures - probably better than what the creators expected. Rubbish removal workers from Sydney suggest that the wide use of such gamifications can be very useful for every highly urbanised city around the world. It's also worth mentioning that not only young people were attracted by the colourful bank. All of this was just the effect of making it fun to return empty old bottles. People earned points for every bottle they threw in, which made them come back and actually recycle more. Do you think that gamification can be also used to solve other 'green' issues? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
  24. Recycling rates in Europe

    Ever wondered which European country is the best at recycling? The graph below shows the recycling rates in each country in the European Union, and the result might surprise some.     Austria, Germany and Belgium has the higest recycling rates in EU, this means they have recycled the largest proportion of municipal waste in Europe. Sweden - my own country - which is known for its good recycling efforts is far behind.    Overall 39 percent of municipal waste is recycled in Europe, a significant improvement on 23 percent in 2001 and 35 percent in 2010. By looking at the graph, it's hard to see how the majority of the countries will be able to meet EU-mandated targets to recycle 50 percent of household and similar waste by 2020. Each person in the EU-28 generates 92 kg of municipal waste every year - with the majority of the waste going into landfills.   How well is your country performing?
  25. Recycled Printing Materials

    Here's why companies should consider recycled printing materials... even for ads! For all the talk of the paperless office or moving business "to the cloud," printed material is still fluttering about as much as it ever was. Just about every business has things that simply must be printed, whether it's contracts and forms or banners, flyers, and business cards. To be sure, trying to reduce your paper consumption by shifting to digital and email is a great way to do your part for the environment. But what is a business to do when, if, and where that simply isn't possible? It turns out you can be eco-friendly even when you're turning out printed matter by the ream... all thanks to recycled printing materials. A few printing services in Sydney are even starting to specialize in producing top-quality results using recycled materials that look as "white" as regular paper despite their "green" pedigree. Here's what you need to know about making the switch to recycled stock for your paperwork. The Benefits of Recycled Paper As obvious as it may seem, too many large companies are still using non-recycled paper for the bulk of their office work. Why is this? Surely they're not intentionally trying to deprive little rain forest birds of a home? Of course they're not, but recycled paper has been surrounded by enough myths it's quite understandable if managers feel intimidated. Let's deflate a few of those myths now. First. recycled paper has come down in price, a lot. While it used to cost a premium, now buying recycled paper is no more expensive than the regular variety. Often times, it's even cheaper. So yes, you can save the environment and the bottom line at the same time. Second, modern recycled paper is just as "white" as the ordinary stuff. To be sure some companies seek out the grayish "raw" recycled paper as a marketing tool -- if you're selling to an environmentally conscious market, printing your materials on what is clearly recycled paper gives your firm a credibility boost. But your office supply dealer or printing service in Sydney will be happy to point you at their stock of de-inked recycled paper, which has the same bright white "virgin" look you're used to. With those myths out of the way, why should you take the time to seek out recycled paper for your printing? Well, consider the numbers. An incredible 40% of the world's industrial logging output is used for paper production... that means for every five trees that get chainsawed down, two of them are giving their lives so you can have some more forms and memos in your in-tray. Recycled paper helps cut down that number, a lot. That's just the beginning, however. According to the group Waste Watch, each tonne of recycled paper saves 30,000 litres of water (used to make paper) plus 3000-4000 KWh in electricity. The paper recycling process also significantly cuts down on landfill costs -- the paper from your old flyers is pulped, de-inked, and pressed into paper for your new ones -- or incineration. (As you're probably aware, creating more waste also results in higher taxes down the line for dealing with it. Thus, recycling may cut your tax bill, if only by a little.) The fact is, modern recycled paper looks just as great and costs just the same as the non-recycled variety. There's simply no reason not to use it, and plenty of excellent reasons to make the switch today! resources: http://www.ecogreenoffice.com/ http://www.wastewatch.org.uk/ http://www.print2day.com.au/