You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Recycling’ tag.

smokey the bear

I have been super obsessed with trash lately. I think about it with every piece of garbage I throw out. Most of the thoughts I have revolve around, could I have I recycled that, if not, why? I feel that everything we make should be able to be recycled and if you can’t recycle it, don’t make it. Let me also emphasize that means if you can recycle it without releasing deadly toxins into the air, water or land.

I am no saint, I don’t want to have to clean my yogurt container, aluminum foil, plastic everything ever really. I do it, but I do not enjoy the process. I think it has to do with America and its not very user friendly local recycling processes.  There is no national recycling marketing machine out there educating us on what we can and can not recycle throughout our lives. We are not given the tools, for example, recycling bins clearly labeled on what should be contained within them. It is not second nature and could be quite easily.  I learned many things about fire prevention from Smokey the Bear. The Ad Council is a powerful tool to get some recycling PSAs out there.

Another thing is there are no real negative consequences for people who are not recycling, nor are there positive ones for people who do. We all enjoy a little positive reinforcement now and again. There are laws in America against littering in public places, but not for littering in define places. That seems ignorant. We should not be able to litter anywhere. Landfills are a disaster.

I did a little research on garbage decomposition to get myself more motivated. Here is what I came up with.

Glass…most forms of glass will never decompose or biodegrade ever. There is this glass, Obsidian, that dates back to the Cretaceous (Latin for “chalky”) geologic period and system from circa 145.5 ± 4 to 65.5 ± 0.3 million years ago. In the geologic timescale, the Cretaceous follows on the Jurassic period and is followed by the Paleogene period of the Cenozoic era.  For those who don’t want to do the math, that means about 36 million to 65 million year old glass. That’s crazy, some poor dinosaur foot cutting glass. I said it. :]

The good thing about glass is how simple it is to recycle. Virgin glass is primarily made of sand, lime and soda. A glass manufacturer’s boiler must run at about 2192 degrees Fahrenheit (1200 degrees Celsius) to melt the sand, soda, and lime into glass. Making glass from recycled glass uses 32% less energy than making virgin glass because it melts at a much lower temperature. This process is to shatter the glass into small fragments called “cullet”. You then melt that down to make new glass. Products made from recycled glass save on the extraction of raw materials and produce approximately 20% less air pollution and 50% less water pollution than virgin glass. Point, recycle your glass don’t just throw it out.

I think I’ll stop with glass for today, maybe we’ll catch up with plastic bottles and bags at a later date.

Recycle, Reuse.

-Cara

BluePlanetEarth

Zeitgeist (n) – the spirit of the time; the spirit characteristic of an age or generation

Addendum (n) -something to be added

I never watched Zeitgeist: The Movie. I came across Zeitgeist: Addendum the other day and since my thinking hasn’t been the same. It has given me a better sense of focus, new ideas to think about and hope. Look, I am not saying I am drinking the Kool-Aide, there are things I don’t agree with; for one, their take on religion. I get where they are coming from, but I am enlightened to something else.

I will not go on and on about the movie. If you want to watch it for free you can here (although I am not sure why they would choose Google Video to host the movie. It is part of the problem, not the solution. Maybe they feel it will reach a bigger audience, but I am not too sure that is the way to go. UPDATE 1-22-2011 I JUST CLICKED ON THE LINK AND IT GOES TO VIMEO NOW. THAT’S COOL.). I myself downloaded it from someone else.  I am going to watch Zeitgeist: The Movie at some point, but for now I still have a lot to think about with Zeitgeist: Addendum, so I’ll wait. Addendum can definitely stand alone.

I would love to hear people’s opinion after watching the film. I have already had a few cool conversations about it. I have burned it for a couple of people. I would like to keep passing it around and then people can pass their copies around and see how fast it spreads.  I want a better world and I know it is possible.

Do not fear the robots.

-Cara

computer_recycling_pictures

If you live in New York City and have electronics you want to get rid off in a green, eco, recycling way. Here are two upcoming events I found on the Lower East Side Ecology Center’s website:

April 26th, 2009
Central Park
West 67th Street and Central Park West

and

May 2nd, 2009
119 W 23rd Street at Tekserve between 6 & 7th Avenues
Manhattan

Here is what techotrash consists of:

Working and non-working:

Computers (laptop & desktop),
Servers, mainframes
Monitors
Printers, scanners, fax-machines, copiers
Network devices (routers, hubs, modems, etc.)
Peripherals (keyboards, mice, cables, etc.)
Components (hard drives, CD Roms, circuit boards, power supplies, etc,)
TVs,VCR & DVD Players
Audio visual devices
Radios/Stereos
Cell Phones, pagers
PDAs,Telecommunication (phones, answering machines, etc.)
Media (floppies, cd’s, zips, VHS tapes)

I have a bag of stuff I have been saving up for the next techno recycling gala event. This is such a sweet deal.

Goodbye old and improperly burned cds, printer ink cartridges, old laptop batteries, etc…goodbye.

-Cara

jeffe-me

That’s right a year ago, on January 10th, 2008, “The Day After An Inconvenient Truth” was formed. When I first started this blog it was to have a voice in the world that differs from mainstream television, radio, satellite, newspapers, etc.  I was inspired by the movie, “An Inconvenient Truth“, drawn into the meaning of an “inconvenient truth”, the fact that you might not want to hear what the problem is and what can be done to solve said problem, but here is the truth and now that you know, what are you going to do about it?

In the beginning, what I primarily wrote about was eco, environmental “inconvenient truths”, following in the footsteps of the film, but as time went by I began to find “inconvenient truths” in other areas as well, be it the issue of gay rights, human rights, animal rights, freedom of speech, freedom of art, whatever is going on in the world that mass media does not cover or covers up, these were the pieces I exceptionally enjoy writing about. Then there are the “recycle stuff” ones, just there for some information of what extra steps you can take to make a better world, the D.I.Y. projects using recycled materials, or just how to make something green and cool for your everyday life.  Throw in a few organic recipes, cool green events, green product reviews, games, petitions, stories of amazing people who inspire me, beautiful photos, and sometimes just a funny video to relax and you have, “The Day After An Inconvenient Truth“.  :]

What I am getting at with all this is to say, “The Day After An Inconvenient Truth” has evolved from when I began to where it is at now. I went from doing blog entries everyday from January, 10th, 2008 to October 13th, 2008, right around when I got an official 9-5 job, to now where I may not blog everyday, but no more than a few days go by without me throwing one out there. I needed to find a balance in my life and for now this works for me. I’d rather have good ones than just have ones. :]

I really like writing this blog, even when I can’t think of what to write about, or when I’d rather be playing PlayStation with Ms. Marine or web 2.0 out on the million social networks. This blog makes me more accountable.  It is something I started and am still doing a year later (see Tony). Listen, for someone with absolutely no attention span to anything (besides computers and all things tech), I am pretty amazed that “TDAAIT” is still going. What is crazier is when I started this blog I was surprised if I got 10 hits a day, to now where I get on average over 300 unique hits a day from all over the world. Though businesses like MSNBC and other corporations that I do not have any respect for, ask me to place their advertisements on my site, I refuse. I was not working a real job when I started this blog and could have used easy money like that. Instead, I was insulted that they would even ask me, so much so I responded that they obviously had not looked at my blog, because if so they would never have asked me! In retrospect, I am sure they would have asked me anyway. In their minds people are just a herd of non-thinking cows who when they see a blinking ad, inevitably they must click on it. That goes against what I am trying to achieve here. I really hate ads everywhere. I am blessed in  many other ways through this blog, so it doesn’t need to monetarily support me as well.

What else have I gotten from writing, “The Day After An Inconvenient Truth”? I have learned about a lot of bad stuff that goes on, and I have learned about good people, things and ideas, living and growing here on this Earth (I liked it when Alice Walker called humans “Earthlings” in this interview.). I maintain hope and an awesome faith that things will only get better if you do good.

Something I keep in the forefront of my mind is, what each of us does affects the other. It is not just the huge things necessarily, even our smallest thoughts affect the world. Also, we can as one person change things; who you touch in turns will touch others. You may not get the gratification of seeing the change you bring to the world directly, but if you do it, you may see the world itself change. I search for happiness and peace, by going inconveniently through its sorrows, untruths, truths, and ugliness. I also keep the faith. Faith is the most important thing, without it you are lost. I guess that is what, “The Day After An Inconvenient Truth” is to me, a way to not lose hope and to maintain my faith during the era that is the beginning of the end.

This year I have learned that humanity is not as bad and hopeless as it seems, so that’s cool.

-Cara

E.ON Energy Champions is a eco, flash game where you collect the recycling dropped from above by the selfish, lazy, littering workers and place them in the correct recycling bins before your carbon footprint becomes enormous.

It’s a fun one.

-Cara

I am on vacation and have not been writing many blog entries lately and need to catch up, so lets start with what we can do about dry-cell battery disposal/recycling.

First lets cover what dry-cell batteries are, they include alkaline and carbon zinc (9-volt, D, C, AA, AAA), mercuric-oxide (button, some cylindrical and rectangular), silver-oxide and zinc-air (button), and lithium (9-volt, C, AA, coin, button, rechargeable).

There are two types of batteries:
1.  Primary — those that can not be reused
2.  Secondary also known as “rechargeable” — those that can be reused.

Primary batteries include alkaline/manganese, carbon-zinc, mercuric-oxide, zinc-air, silver-oxide, and other types of button batteries. Secondary batteries (rechargeable) include lead-acid, nickel-cadmium, and potentially nickel-hydrogen.

Next, lets talk about some potential problems or hazards with throwing away your batteries in your household garbage.

  1. When burned, they pollute the lakes and streams as heavy metals vaporize into the air.
  2. Heavy metals leaking from old batteries into the Earth.
  3. Exposing the environment to more lead and acid.
  4. Containing strong corrosive acids.
  5. May cause burns to your eyes and skin.

In landfills, heavy metals have the potential to leak slowly into Earth’s soil, groundwater or surface water. Dry cell batteries contribute about 88 percent of the total mercury and 50 percent of the cadmium in the municipal solid waste stream. In the past, batteries accounted for nearly half of the mercury used in the United States and over half of the mercury and cadmium in the municipal solid waste stream. When burned, some heavy metals such as mercury may vaporize and escape into the air, and cadmium and lead may end up in the ash.

Here are some tips to reduce battery waste, starting with prevention, which create less potentially hazardous waste from seeping into our Earth.

  1. First, whenever possible, buy hand operated, solar powered, kinetic powered, water powered, wind powered, potato powered :] items that function without batteries. If that is not an option, I feel as though plug operated is better for the environment than buying heavy metal laden batteries.
  2. If you need batteries buy rechargeable batteries, but remember that they also contain heavy metals such as nickel-cadmium, so it is still a problem, but less of one than non-rechargeable batteries.
  3. Look for the batteries that contain less mercury and heavy metals than others.
  4. Lastly, if batteries are your only option, before buying more check to see if you already have some at home.

We must keep in mind, that yes, rechargeable batteries result in a longer life span and use of fewer batteries. However, rechargeable batteries still contain heavy metals such as nickel-cadmium. The use of rechargeable nickel-cadmium batteries can reduce the number of batteries entering the waste stream, but may increase the amount of heavy metals entering unless they are more effectively recycled. As of 1992, the percentage of cadmium in nickel-cadmium batteries was higher than the percentage of mercury in alkaline batteries, so substitution might only replace one heavy metal for another, and rechargeable batteries do use energy resources in recharging. When disposing of rechargeable batteries, recycle. [Source: ESHO]

Here is a great link to Call-2-Recycle, whom I wrote about in my fourth TDAAIT entry, back in January! All you need to do is put in your zip code and they will tell you where to take your recyclable batteries (and old cell phones).

If you did not find a place through Call-2-Recycle for your rechargeable batteries, you can always bring them to any of these locations to recycle:

In the US: Alltel, Batteries Plus, Best Buy, Black & Decker, Cingular Wireless, The Home Depot, Milwaukee Electric Tool, Orchard Supply, Porter Cable Service Center, RadioShack, Remington Product Company, Sears, Staples, Target, US Cellular, Verizon Wireless, and Wal-Mart.

If you are in Canada: Battery Plus, Bell Mobility, Canadian Tire, FIDO/Microcell, Future Shop, The Home Depot, Home Hardware, London Drugs, Makita Factory Service Centers, Personal Edge/Centre du Rasoir, RadioShack Canada, Revy, Sasktel, Sears, The Sony Store, Telus Mobility and Zellers.

There are not a lot of places that recycle non-rechargeable (typically “alkaline batteries”) that I could find. The best bet is to go to Earth 911 and put in their search feature, “alkaline batteries” and the zip code where you live. I know in NYC we have places for New York residents (only) to take alkaline batteries, maybe you do to!!!

One day I hope we no longer need batteries.

:]

-Cara

I collected some stats on drink consumption from, The Good Stuff guide, produced in 2004 by the Worldwatch Institute that I thought might be of interest to people.

  • People in the U.S. consume more packaged drinks per capita than in any other country—about 350 aluminum cans per person per year, compared to 103 in Sweden, 88 in the United Kingdom, and 14 in France. [Go France!]
  • Making 1 million tons of aluminum cans from virgin materials requires 5 million tons of bauxite ore and the energy equivalent of 32 million barrels of crude oil. Recycling the cans, in comparison, saves all of the bauxite and more than 75 percent of the energy, and avoids about 75 percent of the pollutants.
  • Recycling just one aluminum can saves enough electricity to run a laptop computer for 4 hours.
  • Making 1 million tons of plastic bottles from virgin materials (petroleum and other fossil fuels) generates an estimated 732,000 tons of climate-altering greenhouse gases.

Again I say, that’s crazy!

Eco-Cycle Media did a piece called, Zero Waste Systems that gives you an idea of how messed up our production/consumption/recycling system is right now. Then they wrap it up with some simple solutions you can do to reverse this doomed process.

Zero Waste!

-Cara

—————————————————

Reason 75 from, 101 Reasons Why I Am Vegetarian:
Okinawa has the healthiest and longest-lived people in the world, boasting the highest percentage of people who live to be a hundred years old. The super-seniors who inhabit the island tend to retain their mental keenness, and few need to live in nursing homes. Not surprisingly, they eat very little food of animal origin, according to a 25-year study on the island. Genes could take some of the credit, although today’s old folks are projected to outlive their children who have adopted Western eating habits.

I am always figuring out ways to turn garbage into something. Soon I will start to give away my projects, as there is a lot of garbage in my world and only so much room in my NYC apartment!

Here is a cool project I tried today. I took a million different versions I found online on how to do it, altered them and created my own style…so far it looks cool, once it dries, maybe I will coat the beads with clear nail polish as well for a shinier look. I will let you know and provide photos!

Paper Beads

What tools you’ll need

Scissors
Different types of paper such as pages from old magazines, used wrapping paper or store catalogs
Glue Stick
Toothpicks and/or straws

What to Do

From your paper collection, select one piece that is about the size of a greeting card or larger, no more than 11 inches I would say.

Now cut long, slender triangles from the paper. The longer the strip, the thicker the bead. The base, or large end of the triangle, can range in size from 1/2 to 1 inch. The entire strip should be no longer than 11 inches. [Make beads of different shapes. Rectangular paper makes cylindrical beads. Triangular paper makes rounded beads. If you use a rectangular strip of paper with a triangle cut out of the middle, your bead will be spool-shaped.]

Spread a thin coat of glue over side of the triangle you don’t want to show. Be sure to leave a small area (at the tip of the triangle) without glue.

Place a toothpick or straw on the base of the triangle with the decorated side facing down.

Carefully roll the paper around the toothpick/straw. Keep the paper tight and the edges even.

Just before you finish rolling the paper, place a dab of glue on the triangle’s tip and seal the end in place.

I spin then every once in awhile just to check that they are not stuck to the straw or toothpicks.

When the glue has dried, remove the toothpick from the tightly rolled paper. You have now made your first bead. You can decorate it with paint or apply clear fingernail polish to give it a shiny finish. The ones I did today I dipped in diluted white Elmer’s glue. I just put enough glue in water to look milky.

I will put pictures up of them once dry. I think I made a few mistakes, like not keeping them perfectly even, but we will see.

Watch out friends and family there might be some jewelry coming in your future.

-Cara

UPDATE

I have since painted my first attempt of paper beads with shiny, clear nail polish and it makes a difference for sure. They are still too big for my taste, but shiny = pretty. Some issues I had were, I didn’t spin the beads enough on the straws, so they were stuck to the straw. I just cut them with the straw inside, which turned out fine and made them stronger. I also had to figure out a way to paint them and a place for them to dry, so I just did this…

and here is the end result.

It was a fun experience and I will make more to show different designs going forward. Exciting stuff. :P

—————————————————

Reason 53 from, 101 Reasons Why I Am Vegetarian:
Male chicks are a bothersome expense to the egg producer. Sexers must be hired to pick them out for diversion to expedient deaths. No law protects them as they are dumped in trash bins to die by crushing, suffocation, starvation, and exposure.

H Bird

This time it’s a turbine powered brothel, I love it. I also love who is doing it, none other than Hollywood madam and ex-con Heidi Fleiss. According to Elle Magazine, “…[she] is going to make a comeback—any day now, she says—starting the world’s first legal, wind-powered brothel for women with exclusively male hookers (and a spa)…” :D

Some other facts about Heidi Fleiss, according to Jezebel is, she lives among a few hundred parrots [really only 24], was a prison lesbian even though she hates screwing girls, inspired one prison “girlfriend” to get out of the drug business and start her own business, and comes across like a genuinely good person. “Who was it, Oscar Wilde, I think, who said people can adjust to anything. I was perfectly adjusted in the penitentiary, and I was perfectly adjusted to living in a chateau in France,” she tells Elle Magazine.

I hope she means it.

-Cara

——————————-

A meat diet dramatically raises your risk for heart attack, but in recent years you’re less likely to die from the trauma. Technology will probably save your life, leaving you to live with the consequences. In the case of congestive heart failure–an increasingly common outcome–your heart, now damaged, is unable to adequately circulate blood to the rest of your body, resulting in fluid build-up and organ damage. In the U.S., nearly 5 million people live with the condition, and about 550,000 new cases are diagnosed every year. The disease is the leading cause of hospitalization among the elderly, and hospital bills attributed to it total $29 billion annually.

I always have clothes to donate. Stuff I’ve kept for sentimental value or I’m moving yet again and don’t want to have drag all these textiles with me, or after 10 years I finally decided to give up that shirt I never really wore anyway. Point is, I have a lot to give away, shoes I no longer love as much as I thought I did, purses good hearted people thought I might use, curtains, sheets, blankets, comforters, and towels that don’t match anything. In fact in our closet right now is a bag full of stuff that needs to be donated, but for one, if you check online for donation dumpsters you won’t find any such directory. The only way to find one is by chance, then once you do, you have to walk your stuff all the way there. That takes a special mood, that I am rarely in.

I would love to have a collection bin in my building…Here enters Wearable Collections, a clothing recycling company…

Wearable Clothing Logo

THE PROBLEM. According to a recent study, 386 million pounds of textiles enter the NYC waste stream annually, representing close to 6% of total waste.

THE SOLUTION. Wearable Collections provides a no cost, turn-key solution to recycling clothing within residential buildings in NYC. We handle all the logistics from placement of bins and promotion within the buildings to scheduling weekly pick-ups.

THE BENEFIT. Through our established network we distribute your discarded clothing around the world to people who need it, enabling us to raise money for charitable organizations.

Rather than having your residents haul their clothing to a collection site, or worse, dump them in the trash, we would like to place a receptacle in your building for their recycling convenience. Our aim is to reduce clothing in landfills while helping raise funds for non-profits. Here’s how to get started:

1.PLACEMENT OF BINS
We will provide you with a poly cart, 28.5” deep x 48” wide x 66.5” high, or a similar variation to suit your specific requirements. The cart should be placed in a location that is easily accessible to residents. (i.e., laundry room or basement storage area).

2.AWARENESS
We will notify residents about the program and the location of the bin with flyers placed on the community board or sent to their e-mail addresses. You can download the flyers needed below.

3.PICK-UP
While the amount of the clothing donated will vary from building to building, you can expect that we will pick up, one per week. We will schedule a weekly pick-up with you and adjust accordingly, as volume may fluctuate.

4.EASE AND CONVENIENCE.
Our goal is to maximize clothing recycled while minimizing inconvenience to you. If you are interested in participating in our clothing recycling program we will find a way to work within your building’s constraints.

I am going to request a bin for our building. Ah, I would love it. That’s right I said love. :P

I’m out.

-Cara

Today is about another easy solution to a huge problem. Using non-recycled paper products is a huge waste for nothing. Pretty much any paper product you can buy, you can buy recycled, which makes the world a better place. Maybe you just need to know why you should do it.  No problem, let me help you out with that…

Choose Tree-Free Paper

Making paper from paper, instead of trees, saves wood, water, energy and greenhouse gases. Chlorine-free paper also reduces the production of dioxins — cancer-causing pollutants that poison our rivers, pollute our air and often end up in our bodies. Use recycled paper at home and bring this initiative to the institutions that you work with.

Environmental Benefits of Recycled Paper

Switching from virgin to recycled content paper results in many benefits. Research by the Alliance for Environmental Innovation has shown that each ton of recycled fiber that displaces a ton of virgin fiber used in coated groundwood paper (stock used in magazines):

  • Reduces total energy consumption by 27%
  • Reduces net greenhouse gas emission by 47% and reduces particulate emissions by 28%
  • Reduces wastewater by 33%, reduces solid waste by 54%, and reduces wood use by 100%

30% Post-consumer Copy Paper

One ton (40 cases) saves the equivalent of:

  • 7.2 trees [forty feet in height and 6-8 inches in diameter] (Conservatree, www.conservatree.org)
  • 2,100 gallons of water, 1,230 kw hours of electricity, and 18 pounds of air pollution  (Californians Against Waste, www.cawrecycles.org)

100% Post-consumer Copy Paper

One ton (40 cases) saves the equivalent of:

  • 24 trees (forty feet in height and 6-8 inches in diameter) (Conservatree)
  • 7,000 gallons of water, 4,100 kilowatt hours of electricity, and 60 pounds of air pollution (Californians Against Waste)

Last, but not least I will include this link to a PDF by Environmental Defense of all the reasons why you should use recycled paper.  I am going to buy recycled printer paper for sure…if I ever print again…lol.

Hug a tree.

-Cara

I’ve been going through the green change lately, reading about it, writing about it, living it, etc., but one of my favorite mediums has been neglected…television, tv, the boob tube…I love it…but using all that juice just to watch it, I thought, how can I give back? HGTV [Home & Garden Television] to the rescue. This informative channel is a favorite in our home, it is always on. One day an ad came on for “Living With Ed“. I remembered Ed Begley Jr. on St. Elsewhere from way back in the day. I remember hearing some gossip about him, people saying he was strange to work with or just strange or that there was something different about him…I don’t remember exactly what…but I was curious to check out his show. I set up the Tivo to record “Living With Ed“, and after a few months of procrastination, I finally watched an episode and loved it. In fact I just watched three episodes in a row earlier and guess what…by the end I had the great idea for today’s post. :P GENIUS!!!

 

Rachelle and Ed Begley Jr.

 

The show is awesome. It is Ed and his wife Rachelle, who seem to be people with passion for something good and are intelligent as well, which is fresh. Given the show is more what rich people of California can do to green their property by paying pricey specialists to come in their homes, then paying other people to install said updates, but in the process, we pleabians learn for free why compact halogen lights are better. It is a win/win situation…Right now I can’t afford a house much less solar panels and windmills, but it is a good way for people to learn about the options that are available and of course for people like me who will one day be drowning in riches, I will luckily already know what to do to be the greenest human I can be! :P That’s living…

:)

Cara

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