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Day 33 - Vines

Shoes Vines

I am not going repeat what I already wrote here. A quick synopsis, starting August 1st, 2010 I will publish a picture I take that day everyday for a year (well to be exact I will do this everyday until July 31st, 2011). This is the 33rd of those photographs. Also, there is a Flickr collection called “The Awesome Leftovers” where I put the daily shots (if any) that didn’t make the cut.

I don’t know the street name, but this place is on a small side street on the way to Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. I’ll look next time I walk by it.

Check out the rest, Day 33 – A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

Recycle, Reuse.

-Cara

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I started this blog in January this year and am evolving as I go along. I purchased a Brita water pitcher (Brita Products Company is owned by the Clorox Company) about three months ago. Today we had to change the water filter, so I put the used one to the side to do some research on how to recycle it.

Here is what I found:

I went to this site, Take the Filter Back, and they state that Brita has the #1 market share of pour-through filter cartridges in the U.S. and Canada. It’s the #1 faucet-mount filter in Canada and the #2 faucet-mount filter in the U.S. (Per Clorox’s 2007 Annual Report.).  While the original European Brita GmbH company has created a take-back recycling program for its filter cartridges, Clorox has no such program in place for re-using or recycling Brita cartridges. There is currently no way to refill or recycle Brita filter cartridges in North America.

Brita filter cartridges consist of activated carbon housed inside a plastic body which cannot be opened by the consumer for refilling or recycling. The plastic body must be landfilled or incinerated each time the filter is changed. Plastic is a non-renewable resource made from petroleum. It is not biodegradable, lingering in the environment virtually forever. The more we reuse/recycle the plastic products we produce rather than manufacturing new ones, the less damage we inflict on the earth.

In its FilterForGood campaign, Clorox promotes the use of its Brita filtration system, in combination with re-usable water bottles, as a means to reduce disposable plastic bottle waste. Please join in asking Clorox to go further and take responsibility for the millions of plastic filter cartridges that are also landfilled or incinerated each year.

You can sign this petition urging Clorox to be responsible and recycle their filters. You can also write a letter to the Clorox company. In addition to the petition and letter-writing, they are going to make a strong visual statement. Inspired by Jim McKenna’s and John Lieberman’s successful campaign to urge AOL to quit sending out unsolicited CDs, they’re collecting used Brita filters, both pitcher and tap, to deliver to Clorox en masse at some point in the future. There is even a Yahoo! Group to meet others in your area and arrange filter collection/pick up/drop off. I am going to write something cute on mine and send them off. :]

The worst part is I just found out that Clorox bought Burt’s Bees… :[

-Cara

I am selling some stuff on Half.com. Recycling it back into the world…some books, CDs, video games and DVDs. Get ’em while they’re hot.

It’s green.

-Cara

…Queens, at the first installment of Stop ‘N Swap, which was put together by the Office of Recycling Outreach and Education and Build It Green! NYC. It was cool. People brought things they wanted to get rid of and you could take anything you wanted for free!

The coolest thing was it was mostly people from the neighborhood, at least when I was there. When one guy asked me how much the stuff was, I told him everything was free, he smiled, but he wasn’t quite sure I was telling the truth (I would have thought the same thing.). He proceeded to take kids’ roller blades, a DVD trivia game, a pinball toy, etc., looking around every once and awhile to see if I was setting him up. All the stuff he took was pretty new and I kept thinking how cool is that, this dad is going to be the world’s greatest dad for bringing all this loot home, not only that but when he woke up this morning he had no idea his day would turn out this way. Things like that make me smile and think the world isn’t such a pain all the time.

I myself brought a box of toys I had around the house, and some clothes to donate.


Some stuff I brought

People loving the stuff in the box I brought.

Less than 2 minutes later. :]

I also was able to bring my tech trash like empty printer cartridges and cds to be recycled as Build It Green! NYC offers that service year round.

Then I found a never used, super fresh full power 40 channel 2-way emergency information CB radio from the 70’s for FREE!!! :) I love this thing.

All and all it was productive, fun, and the people there working and hanging out were fresh! I’ll let people know when the next one is, if there is a next one!

Recycle! Reuse!

-Cara

Reason 87 from, 101 Reasons Why I Am Vegetarian: U.N. Environment Programme executive director Klaus Toepfer said in 2003: “The clock is standing at one minute to midnight for the great apes, animals that share more than 96 percent of their DNA with humans. If we lose any great ape species we will be destroying a bridge to our own origins, and with it part of our own humanity.” Humans stand behind all reasons for the die-off, including one of the most important: poaching for meat.

Today’s thing to do…already, it was hard for me to figure out what I  wanted to write about. What I came up with is a simple solution to a big problem, B.Y.O.B., bring-your-own-bag to the store when shopping. I have had the nerve to tell people they should use their own bags shopping and honestly, I don’ t think I ever have, but I know I have always wanted to and people just should. :P I do use my huge blue Ikea bag [I was forced to buy so I could drag my disposable, stylishly cheap housewares home on the free bus.] to bring my dirty clothes to the laundry.  This is my journey too you know…

Ok, so started my research and on a site I love Care2, I found a piece called, Easy Greening: Shopping Bags, written by, Melissa Breyer, Editor, Care2 Green Living. It has a fafillion reasons why you should bring your own bag, where to recycle them, what stores give credit to you when you bring your own bag, where to get cute bags, the impact on the world, etc. It was everything I needed to know to inspire me to B.Y.O.B. next time I pick up some groceries and whatnot. I know I will forget the first few times, so I will make the commitment now, every time I go shopping and forget my bags I will carry my stuff with no bag at all. After the first few times, I’ll never forget a bag again. Update to follow.

Good Times!

xoxo.

Cara

Here is the article I was talking about:

As far as shopping bags go, the plastic versus paper dilemma is as puzzling as the one about the chicken or the egg. The truth is, the statistics on both types of bags are deeply disturbing. At first glance the alternatives seem less than convenient—-but after learning the facts and finding some easy solutions, we’re saying “neither thanks” to “paper or plastic?”

SIMPLE SOLUTION: In South Africa plastic bags have been dubbed the “national flower” because so many are seen fluttering from fences and dangling in bushes—-some report that at times it looks like a snow storm. According to the National Geographic News, between 500 billion and one trillion plastic grocery bags are consumed worldwide each year. That 100,000 birds die annually from encounters with plastic bags actually seems like a relatively small number—-ditto the estimated 100,000 whales, turtles, and other marine animals.In the United State alone, 12 million barrels of oil are required to produce enough plastic bags to appease our needs. And then there’s that little decomposition problem: 500 years in the landfill.OK, paper then, right? Well, actually. . .producing paper bags requires more energy and creates more air and water pollution than producing plastic bags. Recycling paper is much more energy-intensive than recycling plastic—-and then there’s the issue of all those trees. In 1999, 14 million of them were knocked out to create the 10 billion paper grocery bags we used that year.Armed with this knowledge, here’s what we’ve decided: reusable shopping bags aren’t such a hassle after all. Here are some tips:1. Pack some ultra compact nylon bags (that fold up into tiny packets) in your purse so that you are always prepared for unexpected errands.2. Stow fabric (hemp, jute, canvas, cotton, recycled plastic textile, etc) bags in your trunk for big shopping trips-—just get in the habit of returning them to the trunk after unpacking groceries.3. Reusing plastic and paper bags helps; keep a supply of them in your trunk for groceries and use them until they are too worn, then recycle. (Some stores, like Whole Foods, offer a rebate when you BYOB.)

4. Look French and use baskets when you go to the farmers’ market. Salad doesn’t get as squashed when you put it in a round-bottomed basket.

5. If you get stuck with groceries but without your totes, pick plastic: when statistics are compared, it is the lesser of the two evils. Try to reuse it again and when it comes time to recycle it, tie it in a knot to keep it from blowing away from the trash and landfill and into the trees and ocean. Some chain supermarkets, like Stop N’Shop, actually have a barrel in front for recycling plastic bags.

The best advice is to simply get into the mind-set: once it becomes habit the inconvenience disappears and it seems there was never another way. In fact, in 2002 Irish supermarkets began charging a mandatory 15-cent tax on each new plastic bag. According to one of the largest grocery chains the consumption of new plastic bags has dropped by 97.5 percent—-how’s that for inspiring? Clearly, the plastic bag will not be replacing the shamrock, so let’s follow that example. Here are some good places to start:

For cute and peppy totes: b.happybags

For a great selection of super-practical (including ultra compact): Reusablebags.com

For stylish bags and a 10 percent donation to protect sea turtles: Blue Lotus

One of our favorites—-packs of five wonderfully designed bags that fit in a pouch for your glove compartment or medium-size purse: Envirosax

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