A fun Blog to share fun and easy ways to be green!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Enter to win the Great Spring Greening Giveaway

Know what makes spring cleaning more fun? Free stuff! Sign up now for Living Green, Grist's shiny new green-living newsletter, and be entered for the chance to win fabulous prizes -- including an eco-home makeover consultation and $100 in Seventh Generation products. Enter now to win!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Earth Day Hangover

What do you say we end today with some late-night wisecracks about Earth Day?

Jay Leno 4/22: "In Pennsylvania, Hillary and Obama celebrated Earth Day by throwing dirt at each other."

Conan O´Brien 4/23: "Yesterday was Earth Day. Politicians all across America did something to mark Earth Day. For instance, President Bush was photographed with a shovel, and former President Clinton was photographed with a hoe."

Jimmy Kimmel 4/23: "I am still hung over from Earth Day. I ate way too much earth."

Monday, April 28, 2008

Earth Day Photo Contest Winners

Check out this GREAT photography!

Plastic Bottle Concerns Boost Sales of New Eastman Product

KINGSPORT — Growing health concerns over the use of certain plastic bottles could help boost business at Eastman Chemical Co. in Kingsport.

The bottles in question are made from a hard plastic polycarbonate containing bisphenol A (BPA), a suspected hormone disrupter. Studies have shown that polycarbonate bottles can leach BPA, and extremely worn and scratched bottles pose the biggest concerns.

Read more.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Do Not Pass Go: Monopoly Gets Hip to Renewable Energy

Refuse to play Monopoly because you fear Electric Company sources its power from coal? Fear not! Game-maker Hasbro is updating everyone's favorite interminable game, and in the Here and Now: World Edition, Water Works and Electric Company will be replaced with Wind Energy and Solar Energy.

It's "a nod to the efforts of countries worldwide to increase the effectiveness and availability of renewable energy sources," says Phil Jackson (the Hasbro executive, not the basketball coach).

So Rich Uncle Pennybags doesn't need water anymore, huh? Says the chair of the Atlantic Canada Water Works Association, "It just goes to show you that people take us for granted." He'll feel better once he lands on Free Parking.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Businessman Saving Planet One Novelty at a Time

Editor's Note: I get all of our specialty products from Weisenbach. Dan and his staff are the bomb! Even if you aren't in the recycling business, you will love his products! Check him out!

The Columbus Dispatch
Tuesday, April 22, 2008 3:19 AM

If you need a pencil made from worn-out dollars, Dan Weisenbach is your man.

Dog tags made from shredded tires?

Yes, he has those, too.

Weisenbach once turned 2,000 pounds of obsolete Stonyfield Farm yogurt cups into ice-cream scoops, which he sold back to Stonyfield Farm as novelty items.

"Isn't that beautiful?" he said. "Companies give us their garbage; we make something out of it and sell it back to them."

Today is Earth Day, when every company wants to tout its intention to save the planet.

Weisenbach, however, was a "green" businessman before green became a buzzword.

"He's respected across the nation," said Michael Long, an environmental consultant and a former director of the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio.

Long, who has known Weisenbach for 20 years, noted his long history of service to organizations devoted to recycling and litter prevention.

"And his products make sense," Long said.

Click here to view the whole article.

The Strange Days of Plastics

Happy Earth day, a little late! I've been so busy with events and such, that I missed the big day on the Blog!!

Working with plastics is one of my favorite parts of being a Recycling Coordinator. The more you learn about plastic, the more fascinating it becomes. Check out The Green Guide for some neat info on plastic bags, plastic bottles and more.

Be sure to take the plastics quiz while you're there. I may actually use the quiz as part of a lesson/presentation.

Friday, April 18, 2008

"Have We Met Before?"

PepsiCo will begin a recycling-awareness campaign, with National Recycling Coalition-provided information about aluminum recycling being printed on cans of Pepsi and Diet Pepsi.

The "Have We Met Before?" campaign dispenses bits of information from the NRC including: "Recycling could save 95 percent of the energy used to make this can," and "on average, aluminum cans produced in the U.S. contain 40-percent to 50-percent recycled content."

The campaign will be featured on approximately 500 million Pepsi cans and 250 million Diet Pepsi cans distributed monthly across the U.S.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Eco Dog!

My friend, Jane, gave me a great new book for Earth Day: Eco Dog! It's full of great, green ways for our best friends! There are lots of great projects, recipes for green cleaners, etc., but my favorite is this super easy treat recipe. I made these yesterday in my work clothes. Super easy, cheap and best yet, Winnie LOVED them. (I made his with sweet potato baby food!) Enjoy.

Easy Dog Treats

1 cup organic wheat germ
2 small jars organic baby food (but none with onions!)

Combine the wheat germ and baby food to form a dough.Roll into 1-inch balls.Place on a baking sheet and flatten each with a fork.Bake at 350*F for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

Incentives Offered to Encourage Reduction of Delegate Carbon Footprints, Foster Friendly Competition Among State Delegations

DENVER - As part of an ongoing effort to make the 2008 Democratic National Convention the most environmentally-sustainable Democratic Convention in history, House Speaker and Permanent Convention Chair Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Convention organizers today announced the "Green Delegate Challenge," offering special rewards for the delegation or delegations that demonstrate the highest level of commitment to offsetting their carbon footprint from attending the Convention, to be held August 25-28, 2008.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Breakfast's Got a Brand New Bag

The cereal box, that staple of morning rituals for generations, is getting a modern makeover.

Sonoco, the South Carolina packaging giant that created the Pringles pop-top canister, has developed something similar for the breakfast table.

The canister has no liner bag and takes up less space than the standard sharp-edged cereal box. Plus, the new canisters are made with 50 percent of material previously used by consumers.

Target stores recently started offering oblong canisters of their house brand of cereal, Archer Farms. Target brags on its Web site that the “bag-free container features an easy-flow spout and snap-shut lid that is reclosable” — welcome words to those who’ve tried to rip open a paper liner and ended up with a cereal tsunami.

Target and canister maker Sonoco Products Co. kept their lids shut Tuesday. Efforts to get more details were unsuccessful.

Sonoco is slated to unveil the new cereal canister formally today at its annual shareholders meeting in Hartsville.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Target Launches First-Class Recycling Campaign

In case you missed this, the April 8 issue of Newsweek, on sale April 8, has a cover that converts into a prepaid envelope for sending Target’s plastic shopping bags to Terracycle where they are manufactured into reTotes, the reusable shopping bags sold by the retailer.

After the bags are mailed in, readers receive a coupon in the mail to receive a free Retote.

This is a one-of-a-kind promotion that lets everyone who gets the magazine take part in an environmental program, said Newsweek President Greg Osberg. Its a clever use of the magazine and clever use by a marketer. Readers and Target shoppers will recycle their shopping bags and, in return, get a practical bag that can be used all the time.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Office Depot Trying to Demystify Green, Recycling

One of the toughest things about being environmentally sensitive is knowing exactly how to do so.

To that end, Office Depot will launch a new brand on Earth Day (April 22) called "Office Depot Green" that will specialize in green products. And the company will explain why its products are green too, i.e. provide information on recycling, reuseability, etc. The company will also set up programs for small businesses that will explain strategies and tips for energy efficiency and other topics. Designer Kelly LaPlante will set up a site later this year that will rate the greenness of building materials.

The company is also taking a number of steps to reduce its carbon footprint. It is building a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-certified building in Austin, Texas. (Making a new building LEED-certified only adds about two percent to the overall costs, according to developers who specialize in building them.) It is also swapping in high-output fluorescents with regular bulbs and testing out low-emission vehicles for deliveries.

Out of Sight Doesn’t Mean It’s Gone

During a March 28 subsurface investigation of unlined trenches of Columbia County Landfill, a copy of the Wall Street Journal dated July 7, 1987 was excavated from 18 feet below the surface.

After 20 years, 8 months and 21 days entombed each page is legible. Even the small print could be read revealing the following:

Col. Oliver North’s testimony to Congress per the Iran-Contra affair
Dow Jones lost 7.17 points closing at 2429.53
Pork Belly options were selling at 0.02 per pound
Gold sold for $450.30 per troy oz.
Most unbelievable, crude Oil was $20.00 / barrel

Not only a great history lesson, but a reminder that things don't "biodegrade" in the landfill.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

This Guy Was REALLLLY Trashed!

Word to the wise -- if you ever wake up inside a trash truck, start yelling and don´t stop till you get the heck out of there. Disregard the embarrassment factor. It´s definitely better for your long-term prospects (short-term too, for that matter) to make your presence known before the driver turns on the big squeezer.

This gentleman (I´m giving him the benefit of the doubt) in Muncie, Ind., did just that -- he spoke up in the nick of time. As a result, he´ll have an interesting story to tell his drinking buddies for years to come.

So will the truck driver, who piped up with this memorable quote: "I´m glad it turned out the way it did. We didn´t have a body that was dead. We had a body that was talking."

Even BARBIE is Going Green

Discarded Ken Not Included; Barbie's discards to become accessories for girls

We are not making this up: Mattel is planning a new line of accessories for girls made from scrap fabric and trimmings left over from the sewing of Barbie doll fashions. The "playful and on-trend" Barbie BCause collection -- including handbags, hats, pillows, and diaries, "each featuring its own unique variations and kitschy patchwork details" -- will be sold exclusively at Toys"R"Us.

Says a Mattel marketer, "Barbie BCause is for eco-conscious girls who believe that being environmentally friendly is the right thing to do, and we are thrilled to give extra meaning and extra style to what was once just extra Barbie doll fabric." The press release is dated April 1, but Mattel folks confirm that Barbie BCause is not a joke.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

False Teeth Collection Boxes Recover & Recycle for Charity

by Steve Levenstein, March 31, 2008

Isao Miyoshi with fasle teeth collection box A somewhat unusual recycling initiative will see false teeth collection boxes set up at nine different locations in the southern Japanese city of Fukuoka.
About 80% of the surprisingly large proceeds are being donated to charity.

Now we all know that governments everywhere use fiscally sound practices when spending taxpayer's money. Sure they do. So, are these denture deposit boxes just another example of government waste and pork-barrelling? Maybe not - it seems that the Fukuoka Municipal Government is simply responding to the Japan Society for the Recycling of Dentures, a non-profit organization founded and headed by Isao Miyoshi. Since December 2006, the JSRD has worked to set up false teeth collection boxes in other cities across Japan.

At this point you would be forgiven for asking, "who chucks their choppers?" One might think that if there is a problem of some sort, you would see a dentist for a fix-up instead of just tossing the teeth in the trash. It's not that simple. "People on average get new dentures every three years, because the condition of their teeth changes," according to the 63-year-old Miyoshi.

"Once the new ones are made, dentists usually give the old ones back to the patients. But most people don't know what to do with them and they end up keeping them in their drawers. That's really a waste of something useful."

When dentures are recycled under the JSRD program, precious metals including gold, silver and palladium are extracted and sold. About 80 percent of the proceeds are then given to charities like UNICEF Japan. An average set of false teeth can produce about 3,000 yen (about $28) in saleable metal, an amount equivalent to the cost of 8 blankets. After gaining some publicity through the Japanese media, Miyoshi's office began to receive a virtual flood of used dental work through the collection boxes and direct mail-ins. The organization's first donation of funds to UNICEF Japan amounted to a whopping 1,036,102 yen ($10,570) - after only 2 months!

Paper Recycling Hits Record High

April 1 -- America recovered an all-time record of 56 percent of the paper consumed in the country last year, reaching a recycling goal set by the American Forest & Paper Association five years ahead of schedule.

The AF&PA previously established a 55-percent recovery goal by 2012, but now has raised that bar to 60 percent by the same year.

The latest numbers were unveiled April 1 in New York City during the industry´s 131st Annual Paper Week conference.

"Industry is demonstrating a real commitment to environmental sustainability by continuing to set and achieve aggressive paper recovery goals," said Donna Harman, president and CEO of the AF&PA trade group.

The country recovered 53.4 percent for recycling in 2006, and the jump to 56 percent was aided by two factors. More than 1 million more tons of paper were recovered in 2007, but the overall supply of paper used in the United States fell by about 4 million tons year-to-year.

For more information, go For more information, go here.